My Modern Family

Written by newmediamike

Topics: >140 characters, Kids, Mobile, Musing, Twitter

This scene is quite common in our house as I’m sure it is in yours if you have teenagers. All of us glued to our smartphones. I call this picture “My Modern Family” as that is exactly what we are.

Of course when your dad has been immersed in the new media since the day you were born you are going to be tech savvy. My youngest was born the day we renamed the old Multimedia trade show “newMedia 97”.Both my daughters were exposed to new media and technology right out of the gate. My oldest was playing Elmo on my old 486 at 3. I still have my youngest’s first Lion King Bug Hunting Certificate from when she was 3.

Since it is so ubiquitous in our day to day lives I really didn’t give much thought to my kids exposure to modern communication technology until recently. I’ll try not to sound too old when I say; back when I went to college I was lucky if I received one letter a week by post, and being a poor student living in residence I couldn’t afford a phone. When I was living in residence I was isolated from the world, it seemed. Now my daughter who lives in residence has a landline in her room. We text or email almost daily and do so mostly from our smartphones. She also Skypes with her dog … but uses her phone to talk to her mom and boyfriend, which is a rarity for teenagers. I have written about GChat scams, did you know GChat can also save you a bundle on long distance charges? I started using the phone feature on GChat for conference calls as the sound is amazingly clear. I am going to have to convince her of the merits of using GChat for long distance calls she isn’t Skyping.

We use Twitter for a variety of reasons. First, since we aren’t connected on Facebook I use Twitter to share with my kids some of the stuff I share on Facebook. Mostly cute videos involving Corgis skyping with their kids.

But I also use Twitter as a communication tool with my daughter who is away at school.  We found it convenient and we keep each other amused with our Tweets. I have instilled in my kids the importance of their online presence and some of the more important points of Twitter etiquette. It occurred to me that by them following me and me following them back we have a system of checks and balances built into our Tweeting. They have to ask themselves “Do I really want @newmediamike to see this?” And I ask myself do I want my kids seeing this? NOT that I’m in the habit of posting inappropriate or NSFW material but this check and balance system keeps my tweets at least in the professional realm. I’m sure they get bored with all the SEO tweets, just like I get tired of the deadmau5 tweets.

How modern is your family? Please tell me in the comments.


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