Few could argue that online technologies have not had a substantial impact on the lives of all New Zealanders.
Communication, collaboration, content creation are all possible now in ways that would have been almost unimaginable a generation ago. Services like Instagram have provided us all with just such opportunities, to capture and share a moment in time, to reach out to others with similar ideas, beliefs and values, or simply to tell the world what you had for breakfast.
But as we learn the skills we need to share, post, tag, and like online, there are rights and responsibilities that must be understood as well. It is this combination of knowledge and skills that makes us successful digital citizens.
But how do we learn them? Who do we go to? Who is responsible for making sure young people are properly equipped? While we regularly hear advice given to young people to seek the help of a trusted adult in times of trouble online we know that increasingly adults are rarely a young person’s first port of call in these situations. It is increasingly obvious that it is not simply a matter of finding someone that they trust, but more importantly someone who is knowledgeable about the challenges that they face, and can assist them in achieving a satisfactory resolution.
The challenge for parents then is to become that knowledgeable guide, to be able to assist them, and to ensure that they are well prepared for their online experiences in the future. Part of that process is to be familiar with how the technology works, be aware of the kind of challenges young people may experience, and work alongside them to achieve a successful resolution. This guide will help prepare you to give your kids the guidance they need.