Real World vs. Cyber Safety

….We all control our nerves and anxiety in different ways.  Some of us with a glass of wine, others with vigorous exercise, knitting, rowing, or whatever floats your boat.  My nerves have been at an all time high lately.  Scary shit has been happening.  If I had to pinpoint when this started, I would say with Sandy Hook Elementary coming under siege.

 

It is as if nothing is safe anymore.  Schools are under attack.  If that was not enough, innocent marathon runners and their cheering squads were bombed, a woman was attacked in broad daylight at the park around the corner from my house, and an 8-year-old boy was hit by a car while riding his bike a few days ago.  Like I said, scary shit has been happening.

 

It as if we became completely consumed with cyber safety, especially when it comes to our kids, that we let personal safety run by the way side.  It is a daily turmoil within me.  Can I let my kids walk to this place on their own?  Should they take their bikes? …And then I digress to:  Do they have a phone?  Do they know not to Instagram naked photos while they are out?  Do they know not to sign up for SnapChat?  Who are they texting?  AND, so it goes…..I get myself totally consumed with their cyber behavior that I forget to remind them not to talk to strangers.

 

safety-first

 

I know a silly reminder for preteens and tweens, but still.  When was the last time we had that discussion?  I can’t remember because I have been talking about texting, Facebooking, tweeting, vine-ing for so long now that actually talking to a stranger in person doesn’t even seem like a viable reality.

 

What about the cars speeding through intersections and the pole that keeps getting taken out by reckless drivers coming around the bend at the bottom of our street?  Have I been warning them about that?  I went by the spot where the little 8-year-old was hit by a car while peddling along on his bike.  The POI (point of impact) clearly labeled right near the sidewalk.

 

Then it hits me that the POI was right down the street from our old house, and I am pretty sure that I have never talked about street smarts since we lived there because my kids started googling stuff and my life became about tech safety.

 

So, my nerves are insanely high because I may or may not be doing my job as a parent.  In an attempt to make my son understand that anything he tweets can get cached in google for the REST of his life, I forgot to tell him to watch his LIFE.  To protect his life.

 

This is going to make the whole thing even crazier…In an attempt to control my state of emergency related to all this, I have become fixated on a hot breakfast.  Don’t ask me – there really is no correlation except for now I push aside what I need to do on school/work mornings and start cooking and then over a hot breakfast, I make my case for safety.  It is almost as if, a plate of pancakes and words of wisdom on protecting one’s life go hand in hand.  Not to mention, maybe the pancakes make up for the lack of attention brought to this subject lately.

 

With my anxiety through the roof, I think to myself:  Perhaps, I should tweet my safety messages?  Take a picture of them and post them on Instagram?

 

I don’t know, really.  It just seems like there is yet another discussion on balance.  This one balancing teaching our kids real word vs. cyber safety?

 

 


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