“Me and Logan are the ONLY two people without a cell phone,” my daughter told me as we rode in the car. I had just asked her if a lot of kids in her grade have them.
We were on the way to cheer practice when I decided it was a good time to have “the talk.” You know the one. Wait, no, not that one. The tech talk. Where she and I refresh on the dos and don’ts of the internet and discuss what she’s hearing and seeing at school.
After homeschooling for a couple of years she returned to public school last year. Then, this year she started at a brand new school. She is making brand new friends, a year older, and dealing with brand new issues.
I kid you not, between cheer and school, she’s told me stories about hacking, phishing, bullying, and people pretending to be someone they’re not. AND SHE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A PHONE. My friends, this is why we have the talk.
I’m saying “THE” Tech Talk, but it’s actually just “A” Tech Talk. Because we have these conversations fairly often. Every time, I give her the opportunity to ask me whatever questions she has on her mind, and I bring up a few things. I might even throw in some role play questions (she loves those). We’ve talked about everything from classmates getting hacked, to Momo and questionable language.
I love how much has sunk in. For instance, we were talking about how someone had shared their password with a classmate and another kid logged into his account and wrote something that wasn’t nice. She recalled how it’s important not to share your password, and to make a password challenging enough for others not to guess.
She’s learned these types of tips from playing Google’s Interland which features different quizzes on internet safety that teach her how to set challenging passwords, and what kind of information is safe or unsafe to share.
We arrived at her teammate’s house and I told my daughter we were just gonna keep on with our conversation. She sighed at first, but then grinned and said “okay.”
Her friend joined in.
“Do you ever see bullying among people at school, on social media?” I asked her.
“Oh yea,” she said.
Sadly, this type of behavior isn’t rare. But it’s not something we should fear if we’re prepared.