I love technology as much as the next person but I have to say that I am thankful I grew up in the 80's and that all the newfangled technology was not around then!
When I was Shelby's age there was no Facebook, no Instagram, no quick and easy way to know what everyone else was doing. Nowadays they can know what their classmates and friends are doing with a click of the mouse. I am in sure in some cases this is a good thing. Want to share a picture of the fun day you and your friend had? Share it via email or Instagram (or some thing called Snapchat but that one doesn't make any sense to me!). You don't have to wait to finish your roll of film, send it in for development and then get it back. Oh and if you want you and your friend to both have a copy of a photo then...don't forget to get double copies!
But what about the downside? If young kids are anything like I was at that age (and I am pretty sure they are!) then they are insecure about themselves, feel like they don't have friends, or feel like no one likes them or wants to hang out with them. This is easily justifiable as they peruse through their social media outlets and get to see pictures and posts from their classmates and friends. Even I scroll through them and my heart drops into my stomach a bit as I see Shelby's friends and classmates hanging out together but she isn't included. I mean at least when I was a kid I could just be naive and assume everyone else was sitting home with their mom watching The Golden Girls (in my defense, that was an AWESOME show! :)).
Hopefully as parents we encourage our kids to respect others and treat them well, but let's be realistic, they are kids and they will be mean to kids (weren't we all?) and kids will be mean to them. Back in the old days this would be done verbally and probably in the hallways during school or on the playground. I am sure it still happens there but now it also happens via the social network. Kids can easily respond to a post on one of these outlets that insults someone, makes fun of someone else, or can just be taken wrong by someone else. Oh sure, this would all still happen even if there was no internet, because kids will be kids, but the internet just makes it so much easier nowadays.
I just hope I have instilled confidence in my daughter and that even if she does see these things on social media she won't let it bug her. She will just look at it and decide not to participate in any bully like activities, that she does realize she has friends and will probably post pictures of her own that may make other people which they were hanging out with her.
I am just thankful I didn't have to worry about all this as a kid! God Bless the '80's! :)