Monday, November 16, 2009

Tech the Plunge!

An old friend I caught up with recently asked me, "So what is your #1 activity these days?" An excellent question to cut short the catching-up process! I pondered for a bit, then replied honestly and a tad sheepishly, "Facebooking!"

Social media like Facebook, Twitter, MSN, blogs have crept into our lifestyle so much so that I think we become quite lost and isolated without it. When I was on 2 weeks MC recently, recovering from my Epi-LASIK op, Facebook was my sanity, my link to the world.

I am very thankful that through Facebook, I still get to keep in touch with people I love and care for, people who may be physically out of my life, whom I may not have the luxury of calling or sms-ing as often as before. It connects us.

But I guess when it comes to my twin boys, it gets a little scarier. They love watching Naruto on Youtube and to search for cheat codes for their DS Pokemon games. But just typing in these searches innocently have (to my horror!) led them to videos that are hardly suitable for 8-year-olds!

I guess raising & parenting kids in the Digital Age needs some amount of wisdom and lots of vigilance and guidance. There's a world of information at their fingertips, sometimes more than they can grasp at their age. One click of the mouse leads to another, then another, and before they know it, by no intention of theirs, they end up surfing porn!

Well, it was an interesting conversation I had with my guests today, both speakers at an upcoming workshop called Be a New Media Parent, organised by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, as part of NLB's Asian Children's Festival.

Tech-savvy parents Kelvin Tan & Nura J-Esman share their tips.

Kelvin Tan is VP (New Media) at ServTouch ETi & father to a 12-year-old boy, while Nura J-Esman is a former model & TV host with MediaCorp Suria, a certified educator & mum of a four-year-old daughter. Although this topic is not new to me, I did come away feeling inspired by the commitment they have to keeping up with trends and making time to guide their kids in the use of New Media.

I guess the challenge for me is not to wave the white flag too early when it comes to raising my boys in the Digital Age. We don't have to stay tech dinosaurs! We can take that first step to explore and learn, and to use New Media as a "tool" to bond with our kids.

One great lesson I learnt from a very dear tech-savvy friend this past year. If you need any info, "Just Google!" It has become my tagline.

To get more Infocomm tips, surf onto this website or head down to the Be A New Media Parent workshop this Sunday 22 Nov @ NLB. You can find out more here. Go ahead. Tech the plunge!

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