When a child turns 16 , according to most state laws, they are ready to learn to drive. We, parents and adults, prepare them.

“Let’s take a moment to examine the concepts of knowledge and wisdom and how they relate to social media. Some people may combine knowledge and wisdom in the same category. While they are closely connected and work well together when used symbiotically, there are distinct differences.   Knowledge is gained daily through assignments, tasks, and activities…think of it as “book smarts”. Wisdom is built over time and through observation and experience. Knowledge is something you can direct via your educational, occupational and interests path. Wisdom is the summation of the experience that provides guidance for what you do with knowledge… think of Wisdom as life experience or “street smarts”.

Children are born learners. They naturally want to discover the world and all it has to offer. They go to school to gain knowledge. As they grow we adults help sculpt their wisdom. We teach and model right from wrong and how to interact in the world successfully. We help them understand behaviors and consequences. We allow them to stumble and learn from mistakes. From the day they are born, our goal for our children is to have them accumulate a knowledge bank and then be able to use wisdom to judge how to most successfully use that knowledge.

In order to foster wisdom, in any area of our children’s lives, we need to be able to assess, redirect and guide our child’s choices as a result of their knowledge. In order to do this we must have the knowledge ourselves of each individual area to understand how to shape their wisdom.

Our children go to school and spend time with friends. They gain knowledge about technology because it’s part of today’s society. They gather this knowledge quickly and at an early age. They will rapidly outpace parents and teachers with knowledge of the technology through everyday use. Yet as a result of the lack of brain maturing until the age of twenty five, they do not have fully developed wisdom related to cause and effect of what they post on social media.

As adults we have gathered a lifetime of wisdom. We have learned from our mistakes and developed an ability to make good decisions. But we, as adults, have not kept up gaining knowledge related to technology and social media. This can cause us to struggle with imparting wisdom to our children and their online activities. It’s important for us to continue to gather knowledge about social media and technology. How can children be expected to gather wisdom from us when we don’t know anything about the subject?

One teen gave me feedback a few years ago about adults teaching teens about technology. They simply stated “first learn how to use it.” Good Advice. I think.

~ Ryan”

“I often get asked about privacy settings on Facebook. I tell people to regularly check their settings and adjust them as needed. Sometimes people tell me they are unsure how to adjust them and seem hesitant with their ability. Here are a couple links that will help you navigate adjusting your privacy settings. ~ Ryan”
“Public shaming of children by adults happens and often by adults in positions of authority. I have seen it personally. When I see a post on my Facebook feed it’s called “public shaming”, and it’s design is to teach the child a lesson. But I wonder why we aren’t using different terminology and calling it what I believe it is, public bullying. I saw this most recent article about Izabel Laxamana, a 13 year old girl in Tacoma Washington who recently completed suicide days after being “publicly shamed” by her father. I’m not going to speculate on what led to her suicide, because I do not know the entire situation and don’t have all of the facts. But I will say that I believe that attempting to teach a lesson by making a video of you child or posting a picture on social media of a child holding an apology sign is not the best way to promote growth and responsibility. ~ Ryan”
“In my role I have to interpret teen behavior related to social media and present it to an audience. But I really enjoy listening to teens discuss social media from their perspective. Here is an excellent blog post from a college aged teen articulating teen views on social media. ~ Ryan”
“This site was brought to me by a 12 year old boy who is a friend of the family. He and his family know about my work and they help out when they see something I could use for educating parents, professionals and youth. I have used this site for several years working with parents and students. Basically it is a two minute video that pulls you in as an interactive participant using your Facebook data. It will ask you to log in using your Facebook username and password so the application can access your Facebook content. It will then show you a video of someone creeping on your Facebook page. I have had students tell me that they have tightened up their Facebook privacy settings just because they saw this video. I tell parents all the time that it’s a simple and youth appealing way to teach them about privacy on Facebook. ~ Ryan”
“This is one of my favorite titles from an excellent technology journalist Larry Magid. When I present, I discuss apps that allow the user to post anonymously. While there is obvious concern for bullying and other inappropriate use, there are other concepts to consider. Larry does a wonderful job of discussing these points in this article and also brings in the experts from the Cyberbulllying Research Center in for comment. ~ Ryan”

Here is a great article about a new live streaming app, YouNow.

I’m often asked how people hide pictures on their devices. Here is a link to a nice article that will tell you about 7 ways to hide pictures on a device. Be sure to read the “Bonus” one at the end that describes how you can hide your pictures on IOS 8 that is built right into the operating system.