One of the goals of Shape The Sky is to bridge the gap between wisdom gained from over a lifetime and knowledge of current technology and trends.
“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.
You may have heard of the tragic story of an 11 year old boy completing suicide after bad Facebook hoax was played upon him. My heart and condolences go to both of these families. As adults, we need to teach kids to tell us when they see someone posting about suicide, self-harm or eating disorders on any social media or texting platform.
I regularly talk to kids about apps. Over the past year, I’m starting to hear about Tinder with the senior aged kids. Part of my work is teaching them to recognize red flag behaviors, indicators for grooming and not going to meet people in person that they meet on Tinder (or other sites such as Craigslist).
I’ve had hesitations posting about this story due to my view on contagion and the importance of following recommended guidelines on reporting on suicide.
I enjoy seeing the kindness of youth. I see it everyday and it helps to balance out some of the negativity in the world. It’s important that we all teach kindness from a young age.