I'll be the first one to say how much our lives have flourished with digital technology and social media. Businesses are marketed in ways they never could have been before. Email alone has had an incredible impact on the way we communicate. However, what happens when the message gets lost in the electronic communication and people don't want to connect the old-fashion way?
Last week a school near me suffered a social media mishap involving its students. This, an increasingly common byproduct of our day, unfortunately catches many a school by surprise. So I received this call: "Help! Can you come to our school to give an "Internet Safety" presentation? And can you keep it to under an hour?"
What is it about technology that makes some people behave badly? We tell our kids that their digital reputation and presence online is part of their overall character. Unfortunately, kids are getting mixed messages when they see examples of bad behavior all around them online, and not just from their peers but also from a large cross-section of the online community.
There is still one realm where we are ahead of our kids, and that's in "life skills," which are sorely needed--believe it or not--in digital spaces. These life skills include things like kindness, respect, and thoughtfulness, and they're considered skills because in the old days, we actually learned them by observing the behavior of the adults around us.