Kids need to use the power of mobile phones wisely

WHEN you grasp a modern phone in your hand, imagine he power you hold.

Not only do you have the "old fashioned" ability to talk to anyone, anywhere in the world, now we can do this in such a portable way we can do it from anywhere… at least anywhere with reception.

But the modern phone has moved so far beyond this, because now we are no longer limited to just voice, but to instant transmission of words, photographs, video footage, computer programs, web links, and so much more.

Fifty years ago - even 20 years ago - this kind of power was pure science fiction.

Not only do we have such a powerful information device available, for the most part, it is available to everyone… including our kids.

Now one of my favourite quotes is from Spider-Man. It goes something like this: "With great power comes great responsibility."

I love working with clients to help them unlock some of the great power that lies within them. It can be a heady experience.

But then comes the question: "So you have unlocked this power… now, what are you going to do with it?"

So now we come back to our kids. They have great power in their hands with these powerful, powerful devices. So what are they going to do with it?

In many ways we as a society are just catching up with what all of this means.

The rate of change is moving faster than what morality, culture, convention, or even the law can keep up with.

It could be argued that social media is a new form of democracy, in that now almost everyone can have a voice.

But just because we have the power to express those things, doesn't mean we have the wit and wisdom to actually know what and how to express the experience of life.

As a result, we can end up doing enormous damage to ourselves and to others with things like Facebook posts, in which we have a spray, or posting images that are cringe-worthy at best that may affect our employment, or even behaviour like sexting.

For parents, it is often easier to play the three monkeys and cover their ears, eyes, and mouth.

Yet there are children and young people out there who are wielding incredible power, and may even be too frightened to ask for the wisdom of how to handle it.

So the questions back to parents are: "Is the mobile phone a right or a responsibility?", "Is it an essential or a privilege?", and "What is my responsibility?"

Topics:  advice counselling editors picks mobile phones parenting paul stewart teenagers

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