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Raising Digital Natives: “Do Grandma and Grandpa Have a Blog?”

If you haven’t heard (it’s not for lack of me trying), I’m moving my family to London for 2 years. As part of the transition I bought all of my kids tablets that they could hold all of their music and books on and that they could also access email, skype and their own blogs. It has been an interesting experience, especially since my kids are all at such interesting ages.

When I was growing up I moved around a fair amount early in life and even a move across town meant that I wouldn’t see my friends anymore. Especially if you were grade school age, you just didn’t use the phone much and unless your parents were friends with their parents, cross-town “play dates” just didn’t happen.

But now, moving my kids to another country isn’t that big of a deal. Like I said they all have email, blogs and Skype, as do most of their friends.

Not only do my kids know they’ll see their friends in 2 years, they know they’ll be in regular contact with them. This exchange between my 9 year old son and my wife, kind of exemplifies their outlook. The conversation was sparked when my son realized that he wouldn’t see his grandparents for 2 years.

Xzavier: Well, I’ll just add grandma and grandpa to my Facebook page.

@jenxmusic: Your grandma and grandpa aren’t on Facebook. And neither are you, you’re not old enough yet.

Xzavier: Oh. Well, do they have a blog?

My wife and I both have blogs but so do most of our siblings. So even though my kids aren’t old enough to be on Facebook, they can still see what’s going on with their family. And in fact several of their friends already have blogs.

While writing this post I found a link to an article from WSJ about @fredwilson (A VC) and his family.

The parents and (3) kids publish a combined nine blogs. They bring a duffle bag on family trips just to carry all the cords, adapters and batteries for their electronic devices.

The Wilsons are an extreme case of connectedness, but maybe not for long. Americans’ media consumption keeps increasing, with smartphone ownership and social-network use growing fast. According to a study being released Thursday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 47% of American adults say they use at least one social-networking site.

This doesn’t seem odd to me at all. Especially the bag of power cords. The above picture was taken from our hotel room the other night.

I don’t force my kids to participate online, that choice is totally theirs. In fact my daughter has had a blog for a year now and has never posted beyond the 2 posts I helped her do to set up her blog and show her how to do it. She hasn’t felt the need but I imagine she will while we’re in London. My boys are anxious for me to set up their sites and I will probably do that this week or next.

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • http://socialmediaiq.co.za Peter du Toit

    Absolutely agree that distance no longer matters in maintaining relationships with all the technology available - My daughter, who isn’t old enough to be on Facebook, lives in Fance - we have a private blog set up where I can post pictures & video clips which supplement all our Skype and phone chats. (Skype esp. has been really awesome) All this tides us over until our in person visits and it’s amazing despite the distance how the tools have helped us stay really close.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Its still true that you can’t replace in person, face to face interaction
    but you sure can supplement it. Studies have shown that online and offline
    relationships are stronger than only online or only offline. With everything
    you have setup with your daughter I bet your relationship is stronger than
    many dads and daughters that live together.

  • http://henrytapper.com/2011/06/18/kids-stuff-what-hr-and-pension-professionals-can-learn-from-generation-c/ Kids stuff - what HR and Pension professionals can learn from Generation C « Henrytapper's Blog

    [...] Raising Digital Natives: “Do Grandma and Grandpa Have a Blog?” (newcommbiz.com) [...]

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