There have been countless articles and research and workshops and conversations regarding kids and social media. While there can be benefits to social media use, the negatives still loom pretty large. Australia is considering a new approach to try to get the damage from digital use under control with a new licensing program.
Child psychologist, Michael Carr-Gregg, is calling on the Australian government to get involved, “To combat and prepare our kids for the internet and cyber bullies, should we introduce a digital license? Similar to the pen license, kids could be required to sit a test in year 3 and again in year 7 to prove they have the skills to use the internet and do it safely.” Listen to the podcast here.
He makes a great point. As schools are pushed to dive deeper and deeper into one-to-one technology programs, kids are getting more access to the internet at younger ages. But to what end?
The science is pretty clear that too much screen time is detrimental to developing minds. The daily examples of cyberbullying, self absorption, and poor choices are everywhere. So why not provide training and licensing?
We wouldn’t dream of putting kids behind the wheel of. A car and turning them loose on the streets with teaching them to drive, sending them to drivers ed classes, and having them take a written test and practical test to earn their driver’s license. We should expect the same level of preparation for internet access.
Training kids on how to properly use their devices, access the Internet, and interact on social media would prevent them from countless future mistakes and heartaches.
We need to protect kids from themselves and help them use the internet and social media for all of the good that it can produce.