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Rosie’s Five Tips for catching Up to Your Internet Savvy Kids

Posted Jun 25 2009 11:40am

Feeling a little “behind” when it comes to the Internet? Is your sixth grade daughter also doubling as your personal tech support? Your kids may be of the Facebook generation but not to worry, you can still catch the train. Get on board now because the train is a fast moving one! Here are five tips to help you get started…

1. Get on Facebook even if your child is too young (less than 13 years old) to be on it. It is a communication site unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Besides reconnecting or “friending” others, it is a way to share pictures, communicate and have fun. Once reserved for college aged students, it is now expanding across generations. If you have a teenager, it is likely that they have a Facebook or some other type of social networking account. After you’ve established yourself:

  • Learn the lingo. A friend of mine couldn’t understand why his teenage daughter was so upset after she had been “tagged” on Facebook. Did someone catch her he wondered? He didn’t know what being “tagged” meant and it was only days later that he learned an unflattering picture of her had been identified and was seen by many.
  • Know the privacy settings. While nothing on Facebook is truly private, it is important to understand how the settings work. I keep my privacy settings high meaning only my friends (people I’ve approved) can view my information.

2. Know how to do a good Internet search. If your child is interested in learning about something or needs to do research for a school project, the Internet is often the first (and sometimes the only) stop. Learning how to do a good search can help get to the right sites quickly. Hint: using quotation marks and symbols are a must.

3. The movie screen has shrunk – to less than 3 inches on a web enabled device like an iphone or blackberry. YouTube has allowed anyone to be a movie maker. Movies of all kinds are constantly uploaded to YouTube. Easy to use recording devices have made uploading to YouTube fairly simple and straightforward. Take a spin on YouTube and see what your kids may be watching. Then, once you figure it out ask if they have a favorite channel or what they like to watch.

4. Communication has gone high tech. Sure, the best communication is still done face to face but other communication techniques are widely used. Standard phone calls and even email are being replaced by Internet video calling and text messaging. Many people use a tiny keypad to send text messages but if I’m at my computer, I’ll use that instead since it is free and not as tedious.

5. Find your music online. The days of buying a CD are winding down and chances are pretty high that your child doesn’t even consider buying a CD when they want to listen to music. Pandora is a hit with young and old – essentially a internet radio station you customize. iTunes is a favorite for many wishing to download music and makes a great gift for someone of the Facebook generation.

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