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Social media and me

February 5, 2012

Hi there! I’m Laura Brigham. I attend University of Nevada, Reno, and will be finishing a master’s in journalism specializing in interactive media in December 2012.  In addition to being a student, I am also a wife and the mother of an 8-year-old.

My objective in blogging is to chronicle the challenges and triumphs of parenting in a digital world. How much technology should kids be exposed to? How soon? What will all the screen time do to a developing brain? Just like every parent, I want to do the right thing. Science says, “Not too much technology too soon.” Media says, “This app will make your child smarter.” Society says, “Everyone’s doing it.” Children beg, plead and bargain to download the latest and greatest game or app. Even the most staunch no-screen parents throw up their hands.

Through this blog, I plan to bring you the research and commentary I find about raising a digital native – the pros, the cons and the you’ve-got-to-be-kiddings. Also, I’ll share my experiences, best practices and strategies for finding the most beneficial ways to integrate technology into your children’s lives without sacrificing traditional skills (skills like making eye contact during a face-to-face conversation or being able to wait at a restaurant table without thumbs busy on a NintendoDS).

As the moderator and event planner for a local moms website for three years and a former stay-at-home mom who’s had lots of time on the playground, I’ve watched many parenting styles. If a mom hands her 3-year-old the smartphone to keep him busy, is it going to matter when he’s 20? I like to think that as long as we love our children and provide a healthy, nurturing environment, all will be well. But what do you think? Can tech overload (dare I say indulgence) really change a child?

I invite you to share stories of your own family’s experience with television, Nintendo, Wii, iPads, smartphones and the like. Please let me know what you think of my posts, and together we can grow capable, caring, well-rounded children (who will grow up to invent new technologies to stress out the parents of 2030!).

Thanks, and I’m looking forward to this journey down the tech highway!

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