It is in our human nature to judge people as soon as we meet them.
From a passing glance we assume that we know intimate details about that person; that we like them or not, dependant solely on what they look like, how they walk, what their gestures are or how they talk. My question is simple, why do we assume that? Is that fair? Doesn’t the person deserve a chance to show you who they are, supposing it’s not someone in the street that you are walking past, it could be a new work colleague or someone that your friends have introduced you to. What if you are going to be spending more time with them you are now reliant on that first judgement?
I am guilty of judging people when I first meet them and allowing that first opinion to cloud my relationship until one day a person actually called me up on that and made it clear that I was being unfair, I was 18 at the time and doing my A-Levels so the message didn’t sink in. In hindsight I should have taken more notice of what I was doing, how I was pigeon-holing people but I was so focused on my life, I forgot to take into consideration how my actions affected other people. To be fair, I did have a lot on my plate at the time, but now I appreciate and acknowledge that what I was doing was wrong, and funnily enough the person who told me off, is now one of my closest friends so it was not all bad.
Social networking is used to judge people without truly knowing them; you look at their profile picture, and automatically make an assumption about them. Are they family pictures, cute pictures or what if they have no profile pic, are they not very good looking (I could phrase it in a much more demeaning way but that’s not my style). On the other hand if people have their profile inundated with pictures of themselves in various ways, on the beach, in their houses, schools and other areas of their life, we may even call them vain, self-centred and egotistical. There is even the rise in the amount of ‘Duck poses’ on the site. These are where girls are posing in front of the mirror and pouting as they take self-shots. They are usually accompanied by questions or comments on how they aren’t pretty yet are immediately slammed for the pose, the clothes they are wearing, or in some cases not wearing! It is demeaning for us to have to see it but at the same time it is their choice, they do have a right to choose what it is that they want to put on the social networking profile or page.
You may be thinking, ‘well everyone does it.’ True pretty much everyone makes snap judgements and they have a choice to do that but if you know that you are prejudging someone and not giving them a chance, is that at all fair? In their shoes would you like someone judging you?
Twitter is a different matter, most of the time I use twitter is to post sarcastic tweets and to follow or if you like, stalk people, I am not dangerous but how can people know that unless they know me?
On Twitter, everyone has the right to post what they want regardless if it is inappropriate, and where no-one has the right to tell you what you can and can’t do, however refraining from posting is a better idea than just freely and randomly posting very personal information about yourself. Do you really want the world to know your intimate details and every little thing about your life?
This is when making the right judgment is very important. It is perfectly acceptable (according to Twitter) to post what you want, ‘Freedom of Speech’ but when you do so you should bear in mind and remember that there are children on there. Kids as young as ten are using twitter to follow their favourite bands, celebrities, footballers etc.
This leads to the question, how can you know that the person behind the screen is actually who they say they are? This is when Internet safety is really important for example, the Internet can be a wonderful resource for kids. Kids who are old enough to punch in a few letters on the keyboard can literally access the world.
It can also be dangerous, say for example, an 8-year is on Google, a normal search engine and they decide to Google Lego but they type it wrong and ‘legs’ is what is entered into the search engine. The images of ‘legs’ that come up from that search can range from safe to extremely graphic. Another click of the mouse can also lead the child into website that incorporates pornographic material? Kids have a variety of way that they can access the Internet from smartphones, laptops and tablets such as an iPad.
It is an excuse IMO for the parents to have some ‘quiet’ time and leave the kids to their own devices. However how can you know what the children are actually doing on those devices? I understand allowing your children to have some freedom and alone time because everyone needs that at one time or another but there is a line between using the devices as a ‘babysitter.’ Some children even have laptops and phones in their rooms so their sleep is affected, personally I would never let anyone in my family who I was responsible for have their laptop in their room at night. I am sure some of you are asking ‘why?’ Well, firstly who knows what they are doing, whether they are just playing games and dawdling on the internet, or if they are chatting up a man or woman who is older than they actually claim to be. Secondly, if you are up all night, then you cannot function properly in the daytime especially at school, university or work. I understand sometimes, you cannot sleep so you use the internet to pass the time, I have no problem with that, I do that myself, I use my phone at night if I can’t sleep or don’t feel tired but I have my limits, if I am tired and have an early morning, I will sleep. I am sure some of you feel the same and others may not. This blog post is not designed for you to agree with. If you do agree, then great but if you don’t, then that’s your prerogative; there is nothing wrong with it either way.
Now lets think about an 8year old with an iPad or a tablet where you can download apps and then make in app purchases. I have read several articles about how children are buying things in the app up to the tune of £2000 or even more than that. I don’t understand why the parents don’t just either make it so you have to put in a password every time a monetary purchase is requested and more importantly do not give the password to your child. If you are going to give it to them then IMHO you deserve a large credit/debit bill!
Technology should not be a babysitter for your children, spend time with them. Go to the park, get a trampoline, go bowling, or even for a picnic. The more time you spend with them, the less reliant they are on technology. Do not allow them to become couch potatoes and staying in all day. That is not life, at all. You need to focus on the child and make sure that they are happy, because if they are happy then you can be happy as well. Be a parent, do the best for your children and if they are using internet, make sure they are safe.
Thanks for reading, if you want to debate some points with me, or have any question, then comment. I do not bite!
Till next time!