My daughters (19 and 16 years) have on occasion over the last two years of my studies concluded that I was learning about things they already knew about and in some cases they were right. And when I had question about how to do something, I’d ask them, and sometimes they’d share something cool/ new that they had learned of. As Jenkins notes, relationships are different now and the roles may be reversed with a younger person advising an older one. Certainly as immigrant and natives we have a “difference in experience” as Jenkins says.
Jenkins advises that adults have a responsibility to get online with their kids, to direct and share their experiences, just like they go to their children’s soccer games. The solution is not to cut off their access to the net and benefits of online participation.
I agree. I supported my children’s online experience through the provision of computers, high speed internet, cell phones, iPods and then smartphones. At some point early on, their knowledge of how and what they could do online overtook my knowledge.
About five years ago, my eldest daughter took to a social media site called Nexopia. Fortunately she shared it with me and we were able to talk a bit about the reality of the internet and what was appropriate. However one of her friends was not so wary - flaunting seductive poses in her profile pic, and then bragging online about her prank at school that then got her in trouble. This same friend had more than 1000 friends on Nexopia, the privacy setting of sharing with “friends and their friends” probably left it pretty open to predators. (Note the recent story about Nexopia and privacy.)
Kids do try roles on, online, and do make mistakes there. And they need to know appropriate `netiquette‘ (as Adora Svitak counselled Howard Rheingold).
Jenkins discusses “cosplay” as a skill of networking. Chloe is a girl who likes sewing and dressing up in anime character costumes and through this cosplay she develops her networking skill. Coincidentally, this also describes my 18-year-old niece, Chloe.
Multi-tasking is also a skill to participate in the online world according to Jenkins. This comes naturally to the girls. The challenge is to effectively manage their attention on the right things. This is a definitely a skill or a discipline to be nurtured.
Appropriation is a skill that requires the digital native to understand the difference between cutting and pasting text into your essay, and appropriating and remixing content for the purposes of creativity. (Second daughter learned this one in grade 10!)
In spite of what little guidance and teaching we parents were able to provide, I estimate that my daughters are well equipped to participate online and receive the benefit from this resource. I did enjoy helping my daughter find a citation online for Nietzsche this afternoon. Seems there are still a few things I can show them!