The internet has come a long way since 1983. Every decade has led the human race to more and more information at their fingertips than ever imagined possible, with faster speeds, smaller devices, and more choices on how we access that information and choose to share our personal information.
The internet is not going away; it is actually ramping up to submerse us even more into it with projects like the metaverse. An entirely new culture is being developed to work, play, socialize, and even live an entirely digital life. You can buy real estate, build houses, and even sell your products in the metaverse that ship right to you in the real world. There are an estimated 3.24 billion gamers worldwide that are very excited at the prospect of gamer cities becoming a reality. We have gone from the infancy of the internet to its adolescence.
And as with everything that grows up, new rules and education must be established and communicated. “To straddle that fundamental duality is to be balanced – to have one foot firmly planted in order and security, and the other in chaos, possibility, growth, and adventure.” – Dr. Jordan Peterson.
The idealistic utopia of possibility, growth, and adventure that the metaverse provides: without discipline, creative freedom and creative thinking will suffer.
As with all growth from infancy, it is a direct responsibility of the parents to instill rules behavior and to provide protection. From a young age, it is essential to distinguish between virtual reality and actual reality, set time limits to play and have fun in the virtual world and have the discipline to accomplish one’s goals in the real world.
It is important to set security controls on devices like parental controls, setting time limits, safe browser searching, URL protection, and protecting the admin controls on devices. Communication from parents is vital to teaching youth about cyberbullying, predators, phishing, secure passwords, safe harboring your personal information, emotional intelligence, and the importance of security controls.
While it is of the utmost importance for parents to communicate all the above to their kids, the internet will never be completely safe, nor will the real world. If you are unfamiliar with any of the above, it is your responsibility to educate yourself on the rules of engagement, so you may begin to communicate even the basics of keeping the internet a safer place.