The internet is something that I am a huge fan of as it is a source of so much instant information and you can learn so much. Only the other day I was reading a blog where the bloggers young daughter had managed to teach herself to knit by watching videos on you tube which is fantastic. I myself am inspired daily by the things I read and see on line and I think that our children in the UK are privileged to have so much technology in their life’s.
However as with most things in life there are dangers that come hand in hand with the benefits of the internet. Identity theft and account hacking is now much more common and I myself have had someone try to take money from my bank twice but luckily my bank noticed that it was unusual behaviour so the first time they only managed to take about £20 before the bank froze the account and the second time the bank froze the account without letting them take anything so I am very grateful for that.
Having children raises a whole host of fears when it come’s to the internet such as cyber bullying, people pretending to be teenagers on social networks and the fact that I post pictures of my children along with their names. Having two teenagers I have been very worried about cyber bullying along with normal bullying as well, as I was bullied at school, so I know how sad and alone it can make you feel. I have spent a lot of time over the years making sure that all of my children understand what bullying is and that they should never do it as well as making sure that they know they can tell me if anyone bullies them even if it is online as it is still bullying whether the words are spoken or typed. I have also spoken in great detail to my two older girls about people not being who they say they are. It is a difficult subject to tackle with them as they always think that I am being melodramatic, but I think that we have built up good communication and trust over the years, so they normally tell me if they are speaking to someone new and they know not to give out personal information or arrange to meet anyone that they have not met before. I do also worry that I may be putting them all in danger by the photographs and names on my blog, but I did not know how else to write my blog without doing it that way as they are often the main subject of my posts, as it is very much personal based. My teens were already sharing their first names and photos on various social networks and I have told my youngest to never go with anyone they have not met before even if they know her name and mine.
With all of those internet fears you may think that it would be hard for me to pick just one as being my biggest fear, but I have not yet mentioned my biggest fear. My biggest fear that I think about almost on a daily basis is that I am not spending enough time with my family. Being a blogger involves so much more work then just writing down my thoughts and opinions. There is the social networking side of things, somehow you are expected to be promoting your blog through so many different platforms, there is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, G+ and all sorts of things that I have not even thought of. Then there is the PR side of things, running competitions and doing reviews. There is also a big community of bloggers and always so much to do with linkys, blogger challenges and groups and chatting to new people and of course reading other blogs and commenting on peoples posts too. All of this and you still have to find the time to think of things to write and then to actually write the posts adding photographs and hoping that everything looks ok.
Now you may be thinking to yourself ‘if it is that much work then why bother doing it?’ The answer to that question is simple, I really honestly, truly love writing my blog and doing all of those things that come with it. The only problem that I have is the constant worry that I am spending too much time attached to my laptop and not enough time with the children. As all the children are at school it is not too bad during term time as I try to get it all done while they are at school and then spend quality time with them once they come home but during school holidays I find it much more difficult. I do not think that this is just a problem for bloggers either, I think that in general people can find it very hard to keep away from the internet as there is so much information, groups and games available there is always something to do. I know that my husband is terrible for this and I often have to remind him to take some screen free time. So I guess when all is said and done my biggest internet fear is how to find the right balance to live a happy and fulfilled life?
This post is my entry into the Check and Secure challenge. For more advice on family safety online, see Mums on Security