The internet has made so many aspects and concepts of life so much more efficient, and so much easier. We can now shop online, effectively saving time. We can read and learn online, allowing us to more effectively organise our lives in a way that serves us best. We can work from our laptops if we wish to, meaning that we can travel and earn a living simultaneously. And we can use social media platforms to connect with those we love (and those we do not know) online. Social media has provided the modern world with a support network that is virtually limitless, allowing users from anywhere on Earth to connect, to support one another, and to act as a As with anything (literally, anything) there are those who harbour doubts about the future of social media and its benefits for both parenting and the education system and those navigating either (or both). While individuals who harbour such concerns have the right to, the reality is that social media is here to stay; as the planet becomes more digitally-dependent, platforms and systems that allow us to communicate with such ease are going nowhere anytime soon. Even parents and the education system are jumping on the bandwagon, effectively sending it soaring upward even higher.
While the introduction of technological advancements like social media groups is relatively new, parents have always sought out assistance and advice from others in similar circumstances. Traditionally, this advice came from parents and grandparents, family and friends. While this is still true today, social media support groups continue to become increasingly common support systems for new or struggling parents. Parents can join social media support groups that provide them with peace of mind and a much-needed support system at the tip of their fingers; when things feel overwhelming, mental support is just as important (if not more so) than physical support.
Being a new parent is incredibly overwhelming, as the responsibility for caring for and being the support system of a tiny human (or humans) is a sensory overload. As parents use social media platforms to lean on those also going through the experiences, they ultimately choose a family of sorts. With so many going through similar experiences at the same time, it makes sense that those also going through it are the support system that makes the most sense. The same holds true as new parents evolve into parents of children going into the school system. With an entirely new experience coming their way, again social media continues to prove itself to be a valuable support network.
There have been studies that have shown that individuals feel more at ease with sharing personal information over the internet, as not having to say the words out loud and witness firsthand the reactions makes individuals feel more comfortable (of course, the same is true for bullies, unfortunately, but that is neither here nor there). The technological advances in the education industry have resulted in many modernisations, including innovative day care and improved communication and support among both parents and children. There are even social media groups and platforms designed specifically to cater to communication between educators, students, and parents, in a way that allows all parties to openly express their feelings and concerns, while having a record to refer back to later down the track, should that be necessary.
As the children of today become the students of tomorrow, they will no doubt rely on technologies like the internet and social media for their own educations, with some even opting to study online as opposed to on campus. As new influxes of eager, bright eyed students make their way into classrooms each year, even teachers feel the pressures of the experience. The core premise is that forging a structure of powerful learning is difficult, and educators have no real need to be working through the process alone. Social media, again, can serve as a support network for the educators that shape the minds of our children and their children and those after. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become prime support platforms for parents and their children as both generations navigate the education system.
The parents and children of generations current and future will be immersed and surrounded by technological advancement, and being able to harness those advancements and use them to essentially forge a sturdy support network has never been easier or more highly regarded. Having a trusted support network around you can make new experiences like parenting or entering the education system easier to navigate. Social media is providing people with the ease and the tools to create their own virtual networks, something that is so important in an increasingly tech-driven world. The critically curious need not be concerned – social media is here to stay for the foreseeable future. And it should be.