Over the past few years I have had suggestions from time to time from a parent to place Merewether Day Care on Facebook etc. I understand many people are into this and having a son who is a digital marketing manager for a large organisation, I understand it’s ability to promote the business. Having said that we have almost always been full, with a long waiting list, and this is mainly gained through word of mouth!
The legislation requires this business to develop policies and practices that ensure privacy and confidentiality of children and family information. Material held on clouds are at risk of hacking, far more than an email forwarded to your account. Other centres may risk this by having a closed Facebook page but the test will come if it is hacked and any pictures etc. of our children become part of the public domain. In fact, this Tuesday I am off to attend a conference on the problems of Social Media in regard to staff or parents misuse. Also at this time we are reviewing all our policies and within a month I will be forwarding parents an updated policy to parents.
Just as important is the underpinning educational philosophy at the base of Merewether Day Care. We do not encourage social media and many of you may be aware that it has taken school bullying to a whole another level where children type things they would never say face to face, as a result teenager suicide has increased significantly. In this new world where you need to be ‘liked’ and have as many ‘followers’ as possible this is a sad indictment of our need to be accepted. This is extrinsic motivation and not part of the intrinsic motivation we seek to develop in your children. ‘Likes’ and ‘followers’ do not assist people to be themselves and be willing to look to their conscience and be willing to be different such as Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, etc. who have changed the world!
And please don’t get me wrong about the benefits of social media. In times of a regions disaster it is a way of sending messages out about flooding, evacuation etc. etc. It has it place but when we are all aware of the time consuming nature of social media. Can we turn off from the devices!? Apparently the addictive nature of these device is now having movie theatres planning to set aside theatres for those who want to access social media whilst watching a movie, or having soundproof areas within each theatre. What is happening to our balance in life that we can’t switch off as this does nothing for our deep levels of contemplation and relaxation that is so important in this faster paced society in which we live.
We want to encourage parents to get outdoors, be with your children, avoid screens in your leisure time. Even being in the confines of your house does nothing to ensure you and your children keep and develop their long distance vision. Why is it we are not willing to let children find something to amuse themselves instead of turning on the television, iPads etc. to entertain them. Do they need to be continually stimulated? Don’t children need to feel boredom to then find things to amuse themselves. I see children with their parents mobiles playing games at cafes instead of interacting and learning social graces and communication. The saying give me the child till 7 years of age and you give me the adult is a bit of a concern for me as I see children seeing adults continually using their phones etc.breaking up the one on one time with their children and modelling a new way of being.
Having said all the above please don’t write me off as a fuddy duddy as there are many academics out just as concerned and gathering evidence on the impact of these amazing devices that mean we can communicate with the world in real time but have a downside we need to deal with. And in this regard, I have been so inspired by our parents here that tell me they don’t want any media devices included here and they love, that we develop their child’s social being and they severely limit their child’s access to computer games etc. It is so encouraging that we are attracting families with values that match our philosophical base.
On this note, I’ll now shut down the computer! I so hope I haven’t offended anyone but thought it important to lay to rest why we won’t be developing a Facebook Page etc.