We hear so many scary and sometimes tragic stories about kids and the Internet that it’s sometimes easy to get bogged down in the negative aspects of the online world. The truth is, though, the Internet is just a tool, which means it can be used for good! So before you put your kids’ Internet access on lockdown, consider these benefits that the Internet affords our kiddos.
### The Internet Facilitates Learning
When we were kids, we had fairly limited access to information. If we wanted to learn about something, whether it was for a school report or out of sheer curiosity, we had to take a trip to the library or at the very least, dust off the family set of Encyclopedia Britannica. Today, kids have access to a wealth of information, and it’s literally at their fingertips.
### Online Games Can Boost Creativity
Online computer and video games have gotten a lot of bad press as of late. Parents and experts alike wonder whether these games are making kids socially isolated, sedentary, or even violent. It’s important to remember that not all video games are alike, though, and a little creative gaming can actually encourage problem solving and critical thinking among many other benefits.
### Social Networking Can Lift Kids’ Spirits
Cyberbullying is a big problem and so naturally, it gets a lot of media attention, but we should remember that there is a flip side to the social media coin. Kids can just as easily use social networking to find support, locate kids with similar interests, and lend an ear to someone in need. While it’s true that children need to learn how to interact in the “real world,” parents also need to understand that the real world is changing and with it, the definition of what it means to be social.
The Internet isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and while it’s wise to be aware of the real dangers out there, it’s equally important that we realize the positive benefits the virtual world has to offer, so that we can teach our kids how to get the most out of this digital tool while avoiding the dark side of the Web.