Now that I’m walking into being a stepfather, I’ve been noticing a few things about me that I need to shore up. You see, I’m feeling the need, want and desire to be a much better example to these two incredible kids whose lives I get to be apart of. Not just in the real world we live in but the the virtual world as well.
I don’t want them to be embarrassed of my online presence and I want to set the right example for their online presence as well.
I’ve never known what it is to be a parent. I love kids and I love these two kids the most. I look forward to every day I get to be with them because I know I’m always going to experience something funny with them or get surprised with some sweet moments of just being together. We have those moments together where they ask questions and want real answers and there are those moments when I get to ask them questions… to get them thinking a little bit.
As I walk along side these little lives, I’m noticing something…
For all you parents out there, I know you know what I’m about to say…
These kids notice everything. Even the things I don’t think they notice… they notice. It’s eye opening for me, but also a great reminder of the man I need to be… and also the man I want to be.
So, as I have been stepping up things, I’ve been going through my life… like re-arranging my closet so that I know what I have in me that needs to stay or go away. Again… A little eye-opening for me. I’m not single anymore and I can’t live like I’m the only one I answer too. It’s amazing how much has changed in this part of my life in the past two months.
One of the big things I’m paying attention to these days is the example I set for them online.
They are on Facebook with their friends. They sit down and watch YouTube just as much or more than they turn on the TV. They are engaged in community with their family and friends online… and they see what I do, what I say… and ultimately how I live my life… even online.
If the kids are paying attention to what I’m putting out on twitter or facebook, then I figure others are as well right? So, some of the things I used to throw out there won’t be coming out in my twitter stream or showing up on facebook like they once did.
The changes will be subtle and some of you might not even notice, but I will… and so will the kids.
I think it’s important for the online world to be a place where people learn from others and are encouraged to move forward in life. Not a place to bully people. It’s not a place to air out our anger against others or to bring someone down in a 140 character statement or a blog post. I don’t want these kids thinking it’s ok to do that or that it’s even productive for anyone. Honestly, I think when people bring others down online, it’s a selfish move. I’ve seen it happen in these kids lives with their friends and it was devastating, but also an important time teach them how to be with their friends online and how to handle them in real life.
How about you? How do you view your example online and where do you draw the line?