I consider myself a pretty technologically inclined person.
I mean, I’ve never owned an iPhone and I don’t have an iPad, but I know my way around HTML coding and I do have a smart phone. I’ve been tweeting for a few years now and who isn’t on Facebook?
But there’s something about the internet, perhaps the Wild West lay of the web land, that has me wanting to keep my daughter away from it for as long as is humanly possible.
Not so for one dad. As Katherine Rosman reports for The Wall Street Journal, the way one teen rebels against her parents is by refusing to tweet.
Unlike parents who struggle to limit kids’ computer use, Fred and Joanne Wilson want their kids to be well versed in the very latest in technology.
The parents and kids publish a total of nine blogs. NINE. Fred and Joanne, both 49, write daily on their blogs that cover financing start-ups to music and cooking. Their oldest child, Jessica is 20. She has two blogs. So does little sister Emily, who is 18. 15-year-old Joshua has a blog and is taking classes on web coding.
As Rosman reports, the main way the children rebel is by refusing to get online. Mr. Wilson, a New York City venture capitalist that has invested in companies such as Tumblr, Foursquare, Zynga and Etsy. He is on the board of directors at Twitter and Etsy. He wants Jessica to be working on upping her Twitter follower count. “I would tell her that it was going to be the next big thing,” he says.
Jessica refused to take part. “It was a rebellious thing,” she says.
Dad also tried to push Etsy on his daughters. “For years I tried to get my girls to shop on Etsy. They just didn’t get it. Then last spring my daughter came home from college and told me that she was ‘addicted to Etsy.’ … Yesss.”
Jessica tells Rosman she’s starting to see the benefits of online savvy. Perhaps she’s smart to jump on board. According to a study being released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 47% of American adults say they use at least one social-networking site. I grew up without ever going online. Now, half of all adults are networking online.
The Wilson family is leading the charge. In 2005 they even started a family podcast. They’d sit at the kitchen counter taking turns talking about their week and playing songs. Ultimately, the Wilson girls quit, calling the podcast “embarrassing.
But Fred Wilson is sure his daughters will ultimately see that he was right to push their online endeavors. He points out to Rosman that in a Google search on “Jessica Wilson,” — a fairly common name — his daughter’s website is the top link. “Having her online portfolio first on Google could be very valuable to her,” he says.
What do you think about the Wilsons? Do you think the parents are onto something? Is this how we can best serve our children? By foisting the internet on them and tell them to get tweeting as soon as possible? Or is this a misguided attempt at helping their children get ahead in life?
Will the kids of our top 50 twitter moms become as tech-savvy as their parents?