Tips for growing up in a digital world

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 24, 2018

By Amber Covington

Rowan Public Library

Parents across the world are faced with quickly changing societies. Childhood is impacted every moment by outside factors such as television, internet, music, news and many other ways.

In our digital society, it is key for parents to be aware of the various ways children can be influenced, with or without their consent.

Today, we use digital resources for almost everything. We have begun to consult and store information digitally at an exponential rate.

Do you still have a book of family recipes or have you stored grandma’s secret recipe on a hard drive as an image file?

Have you had your retail receipts texted or emailed to you for backup references?

Of course, most people are using online banking to keep track of automatic drafts and online payments. For adults, using digital resources can be a lifesaver when a paper copy is lost and it has, no doubt, saved an enormous amount of time and paper.

Youth are quick at learning digital devices; the various ways they are introduced to technology is important. As a parent, it is necessary to teach your child how to be responsible online and find reputable resources that can be trusted.

One way to help ensure they are being safe is to teach them to ask permission to use the computer. Discuss the dangers of giving out personal information online, and explain how they can guard their privacy online by not posting pictures of themselves on social media.

To get more information about being responsible and safe online, the website Common Sense Media is dedicated to educating parents, families and schools. It has monthly newsletters, blogs and pages filled with suggestions for age-appropriate movies and books, ways to share and discuss topics in the news, and how to practice online safety.

Today, most of our information is being digitally harvested from websites and preserved archivally. It is crucial for parents to be involved in how their child’s life is shared online from birth. Years of data can be saved, digitally altered and shared without your permission.

Parents actually are the first ones to create an online presence for a child. Posting images on Facebook or Instagram is quite common; an infant cannot control a social media account. Be aware that the way you use technology can influence how your child will use it when they are old enough.

For more tips and resources to keep your child safe online and ways to discuss current information in the media, please visit And as always, stop by the Rowan Public Library and check out a few books.

Summer Reading: Registration is open for all age groups, children, teen and adults. Consult your nearest branch for details. Headquarters, 704-216-8228; East, 704-216-7838; South 704-216-7727.

School age summer reading program: Piedmont Players bring the theatre to the library in their annual summer reading performance. While the program is designed for rising first- through fifth-graders, all ages are welcome; an adult must accompany children under 9. Tuesday, 2 p.m., South; Wednesday, 2 p.m., East; Thursday, 10 a.m., Cleveland and 2 p.m., headquarters.

Teen summer reading: Iron Chef challenge — Participants will be divided into teams and compete in two rounds to make the best culinary creation. The dishes will be scored in tastiness, presentation and creativity, and the winning team will earn prizes. Monday, 3:30 p.m., East; Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., headquarters; Thursday, 3:30 p.m., South.

Saturday cinema: “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie,” South, June 30, 10 a.m. Find out if Captain Underpants can save the day in the PG movie (2017, 89 minutes). All ages welcome; however, an adult must accompany children under 9.

Book Bites Club: South, Tuesday, 6 p.m. Open to the public. A free book club where we discuss a different book each month and serve refreshments. “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” by Betty Smith. Questions? Contact Jennifer at

Displays: Headquarters, PBS’ Great American Read by RPL; East, Summer Reading Promotional; South, Rowan Doll Society.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.