What is so wrong with digital socializing today? What happened to the human social interaction? As a professional on web networks, online security and as a parent, I can tell you right now that Social networks Can’t Replace Socializing and the unique person to person human interaction that is so essential.

After hearing that Google is planning to lunch G+ globally, I ask myself don’t we have enough online sharing? Shouldn’t we go back to socializing in person? Isn’t the human social interaction better, real and healthier? These are some of the questions on the minds of many parents and professionals today!

There are many concerns regarding online socializing, sharing and the safety and security of the users while navigating the world wide web. While I agree that, of course, we should keep a balance and do both, would we really ever want to go back to a world without online socializing? A world in which we, for the most part, were limited to interacting with only people that lived in the same small geographical region that we did.

In a world of constant change people do not think or take in consideration the dangers that exist behind the screens and wires across the globe. Parents and children post and share information that they do not realize can be used against them in one way or the other. For this reason, I tell parents that if they allow their children online time on Facebook or another social network out there, to control and be vigilant of what information is shared and with whom, this is crucial to avoid future problems, headaches or a possible tragedy.

An example of this is IDENTITY THEFT. NOT everyone uses these social networks to do harm or commit a crime but the reality is that there are many bad people in the online social networks that use the information you post or share to find out where you live, your name, your habits, the school you go to, or places you visit to their own advantage and wrong doing; for these reason we must make sure our children are safe online.

Our world, and even more importantly, the world of our youth, has completely opened up with the cellular era with advanced communications worldwide today. We meet and get to know people from all parts of the world in a click via wire & wireless networks and communities. We interact with people from different age groups, nationalities, races, religions and geographic areas in ways that would never happen or be possible in real life.

In a new online world full with virtual networks and clouds anywhere and everywhere that permit technology to facilitate so many different things that were unthinkable before but now are at your finger tips with incredible speed, mobility and the power of the Internet, “parents must take the necessary precautions”. Technology is not bad it all, the problem is the wrong use and bad intentions of those that take advantage of it to commit crimes.

There are often networking opportunities or instances to meet your online friends in person, but for this to happen you must make sure you are comfortable with the idea and that the person you are going to meet. Make sure he/she is what they say, they are.

In my case, I’ve attended many online meetings and conferences with people from New York, Argentina, Costa Rica, India and New Jersey where I live. For some of these meetings I’ve traveled long distances to attend. With the correct use of technology, I really do not have to leave the office or home to be present in a meeting any more regardless the distance.

This conduit had permitted me a chance to meet my online friends and business partners without distance limitations and on real-time, many of which I probably never would have been friends or possible to meet with without the power of Internet and social networking.

For this aspect I feel social networking is an excellent tool and very advantageous medium; but if used for the wrong purposes or reasons you could meet the wrong people, and that is where it gets complicated and all the problems begin.

Today we live in different times, the times of digital media; even when I understand we need to embrace socializing online as a new way to share, a tool to do business, and reach networks of friends and family far away across the world; in this new world and like it or not, most of our daily transactions are going to be conducted online in the future, and if you do not upgrade yourself, you could be left behind and considered as an iliteral digital person, if you aren’t already.

Teens spend much time on social networks and video games online; they still socialize in real life everyday but it seems the social interaction is less and less.

When I was a younger boy, I had plenty chances to socializing person to person. I regard those learning experiences as amazing feelings, tremendous joy, which took place before the boom and era of social media networks of today. It is the parent’s responsibility to protect their children, to spending quality time with them, to share and enjoy every moment is crucial for healthier living.

Who don’t remember playing soccer with friends, playing hide and seek with family members, going on a vacation trip with school buddies having tons of fun and enjoying life and living; something I feel parents should tell their children to do more often, besides engaging the experience to make it more enjoyable and beneficial. Maybe it is the people that don’t have experience using social networks that are going to have a hard time and trouble living in a connected world or maybe not.

Do you think that certain technology specifically text messaging make people more social?

A theory assumed is that the insertion of text messaging systems into society as a form of socializing tends to separate people and make them more distant by removing the sense of interaction and personality and instead allow people to interact without repercussions of the standard conversational experience.

Today with new technology and newer phones with new HD cameras, kids tend to text, take pictures and video on the fly and share it over an unsecured line connection where it can be easily intercepted by the wrong people. Kids use technology in a large scale where they assume and take for granted LAN networks, satellites, and wireless connections, just to have an online presence that is shaping their way of living and socializing today; something I tell you to keep an eagle eye for the good of the family and your child.

I say to parents, you must continue to monitor the means and how your children are using technology; like it or not, you must engage and embrace it. This way you will be able to better control, assist and protect your children; besides you can also help the children learn to make better and intelligent choices, decisions and manage the potential overload or threats successfully.

Today more than ever, parents must understand the dangers and challenges our kids face online, and find the help to make down- to-earth strategies to address the unique issues faced by our children who are surrounded by infinite choices — and very few limits on the World Wide Web.

For TICOVISION,

John Bisner Urena

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