Was it bound to happen? Having 4 kids, each with their own tablets, I was bound to find something inappropriate on one of them.
When I bought my kids’ tablets, I went through the parental controls point-by-point and created passwords specific to each tablet- making sure each child wouldn’t be able to make in-app purchases or watch videos without my okay. Heck- I thought I was covered! I thought I’d made their tablets safe and secure.
What I didn’t think about was their cloud and what could be shared unintentionally between each of them.
I remember when I was younger, I would write in my journal. It was my outlet to vent my frustrations and I was able to express those feelings with pen and paper. Sometimes after I’d vent about something or someone, I’d rip it out and tear it up and throw it away, keeping it in the garbage where it belonged. No harm no foul.
One fine day this past winter our family of 6 decided to take a drive. The kids had just gotten their tablets for Christmas so I let them bring them in the car. My 3rd daughter had been a pill all morning and hadn’t stopped, really aggravating my oldest daughter. So unbeknownst to me, my oldest had written some mean things about her sister on her own tablet, took a screen shot, deleted it, and never thought about it again.
About a week ago, my younger daughter was on her tablet when she noticed an image which was about her, from her older sister. It was mean and made her cry. It was the same note from 5 months before while on our winter drive.
Since I’d bought all of the tablets together, I created one cloud for all 4 tablets, so my kids could share games and photos. And lesson learned, mean notes can be shared as well. Even though my oldest daughter had deleted the note off of HER tablet, the message was still in the cloud waiting to be found again.
Why do I share this story? It was a lesson all of us, including me, needed to learn and relearn. While I assume most of us feel safe when we hit ‘delete’ on our devices and social media, what we think we delete is never really gone.
As I talked to my oldest daughter and let her know its completely normal to dislike her younger siblings sometimes, it may be best to write out her frustrations on pen and paper and toss it, leaving it out of the cloud for all to see.
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