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Playing in Your Kids’...

Playing in Your Kids’ Sandbox

When you run a lean start-up you have to be scrappy about where you get your resources, so naturally when I need technical information, I turn to my own personal high-tech team, my kids. My ten-year-old is an expert on all things Power Point, so when I need to make an employer or investor pitch she’s ready to help. When I want to know about the latest widget on my Mac my middle-schooler knows them all.

When I want to learn the ins and outs of social networking I turn to my thirteen and sixteen year old boys. They aren’t big MySpace users … seems to be more a girl thing, but they certainly know their way around the site. When I asked for my first MySpace tutorial a year ago, my thirteen-year-old started calling me MySpace mom.

When Facebook opened their API up to developers, I wanted to learn everything there was to know about Facebook. My sixteen-year-old uses Facebook, big with the high school crowd. He showed me how to build my profile, create my “Super Wall,” and even “SuperPoke” my friends. I felt a lot younger and quite empowered by my new knowledge.

All was good in my family until I used the super slick “invite friends” button and invited everyone in my Entourage address book to be my friend on Facebook. The minute I pushed the button my boys came running out of their room screaming “Mom, what have you done?” Seems my Facebook invitation reached into my address book and found my boys sports teams (skiing, soccer, cross country and lacrosse team emails for parents and kids), so my “Be my Facebook Friend” email was sent to many of my boys’ friends. No, this was not a Mrs. Robinson scene from the Graduate, just an innocent mistake. My boys were mortified but chalked it up to being the downside of having a MySpace Mom.

If you have kids, nieces, nephews or neighbors over the age of ten, they can really help you get up to speed on technology. So instead of watching TV with your kids, pull up a chair and spend a little time online with them, just proceed with caution when pushing the Invite button. You’ll be surprised what you learn!

Related Story: Managing Media: Downloads, Internet TV, and More

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