Last week I met with Nikki Medoro, KFBK journalist and cyber-mom who just launched a parenting blog called: Mama on the Mic.
Medoro is a very dynamic, positive and tech savvy mom who experienced the Internet and mobile phones during her teen years. Her daughter is 18 months old and she also has questions about raising children in the networked world. Who will influence them more? Parents or other forces?
1. What prompted you to create Mama on the Mic?
For me, it was all about passion. I was playing with my daughter and pondering what I wanted to do with my life AND my career. Some of my co-workers at KFBK are passionate about sports, politics, etc. But I kept asking myself “What are YOU passionate about? And how can you focus that passion into your journalism career?” There are all kinds of news stories out there and I’ve covered most of them. But when I looked at my daughter, I realized that SHE is what I am passionate about. And in hindsight it seems obvious. The stories I have put my heart and soul into were about children. The latest one was my sex trafficking series.
2. Who are your “followers”?
My blog just launched in October, so my “official” blogger followers are still growing. But since I post my blog on my personal facebook page and twitter, I have been getting feedback from a wide range of people. But parents (new and “experienced”) are who I write for. Because it doesn’t matter if your child is 2, 22 or 42…you never stop being a parent. You never stop wanting to protect them or give them advice.
3. What are your cyber-safety concerns? One of them is expressed in “Are we pimping our children” blog… perhaps there are others?
I have many concerns. And it doesn’t help that I’m in the news business, so every scam and threat comes under my radar. But I want to teach my child to be safe online, so they don’t get scammed by someone in Nigeria, so they won’t post too personal of information on the web, etc. And I want them to be able to sniff out danger a mile away. There is nothing wrong with meeting new friends and having chats. But I want my child to be able to know the difference between a new friend and a threat.
4. How do you want your child to grow up using Internet-powered tools? What do you hope she learns from you to make the technology work for her?
5. What headlines about cyber safety and children give you the most concern (cyberbulling, sexting, pedaphiles, etc.)
I would have to say cyber-bullying gives me the most concern. I cannot imagine how hard it is growing up with text messaging and social networks like Facebook. And I believe kids nowadays do not fully grasp the damage they can do to someone else just by passing along a hateful message. It makes me so mad I want to cry!!
I want to instill in my child to be “kind online”. Never say hurtful things and certainly don’t spread them.
6. Any other comments about your blog?
In the short time my blog has been up, I have already been able to talk with some amazing people (like you Joanna!) And I am really looking forward to the future. But I want to urge people to share their comments about topics. I am striving to create a forum where people feel free to agree and disagree.
Like you say on your blog, parenting IS hard. But together, it can be a bit easier.
Related reading: Express your passion for parenting in the network culture
Joanna Jullien firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanna married her high school sweetheart and over the past 25 years they have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from UC Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture) and has over 20 years experience as a professional manager in information technology, manufacturing, energy and environment.
Joanna writes on parenting in the 21st century, as she has observed and personally experienced many strains on the parent-child relationship with the advent of the Internet, mobile phones and popular culture.