Why 'digital parenting' scares me shitless
AI-rendered image of a maze, with a man and a child walking inside. Meant to represent my son and me.

Why 'digital parenting' scares me shitless

I feel utterly inept at this job.

Tanmoy Goswami

Welcome to story #2 of Sanity's new season on parenting and mental health. This time, I am talking about the hell called 'digital parenting'. Read, share, and if you still haven't done so, please support my work by clicking one of the buttons below.

Hamsini Ravi has two boys, 7 and 1. "As a millennial, I don't use and am quite intimidated by social media platforms like Snapchat and TikTok," she wrote to me. "I do use [other] technology a lot for my work as a communications specialist in the development sector as well as in my personal life. But given the pace at which things are changing, I worry that when my boys are teenagers and young adults, I might be technologically incompetent to shield them from the fake news, divisive opinions, bullying, and hate speech that emanate from social media."

Hamsini was responding to a poll I posted to gauge public mood about one of my biggest parenting fears: that I'll be utterly inept at dealing with the kind of technology that will shape the world as my 5-year-old son grows up. At the time of writing, 58% of respondents said they shared my fear.

When I was growing up in the 80s and 90s in a small industrial town in eastern India, my working-class parents' greatest angst was failing to understand how I would feed myself after taking humanities in high school. That seems like level 1 of Candy Crush compared to the puzzlement facing parents in 2023.

Welcome to the hell of digital parenting.

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