Intelligence is not wisdom

Picture: Sarah Good, goSupermodel user

Picture: Sarah Good, goSupermodel user

It’s no news that kids teach grown-ups how to use technology. According to a paper published in the Journal of Communication, 40 percent of parents learn to use technology from their children. Ofcom’s Communications Market Report tells that British children can have adult-like digital technology skills already at the age of six.

Hard facts like above often give parents a false assumption of kids being safe and comfortable online. They are so familiar with the devices and were basically born online. They are the famous digital natives whereas most of the parents are rather digital immigrants. Why would they need parental guidance?

Experience comes with age

Despite the skills, kids lack common knowledge and intuition. This was recently emphasized by Microsoft’s Chief Online Safety Officer Jacqueline Beauchere at the Safer Internet Forum. Beauchere stated that it’s important to be aware of the difference between intelligence and wisdom; while kids are able to acquire and apply knowledge and skills, they don’t have the experience and intuition.

At watAgame, we encounter this daily. Just because the kids know how to use technology doesn’t mean they manage without guidance and common knowledge coming from grown-ups. Therefore we aim to teach online skills to kids both on Momio and goSupermodel with help of rules, moderation and educational content.

”Kids surely educate their parents and teachers, especially in device usage. Still, they haven’t lived the life. Therefore they can’t possibly have the same wisdom as grown-ups.” , watAgame’s Chief Community and Security Officer Lise Buchhave says.

We here at watAgame believe that information should travel both ways: from kids to grown-ups as well as the other way around. Both parties can and should learn from each other. What do you think?

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About the author:

Pia Edman, watAgame

Pia Edman worked as a Finnish Community Manager at watAgame from 2009 to 2015. She has several years of experience in working with online communities and online safety as well as with digital content creation and digital advertising. Pia has a master’s degree in Finnish language.