Lurking (not stalking)
Lurking (not stalking)
Scott Dunlop

Part of the reason we love Parent24 is that we get to hear about parenting from so many people. Unless you go knocking door to door like someone offering religious tracts, you won’t come into contact with this many parents in one place. If, like me, being a busy mom or dad sometimes puts your social life on hold, you may be here for that very reason- to end the isolation.

Of course, we’re all just profile pictures and words strung together, but that’s the world most of our children are going to inherit. They’ll probably spend even more time in front of screens than we do. In the last decade or so we have become an online generation, socialising on Facebook or Twitter, doing our banking and shopping on our phones and laptops, some of us working all day in the glare of the screens and then relaxing by watching a movie on our computers.

It makes me want to run out and climb a tree just thinking about it.

I am old enough to remember an online world before the online world existed. We called it The Internet. (That was long after the term World Wide Web had vanished like a deleted comment). The Internet had a capital “I”, and, before social media, we had blogs. You could follow people’s blogs from all over the world. Some would update as much as once a day, and you’d work up the courage to comment.

That amazing feeling you got as someone commented on your blog was pretty thrilling! As technology progressed, we added ways of finding out how many people were reading, and we’d quickly realise that some were reading but never, ever saying a word. We called them “lurkers”. Sometimes we’d have a “de-lurking day” where we’d encourage them to say hi, and they would.

I am still friends with some bloggers after many years, but the online world has changed. It’s hard to develop that sense of community, although social media does help. The positive side to this is that we don’t feel as threatened by the online environment. Hopefully.

We’d love to hear from some of you. Your stories are so important to us, and help us to understand parents more. You could join us for some Facebook silliness and seriousness. We often ask you questions and use your comments in articles. Share your opinions on Twitter or your parenting advice (or conundrums) on the Parent24 forums. Whatever suits you!

So let’s de-lurk…

Why not post your most amazing online experience as a parent in this forum post and you could win a R250 voucher.



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