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Tisca Chopra, Maria Goretti Say Parenting Has Become ‘More Difficult’: ‘Online Safety Is Big Concern’ | Exclusive


Tisca Chopra and Maria Goretti are mothers to a pre-teen and teens, respectively.

Tisca Chopra and Maria Goretti are mothers to a pre-teen and teens, respectively.

Parents Tisca Chopra and Maria Goretti discuss the challenges of young adults navigating social media. They also stress on social media dos and don’ts.

Tisca Chopra and Maria Goretti’s friendship dates back to when the latter was studying fashion and designing in Mumbai’s Sophia College. Last month, the duo came together for a panel discussion for Snapchat where they discussed navigating online safety as parents to teens and pre-teens through its features like blocking improvements, simplified location sharing, enhanced friending protections and expanded in-app warnings. For the unversed, Tisca has a daughter named Tara, while Maria shares two kids with her actor-husband Arshad Warsi.

Being an actor, social media is a way to stay connected with her audience for Tisca where she’s often seen sharing glimpses from her professional and personal life. For Maria, however, it’s a platform to reach out to food connoisseurs and home cooks through her cooking videos. In an exclusive conversation with News18 Showsha, they talk about parenthood, the perils of social networking sites and the banters they often have with their children when it comes to using digital platforms. Excerpts:

How does the digital age make parenting an even more daunting task?

Maria: In the digital age, parenting sometimes becomes a little more difficult because there’s one more thing to be concerned about. As a parent, you’re anyway always on a rollercoaster. So, I look at it as one more thing thrown into the storm.

Tisca: Most certainly. My kid is taller than me now. She’s eleven now but she’s still my baby. To know that she’s out there on World Wide Web and that anyone can access her is very scary. I’m glad that Snapchat has introduced the ‘location sensitivity’ feature. The default setting is that your location stays unrevealed unless you choose to reveal it. It’s a closed platform that doesn’t leave them open to the world at large and that’s preferred when it comes to pre-teens and teens.

What was your takeaway from the panel discussion?

Maria: My children are 17 and 19. They’ve been on social media for a bit of time starting off with Snapchat. They know the features wherein they can share their posts with only friends, nothing stays there for too long and that you can turn off your location. Sometimes, they also help me through it. Having said that, there’s a lot out there that’s not as safe. I’m hoping that they can navigate that.

It’s not like I don’t talk to them about it but it’s always very little because a teen always knows more than the parent. As a parent, whatever I say may be received with eye rolls. But I’ve to say that most of these kids are good with social media because they grew up with it. Having said that, they’re kids at the end of the day and there’s so much that could happen if there’s no vigilance and I’m glad that this platform is so vigilant and safe.

Children are exposed to social media at a very early age. How early do you think one should start having the conversation about social media dos and don’ts?

Tisca: As early as they know about it. You can’t be introducing rules after they’ve already made some in their head. So, you’ve to sit them down and tell them what’s not age-appropriate. It’s like PG, like watching content. In our home, I’ve always tried to maintain an open environment. There are conversations like vagina is vagina, breasts are breasts, penis is penis, this is the human body and this is the birthing process. In fact, I’ve written a book called What’s Up with Me? There, I talk about navigating puberty and the digital space and how online safety is a bigger safety concern because it’s unlikely that in Bombay a lion is going to walk into your building.

But does the opposite also happen wherein your children school you on navigating social media?

Maria: Sometimes when I feel like posting something, I ask Zene and she looks at me and goes, cringe (laughs)! And at other times, she tells me, ‘It’s your age, so it’s okay.’

Tisca: I so relate to that (laughs)! My daughter rolls her eyes and goes, ‘Ew, mumma!’

Maria: I don’t know everything about that world but I’m not terrible. Having said that, they’re better at it, naturally.

Tisca: I’m pretty on the ball with social media. My husband (Captain Sanjay Chopra; pilot) gets more eye rolls (laughs). Our daughter gets happy if he gains four new followers. She used to keep a tab on his follower count. But after we flew with him, she has understood that he has a far more important job than maintaining a strong social media game.

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