If you are reading this article or following me on Facebook or Twitter, you likely have a child that is using technology – or you lead a dreadfully dull and dreary life. I mean, who would delve into social media monitoring unless there was a significant need to protect your family?
Just 15 years ago, the worst thing that could happen to a child online was growing old while their dial-up was connecting to America Online. The iPhone and associated apps were just a gleam in Steve Jobs eye at the time.
Facebook was only available to Harvard students, and Mark Zuckerberg hadn’t begun to shave. My how times have changed.
I was speaking to a group of educators the other day, and I mentioned that I believe about 70%-75% of kids were using technology appropriately. However, there are about 25% – 30% of kids that are running the risk of creating havoc for their education, careers, and legal future.
In our most recent survey of children between the ages of 13-18, we discovered some fascinating statistics.
• The number one app by far for teens is YouTube.
• 25% of teens between the ages of 17-18 were sexting.
• 21% of teens had been asked to send a naked photo
• 22% had received an unrequested nude photo of the sender
• 75% of all teens between 13-18 were allowed to take their phones into their bedroom. (For the record, that majority of sexting takes place in that same location – not to mention phones in the
bedroom is the leading cause for sleep deprivation of teens.)
• 89% of teens ages 17-18 felt that pornography was somewhat of an issue within their peer group.
• 78% of girls between the age of 17-18 said that social media somewhat made them feel bad about themselves.
• About 32% of teens used either social media or video games more than 3 hours per day – even though the suggested total number of daily hours is 2.
These are just a few of our findings. However, as you can see, these are activities that can be devastating to a young man or young woman if they don’t have an adult to help them manage their actions. This is where parental controls come into play.
There are many proper controls for parents. That was not the case in 2011, the year that over 50% of Americans had access to a mobile device connected to a network.
One of the best controls I have seen thus far is Bark. We will be partnering with them during the 2019-2020 school year. Our first activity together is to provide material that you may download from our website. The first of these documents include a contract regarding family technology use.
We also are providing an extensive help document on the do’s and don’ts of YouTube.
I’ll be providing my usual videos and articles over the year, but I think you’ll find these documents a great benefit to you and your family.
You may download these documents at the following links below.
Tech Contract for Families and Kids
The Ultimate Parent Guide to YouTube
Have a safe and prosperous school year.