For all the media attention to the negative influences of the internet and social media, research shows that most kids are using technology for the same reasons that adults are.
They want to make new social connections, maintain high-quality relationships with friends and family members, and have access to information or interactions with others who share their interests.
Please consider chipping in an additional 3% so 100% of your donation amount goes to us.
A recent survey by Commonsense Media found that about half of teenagers feel addicted to their cellphones, and even more of their parents agree. The sheer number and variety of ways to communicate and share digitally are both vexing and sobering for parents, particularly if they have tweens and teens.
Another might discover pictures on their teen’s phone of them in their underwear or in suggestive poses.
Or a parent who shares a tablet with their teen notices that the internet history includes searches related to sexual content or pornographic websites.
Just as with drugs, alcohol and sexual activity, the digital world offers pitfalls teens have to learn to avoid.
We do well to develop relationships so that we can teach teens how to navigate these challenges, rather than reacting angrily or hoping we can completely shelter them from the digital world.I was 18 years old and had only one sexual partner.I was dizzy with questions, and I couldn't talk to anyone about what I was going through.That’s because young people need to learn how to navigate the online world so they can reap the benefits and avoid or address the above scenarios on their own in the future.And it’s good to have a helpful, understanding parent in their corner while they learn—not caregivers they are trying to outfox.And parents are rightly concerned about the possibilities of missteps in the internet age: embarrassing messages and posts kept alive forever, predators and identity thieves, even the threat of criminal prosecution for youthful mistakes.