From the AAP: "Because children have high levels of exposure, media have greater access and time to shape young people's attitudes and actions than do parents or teachers, replacing them as educators, role models, and the primary sources of information about the world and how one behaves in it."
That statement alone screams, "Pay attention... THIS IS IMPORTANT!"
Here are some statistics found in the study:
- Teenagers spend, on average, 8.08 hours a day using various forms of media, not including time spent doing school work or talking or texting on a cell phone. This includes television, commercial or self-recorded video, movies, video games, print, radio, recorded music, computers, cell phones, and the Internet.
- Most children are introduced and use the Internet while they are kindergarten age or younger.
- 90% of 13 to 17 year-olds have used some form of social media and 75% have a profile on a social networking site.
- 38% of youth share photos, stories, videos and art.
- 47% of online teens have uploaded pictures where others can see them.
- 27% of teens record and upload video to the Internet and 13% stream video live to the Internet for others to watch.
- 30% of parents stated they do not monitor their child's Facebook activity.
- 77% of all 8 to 18 year-olds have their own cell phone; 87% of teens 14 to 17 own a cell phone, and 31% of these older teens have smartphones.
- 20% of all media consumption occurs on mobile devices (cell phones, ipod/tablets, or handheld games).
This level of technological engagement increases the risks of exposure to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and depression in children and young adults. It is important for parents to teach their children to be safe, responsible and technologically proficient cyber citizens when accessing media in all it's forms.
The National Children's Advocacy Center (NCAC) has shared the following guidelines to help parents:
- Openly discuss all aspects of the Internet with your children as they age. Discuss both the positives and the negatives. Help them think critically about their actions online.
- Place the computer in a family area of the household and do not permit private usage.
- Create a safe-computing contract with your child about his use of social media sites and online computer use.
- Discuss digital citizenship with your child: if you wouldn't say it in person, don't post it online!
- Know each of your child's passwords.
- Encourage the use of privacy options on all social networking sites.
- Monitor what your child's friends are posting regarding your child's identity.
- Enable Internet filtering features if they are available from your Internet Service Provider.
- Install monitoring software or keystroke capture devices on your family computer that will help monitor your child's Internet activity.
- Know what other access your child has to computers and devices like cell phones, ipods, and tablets.
Here are some common sense rules for kids and teens:
- Never post your personal information, such as a cell phone number, address, or name of your school.
- Be aware that information you give out through social networking sites, instant messages, emails, and blogs could put you at risk of bullying and other types of victimization.
- Never meet in person with anyone you first "met" online. Some people may not be who they say they are.
- Remember that posting information about your friends could put them at risk.
- Never respond to harassing or rude texts, messages, and emails. Delete any unwanted messages or friends who continuously leave inappropriate comments.
- Never give your password to anyone other than your parent or guardian.
- If you wouldn't say something to another person's face, don't post it online!
- Only add people as friends to your site if you know them in real life.
- Think before posting your photos. NEVER post or send semi-nude or nude pictures of yourself or anyone else! Personal photos should not have revealing information such as school names or location.
- Use the privacy settings of social networking sites.
This is an important conversation to have with your family, so if you haven't talked about it recently, there's no time like the present!
At ALINK Insurance Services, your safety and protection are our primary concern. If you have questions about life, home, auto, recreational, or commercial insurance, please contact us.
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Surrounding States: 877-643-6148
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