Cybertime of tweens and teens has been the talk of the week. This is a real issue and deserves real attention. I’m always amazed how quickly kids adapt to knew technology, but worry that they will become so complacent they won’t recognize hidden dangers that accompany these cyberlives of theirs.
One type of danger that worries me is online predators. A friend circulated around an email last week that I posted over at A Dose of Dr. Gwenn. The email is thought to be a fictional story but so well illustrates the dangers of IM life that it keeps getting circulated around among parents. I hope you’ll share the vignette with your young internet users and use it as a starter for some important discussions. And, when you do, be sure to tell them that the police are busy trying to catch the bad guys, just not in the way described in the story.
Related to IM’ing is texting, a topic discussed today by Dr. Bryan blogged at Parenting Solved. Texting is really IM’ing but on a phone! I couldn’t agree more with everything Dr. B has to say, especially his point about parental involvement. Dr. B put it best in his post when he said:
“The onus is on us as parents to know what our kids our doing and, of course, to set an example of the priority technology should have in our lives.”
So, parents, check your kids computer logs and phone bills often! Know what they are doing online and over the air waves and with whom they are spending that time. And, if they come at you with the famous “your violating my privacy” line, just remind ‘em who is paying the bills.