Getting Online with Teens.

Everyone is online nowadays.  It’s very rare to find someone who isn’t connected to the world through some type of social media (email, text, facebook, twitter, skype, etc.).  No more is this truer than within this current generation.  It’s crazy.

My wife and I were talking the other night about how our kids (8, 6, and 4 months) won’t know what life is like without the internet, cell phones, gaming, wireless networks, and on-demand TV (though we don’t have cable or satellite … nor the “farmer 5”).  The world, as they know it, is wireless – it has always been this way and it will always be this way.

Such is this generation.

However, not everything that technology has brought forth is beneficial.  For as many positives there are concerning the advancement of technology, there are fair amounts – dare I say equal amounts – of trouble caused by technology.  Online predators lurk behind fake profile pages, pornography rapes the mind and eyes of young 10-13 year-olds, people are sold as slaves via shopping-networks, and students are bullied through vicious facebook and twitter statues.  Though technology has made life “cool”, it has also made it quite “cruel.”

The question, then, is how do we – who are youth workers, parents, teachers, etc – make sure we are helping those younger than us to steer clear of the dangers of the web while embracing a radically evolving future of technology genius?

THE DOWNLOAD ON TEEN ACTIVITY ONLINE

  • Most teens are like ninja’s online: they wipe away the evidence of where they’ve been and what they’re getting into.  Be it clearing web browsers, text messages, facebook posts/messages, or signing up for secret email addresses and facebook accounts, teens regularly move about the net incognito.
  • Two hours and twenty-minutes: is the average amount of time a typical teenager spends online during the day.
  • 54 percent: of teens on social networks do not personally know the people they’ve “friended.”
  • Facebook isn’t everything, but it’s still “the thing”: It’s true that many students are starting to find facebook boring, however, they still check-in to the Social Kingdom daily – they just don’t stay as long as they used to.  So what are maturing teens and young adults doing?  Blogging, chatting, and downloading media.

3 TIPS FOR PARENTS

Here are some helpful tips for parents (and youth workers) to start implementing in regards to teens and their online usage.  These tips come from a “Youth Worker Journal” article, written by Kelly Soifer, called “Teens, Texts and Tweets: Helping Youth Workers and Parents Understand and Address Technology.”

  • Keep computers in common areas, and stay there yourself.
  • Allow online access as a limited reward, not an uncontrolled entitlement.
  • Consistently monitor what your kids are doing and saying online. If you don’t know how to do that, find out now!

For a detailed explanation of each tip, follow the link to the article.

SOME OTHER RESOURCES

Here are {3} blog posts that give great insight and suggestions to parents about Facebook and Teens:

:: Get a FREE e-book for parents about Facebook ::

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4 responses to “Getting Online with Teens.

  1. Pingback: Technology vs. Relationships « Raising A Generation·

  2. Pingback: Facebook Etiquette « Raising A Generation·

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