1. Privacy Concerns
You may be surprised to find out that only 61% of youth use privacy settings on their social media sites and 52% don’t turn off their location or GPS services. This leaves their locations visible to strangers.
But the scariest revelation to me was that 14% of children have posted their home addresses online.
And before you say, “OH my child would NEVER do anything like that, because we’ve had the “talk” with them; realize this study also revealed that almost 70% of the youth polled admitted to hiding their online activities. Add this to the fact that less than half of the parents are aware of what their child is doing online.
So what exactly are the kids doing online with their smartphones? Since 1 in 4 teens are “cell-mostly” internet users, saying they mostly go online using their phone, parents need to realize this is their access to the online world. The phones really aren’t just for talking anymore. They are use for texting, surfing, social media, pictures, and yes even sexting.
1 in 4 use their phones primarily as a computer for online access, the other 75% use their tablets or other mobile device. So even if you think they’re not online because they don’t have a phone- ask yourself- do they have a tablet, an iPod, an iPad, a kindle? These need to be monitored just as heavily as smart phones.
This should probably be at the top of the list because the results of cyber-bullying can lead to a lot more than regrets, job-loss or embarrassment. It can lead to Death!
Wikipedia defines it as the use of information technology to repeatedly harm or harass other people in a deliberate manner. “That may be posting rumors or gossip, but it can elevate to personally identifying victims and publishing material that defames and humiliates them.
This is SERIOUS!
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people according to the centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s about 4,400 deaths every year! And that doesn’t include the 440,000 suicide attempts that were unsuccessful.
4. Inhibits True Social Interaction
A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that 6th graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers. It goes on to explain that this finding should be a wake-up call to schools to make sure they’re not just shoving iPads into student’s hands as a teaching method. Instead they need to make sure they’re getting real face to face social interaction and less screen time.
5. Poor Academic Performance and More Anxiety
Many schools ban students from bringing in cell phones. Since most cell phones are able to look up information online, and can double as calculators and cameras; the ways that a child can use them to their advantage are numerous. It seems that texting has become the new way to “pass notes” in the back of the class.
Even if your child isn’t cheating with his cell phone, if he or she is using it, then they are not listening to the teacher, therefore adding one more distraction to their learning experience.