Get Smart about Digital Habits and Influences
Today’s kids are entrenched in communication. 'Always connected' is no longer just a trend—it's an affordable reality. Technology is easy, accessible and portable. These kinds of communications are quick and ever-present—and a central influence in your child's life.
American teens are more wired now than ever before. According to the latest survey, 93% of all Americans between 12 and 17 years old use the Internet. - Pew Internet and American Life Project
For nearly all American teens, constant connectivity keeps the rhythm of everyday life. In fact, the average teen now spends more than 27 hours per month online. And 24% of kids age 10-11 have their own cell phones—that number rises to 38% for the 12 and above age group. Add that to the fact that their online connections travel everywhere they do, and you can see how pervasive digital influences truly are.
You probably already realize that most teens far outpace their parents when it comes to technology. Technology has made it easier for children to communicate about many subjects--including drugs and drug activity. So unless you're wise to their online networks and digital habits, and understand the real meaning of the digital language they share, your child may be relaying information you need to be aware of--right under your nose.
Your child's online profile: If your child is a part of the popular online social network MySpace, make sure it's Your Space, too. Learn about risks and what you need to know about the most popular online gathering place for teens, tweens and young adults. Find out more about taking action on social networks.
Messaging: Whether it's instant messaging on the computer or text messaging on the cell phone, kids are in constant communication--without actually saying a word. Understand the risks in these silent conversations.
Lingo you need to know: You may not LOL(laugh out loud) the next time you glance over your child's shoulder when he's online—because you'll probably find that he's chatting in a different 'language.' Learn how to translate with these 20 Internet acronyms.