Skype, Minecraft, Instagram, Music.ly, YouTube channels, Facebook, Snapchat, can we ever keep up? With the conveniences of technology also come the frightful unknowns. Our children are no longer writing notes and passing them, or calling each other on the phone to ask for a sleepover. They are snapchatting and texting to say, “What’s up?” They are posting YouTube videos to shout out to their friends, tell their life stories, or find a date. As the world of technology evolves, so must we, to play along in the game and ensure our children are making choices that will support their bright futures.
- The statistics are clear. According to The Child’s Study Center (http://bit.ly/vVbJpB), the total amount of media use by youth ages 8 to 18 averages 6-plus hours a day—more than any other activity. Fifty-four percent of teens send text
- messages, and one third of teens send more than 100 text messages per
- day. One third talk face-to-face with friends, around the same
- percentage that talk on cell phones (38 percent) and landlines (30
- percent). Additionally, in June 2011 Consumer Reports estimated that about 7.5 million people who use Facebook are younger than 13. These statistics are crucial in understanding the importance of monitoring what our children are doing online. The study concluded that participation for long periods of time can have a negative effect on basic cognitive processes. Overuse can have a negative impact on attention skills and the content of the information can have an effect on emotions and behavior. This helps us to reason that it is undoubtedly essential that we are constantly monitoring what our children are doing online.
Here are some tips from The Child’s Study Center for how you can help to prevent the negative consequences of social media:
---Become savvy with the social media outlets (ask your children, the true experts)
---Join social media sites and “friend” your children
---Get your children’s passwords
---Do not let your children have their devices in their bedroom, especially overnight
---Force students to “play” without the use of their devices
---Talk about what is and isn’t appropriate and monitor what your child is looking at (watch the videos they view, check out their friends’ pages, follow them on instagram)
We want our children to feel involved and evolve with the ever-changing world of technology, but we need your help in ensuring everyone’s safety and ability to experience academic success. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Brannen or Mrs. Altman. Remember, our anonymous tip line is also available at 209-8299.
To learn more about the pros/cons, and for tips visit: