I attended a seminar/talk/event yesterday about the Cyber Safety World. It was hosted by the lovely people from Intel, McAfee and Life Education. They’ve teamed up with the dashing Dr Justin Coulson to tell parents and the world, about a study that they have conducted into kids behaviour when on-line and the piss poor amount of knowledge that us parents have about;
A) What their kids are getting upto when on-line
B) How to use the devices that their kids are using
C) How much they’re letting the kids dictate how much time they spend on-line.
It was all pretty sobering stuff. Here’s a question for all you reasonably tech savvy parents out there, and I class myself in that category;
Q) What does POS mean when written in a message?
I used to think that it meant Piece Of Sh1t. Which in certain sectors, like describing a car that has broken down for example, it still does. It also means Point Of Sale in the media/FMCG/Ad world darling but in the world of your kiddywinks however it does not mean either of those… It means – Parents Over Shoulder. Sneaky right.
Here are some other stats that might give you an insight as to what’s going on:
- Watching videos is the most popular activity (60%) followed by texting (37%) then browsing and social media (34%) It adds up to more than 100% I know, i’m only copying the figures!
- More than half of the kids are active on social media. 39% of which are under 13 years of age. If you didn’t know, 13 is the age that they are legally allowed to sign up. It’s a US thing mostly but also a maturity thing. We didn’t let our 14 yr old onto social media until he was 13.
- 11% of children said that they have or would meet someone in person that they met online. (18% in 2014) – This has come down in 12 months but one-in-ten of children still think it’s OK to go and meet someone. Staggering! Even if it’s a friend of a friend they still need to be careful, you never know…
- One in three kids are using fake profiles to hide inappropriate content from parents and school staff. The little sh1ts! I can relate to this as I wanted to be independent as a teenager and not to have POS all the time. Also, a lot of adults do this so that when a new workplace searches you on social media you don’t look like the drunken yob that your mates actually know that you really are!
There are far more stats available and here’s a couple of sexy infographics that give you a few more.
As a parent of three I know that it gets harder to continually keep on top of, or at least up with, the cyber world. And that’s coming from someone who’s online A LOT! It’s not easy being a parent and there isn’t a manual that just ‘Pops Out‘ along with the bundle of fun and cuteness.
If you wouldn’t want it on the front of the local paper, don’t put it on social media
The main things that i’ve taken from this, the interview and other cyber safety stuff i’ve heard and read is that we must be having the conversations from an early age so that there’s a good understanding, trust and transparency. Well, as much as there ever can be and as a parent that on the odd occasion will BAN things, I know that this NEVER WORKS. It then makes it a forbidden fruit and therefore far more desirable than it ever was. Where’s that bottle of fizzy brown liquid?!
We do the following and feel free to borrow any that you think might work for your family:
- Use the rules that have been set by the online police – 13yrs old MINIMUM before any social media. They will have enough years and they will be that bit more mature when staring to use it.
- Don’t ban anything – We (I) did and it didn’t (doesn’t) work. Dr Justin has a great strategy – have a Problem Solving Attitude
- The boys have to do their jobs/home work before any screen time
- I looked into having a ‘Device Contract’ but thought it was a bit strict. Do you have one? We just have a level of trust that means FLM or I can have a look through their device at anytime and violate their personal space. A bit like drawers in the bedroom I guess.
That’s about it really. What do you do? Do you have a draconian outlook on all of this online stuff or are you pretty easy going as long as the kids don’t take the pi55?
Let me know in the comments
Oh yea, here’s the research PDF – Teens, Tweens and Tech Research 2015
Just for complete transparency, this is not a sponsored post, yes I did get invited along to drink coffee and eat pastries, no i’m not obliged to write a post about this, i’ve written it because I believe it’s a massive topic and needs more exposure. Ok, good 🙂