The internet has it’s pros and cons. We love it most of the time but there are times we hate it. Especially as parents. It’s not like when we were young, right? The technology is moving faster and faster each day and if you ask any mom or dad, they often toot how their kids are so tech savvy. But along with all the access comes with very real possibilities of online exploitation. And, by the way, that not only goes for kids… but for adults and for the elderly. How many times do I tell the grandparents to not open those emails even if it appears to be from a friend but looks somewhat suspicious (you know what I’m talking about). Explaining “spam” or “virus” makes for great conversation at the dinner table but what if it’s more serious than that?
Now, my kids haven’t shown any interest in jumping on social media platforms just yet. Trust me, I’m fine with that. It may also be that they are aware of what is happening “out there” or they hear something on the news. But I don’t shelter them away from social media… (hard to do when I’m on all the time) but what, as parents, can we do?
Yes, sometimes teens are teens. I get that… we were there. I was that. But I don’t need to tell you how different the world is today with the changing landscape thanks to social media. You’ve heard it all before. As you get closer to teen years you do start to get more concerned. It’s still a popularity contest out there only the kids may not necessarily know who’s “liking” or “following” them on social media. Most of the time it’s harmless, right?
Here are some incredible facts about our digital society. In every 60 seconds of every day…
(Source: mediabistro.com July 2013)
- 278,000 tweets are sent on Twitter
- 11 thousand searches are made on LinkedIn
- 1.8 million LIKES are generated on Facebook
- 104,000 photos are shared on Snapchat
Now, what about Canada?
- Canadians send on average 254 million text messages a day (Source: CWTA)
- More than 19 million Canadians are now logging onto Facebook at least once every month — that’s more than half the population – while 14 million check their newsfeed every single day. (Source: Facebook)
47% of Canadian parents report having a child victim of bullying.
What about Cyberbullying?
- Canada has the 9th highest rate of bullying in the 13 yr old category on a scale of 35 countries.
- At least 1 in 3 adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently.
- Among adult Canadians, 38% of males and 30% of females reported having experienced occasional or frequent bulling during their school years.
- 47% of Canadian parents report having a child victim of bullying.
- Girls are more likely to be bullied than boys.
- The most common form of cyber-bullying involved receiving threatening or aggressive e-mails or instant messages, reported by 73% of victims.
So, what can we do? How do we move forward without being fearful but SMART about the internet and, in particular, social media? How do we discuss the issues with our kids?
I’m going to be sharing some very useful tips to help you and your family navigate the internet WISELY in an upcoming post.
I was pleased to find out that TELUS recently launching TELUS WISE — A free program available to all Canadians, and their families, developed to educate about online safety.
TELUS WISE — offers free in-person seminars across the country, 1:1 Learning Centre sessions at 200 TELUS locations and provides a vast library of online resources to educate Canadians about online threats and help stop problems before they happen. I’ve been sifting through the library myself and there is great information there! I also be taking in one of the sessions in the near future to see how that impacts my 13 year old and report back to you with that experience.
You can find out more information at wise.telus.com
Here just one video from the TELUS WISE series. This one talks about Internet Privacy & Respect and explains what a digital footprint is….
This post is not sponsored, nor was I compensated. Opinions expressed are my own. (All stats provided by Telus)