Have you noticed the abundance of Smartphones and tablets in our society?
You are not alone.
People have been noticing that our technology, which is supposed to bring the world together, might actually be dividing us. Instead of face-to-face interaction, everyone is busy texting or using an app on their phone.
Adults are not the only age group experiencing this phenomenon. It is trickling down into our children’s lives as well.
The Linked Teen Scene
The connected teen is embracing Social Media and the everchanging world of apps:
● 95% have access to the Internet
● 95% of teens have a cell phone
● 78% own a Smartphone
A popular trend emerging is how teens are embracing disappearing messaging apps. These apps guarantee that sent messages will be automatically deleted after a certain time frame. The ephemeral and secretive nature allow teens a new freedom to interact on a more personal and intentional level, which has opened the door to new kinds of social interactions, and in certain cases bullying, depending on how they’re used.
5 Tips For “App”rehensive Parents
Raising children as digital natives is not an easy feat. With connectedness comes new opportunities for children to face trouble or danger, and safety should always be at the front of any parent’s mind. The big wide world of apps can be intimidating for parents. Too often, apps that promote communication harbor hidden dangers. Lack of accountability has the potential to turn into a vehicle for sexting, harassment, and even app-addiction.
Here are 5 tips to guide parents on this journey:
● Discuss Social Media etiquette. Remember Grandma–only share or leave comments you would be comfortable with her reading.
● Limit data plans. A study from the University of New Hampshire revealed that the best deterrent to sexting was restricting the overall number of texts.
● Monitor a child’s Internet and app usage. Be involved, ask questions, friend request kids, and utilize apps that allow you to view a child’s activity.
● Designate phone-free zones. Outlaw phones from certain areas of the house and the family dinner table. Declare a time to unplug each night. This creates a buffer zone between app-addicted teens and their devices.
● Make family time a priority. Stay in the loop and connect as a family.
A Guide To Popular Apps
Researchers have been compiling data about teens and their beloved devices. Understanding which apps teens prefer and how they are using this technology will ultimately help us be better parents.
The infographic below sheds further light on teens and their habits:
This post was written by contributor Amy Williams.