Parents What Face Are Your Kids Putting Online
William Jackson, M.Ed.
The development of new digital technologies designed
to inspire youth, teens and young adults in creating
content are allowing increased digital environmental
growth through Apps that allow increased communication
and content sharing across platforms.
New kids Apps and similar platforms are allowing those
under 18 to communicate on platforms that offer no
training in online behaviors for developing ethics
and morals for behaviors. This could be detrimental
because of the potential for Cyberbullying, Sexting
and inappropriate behaviors that could influence
educational opportunities, future employment, credit
scores and even future personal relationships.
Young people ages 13 to 25 still struggle with
building stable relationships, combined with
peer pressure, advertisement and other social factors.
Young people building relationships are challenged
even without technology. Rational thinking is
sometimes lost because of the levels of maturity
and lack of parental guidance.
Parents are challenged increasingly with raising
children in a digital age that is wide open and
offers no training that incorporates building an
online relationship, transferring online and offline
behaviors and the influences of peer pressure and
media advertisements. The highest engaged sites are
sexual in nature and many do not provide filters
so kids now see unrealistic photos enhanced with
digital tools, videos of sexual exploration and
experimentation and sexual situations on television
that may rival the Internet.
As a parent, and experiences as a Social Media
advocate, blogger and speaker on preventing bullying,
cyberbullying and sexting understand that
younger children and even teens are not ready for
social media accounts and the online engagements that
develop. Having taught about digital life skills and
being digitally engaged and smart for youth it is
a challenge because of the maturity levels and personal
exposure to content. Lack of exposure is a different
challenge than over exposure to sex, violence and other
content that influences behaviors.
Parents must have respectful conversations with their
kids based on love and support. Parents are also the
roll models for their kids and a parent should never
think their kids are not watching them.
In a recent letter sent to Facebook (Facebook child
messenger) by child advocacy groups asking for the App
to be stopped met with a reply that, “Messenger Kids is
a messaging app that helps parents and children to chat
in a safer way, with parents always in control of their
child’s contacts and interactions.” So parents cannot
always rely and depend on help from international
companies to monitor their children.
Parents are the first role models, the first educators,
the first mentors and teachers for their children. So
parents need to remember if they are not teaching
their children, somebody else will outside of their,
the parents influence and knowledge.
“What Face Are Your Kids Putting Online” will have
unknown consequences that will follow them throughout
their lifetime and maybe even their children and
grandchildren. Parents should be proactive as much as
possible and set realistic expectations for behaviors
online, have open and honest discussions with their kids
about the potential hazards, dangers and to speak to
parents if there are potential dangers like digital
stalking and threats of human trafficking.
There have been and will continue to be children, youth,
teens and young adults that are assaulted and even
killed because of their ignorance to the dangers of online
friendships. Catfishing and other deceptions are online
and should be discussed by families. The Internet is a
representation of life, there is good, bad, evil and
places where youth, teens and young adults should not go,
they are not mentally prepared and emotionally prepared
for that content that may require them to think and
rationalize at levels they are to ready for yet.
Parents talk to your children the life you save maybe your
child or someone else’s children. Knowledge is not powerful
unless it is applied by the kids in your life.
KidsCamp Jacksonville 2020