Recent stats in the news
Monday, December 21, 2009
McGruff Safeguard has been writing about the online habits of our teens for the past five months or so. We’ve been keeping you up-to-date on new research, new predators caught, and have mentioned folks who have been monumental in the capture of online sexual predators. But that’s not all. We’ve really been attempting to open up the eyes of parents and talking about what kids/teenagers are doing and/or struggling with.
The online habits and phone habits of teens is becoming quite the talk. There have been multiple stories out this week on this subject. What are kids into these days? The popular online social media guide site, Mashable
, just reported that “Porn” was among the top search for kids
. Here is the actual table provided in the article:
AOL last week wrote a story about one girl’s battle with cyber bullying, which was spawned over a Facebook comment being left about the popular “Twilight” novels. Here is an interesting piece which came from the article.
According to a new study by Nielsen Mobile, the average cell-phone-carrying teen
in the United States now sends 2,899 text messages every month. That's up 566
percent from just two years ago. Another recent survey by The Associated Press
and MTV found that one-third of teens and young adults age 14 to 24 engaged in
"sexting," the practice of sending sexually explicit messages or pictures via
text message. And a poll conducted by Common Sense Media found that nearly a
quarter of all teens who belong to Facebook check their page more than 10 times
each day. "This generation is consumed by technology from birth," said Larry
Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez
Hills, and the author of "Me, MySpace, and I: Parenting the Net Generation."
Speaking of sexting, Mashable also had some statistics:
According to the study, 4 percent of teens 12-17 who own cell phones have sent
nude or nearly nude photos of themselves to others via text, and 15 percent
admit that they have received these scandalous snaps. And in a country in which
58 percent of 12-year-olds and 83 percent of 17-year-olds own cell phones —
that’s a lot of flesh flashing across iPhone screens.
When I think about these articles, it leads me to believe two things.
1. Teens and pre-teens are not thinking about the consequences of their actions and the long-term effects they could have.
2. Parents are not having the right kind of conversations with their kids.
I'd like to hear from you. What are some of the conversations you have?
Do you talk to your teens about nude photos, porn, and sexting?
Granted, these are certainly not easy subjects to broach, and kids may not be as receptive as we may hope. But if you've had some success with reaching out, please let us know.
Labels: Aol News, Mashable, McGruff Safeguard, nude photos, pornography, sexting
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 5:04 AM Link to this Article
Protecting your Child's Privacy Online
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
When my brother and I were younger, our parents belonged to a small social club in the tiny one-horse town where we grew up. Every so often, all the families would meet for dinner at the Lions Club lodge in town. At one such meeting, my brother, all of 3 years old at the time, was being particularly restless in his seat. One parent teased, "What's the matter, you got ants in your pants?" A few people chuckled and conversation went on... until a few moments later when mom turned around to find my brother, pants to his ankles, examining carefully to find these ants that must be there somewhere.
That story was funny from the moment it happened (and as you can imagine, my brother would prefer it be forgotten today). At three years old, children have little regard for their privacy and even less grasp on the far-reaching impact this little event would have for the decades to come. It seems nobody is capable of forgetting that story even today.
What we need to remember in the Internet age is that teens aren't altogether more astute as to the far-reaching impact of their actions. They may not even have an altogether higher sense of privacy than my brother did at three. But, what should be most concerning is this: the social network of those who may be on-lookers is infinitely larger than the quaint pot-luck dinner in our tiny town lodge.
My brother would never have dreamed that at the age of 31, old ladies around town would still remember that cute little boy who took a joke too literally. Does your teenager know how far-reaching the Internet community can be, and how permanent a mark can be made? Emotions posted on a Facebook wall, a careless remark in a Twitter feed, or even a indiscreet photo displayed on a MySpace page... all of these have the instant capability reach millions of viewers and to follow a teen into adulthood with consequences no child could foresee.
Mom laughed out loud (or LOL, if you will) as she redressed her totally oblivious son. No harm done and a great story to tell at family dinners. Are you there, at the social gatherings of today's Internet community? McGruff SafeGuard allows parents to "be there" to watch, see what their kids are up to, and keep them from dangers that they may never even know are ahead.
Labels: children safety, Facebook, internet safety, McGruff Safeguard, monitoring, online parenting, photos, privacy, sexting, teenagers
posted by Nick Carter at 5:49 AM Link to this Article
Welcome to the World of Sexting
Monday, August 24, 2009
I think it’s pretty safe to say that teenagers are prone to doing things without thinking of consequences. I also think it’s safe to say, had they thought about them, looking into the future, they probably wouldn’t have made the same decisions. Here’s a true story:
Not too long ago, there was a cheerleader in high school who broke up with her boyfriend. Two years earlier, she had used her cell phone to film an inappropriate video of herself. She was only a freshman at the time. Fast-forward to the beginning of her senior year, her now ex-boyfriend sent the video via text to her cheerleading coach and other random friends to ‘get back at her.’ She was kicked off the squad over something she had done as a freshman. She was devastated. Her family was hurt and embarrassed. I mean, think of the emotions you would go through if something like that were to happen to your child…to your family.
The girl in this story does not come from a bad home. Her family is still together, they attend church. They are the kind of family in which you would never expect something like this to happen to. However, it was the consequence of a teenager just not using her head when she was 14 years old. I’m pretty sure her parents never sat down and said; “Now honey, it’s probably not smart to send inappropriate pictures or videos over your cell phone, to your boyfriend.” Quite the opposite actually, since I know the family. It came as a shock.
Not all teenagers do things like in this particular story. I wanted to share it because many times, we have no clue what’s going on inside our kids’ heads. That is why McGruff Safeguard can be a major assistance in communicating with our teens. When we know what's REALLY going on, we are able to lead the conversation in a manner that could make all the difference in the world.
Labels: communication, online parenting, sexting, True Stories
posted by Lindsay Manfredi at 5:38 AM Link to this Article