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Porn is not the worst thing - S/O Young Teens + Social Media


KathyBC
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I'm a little surprised that she thinks that this sort of behavior didn't exist prior to the internet. Kids being depressed and suicidal and bullying each other and being overly sexual at a young age? I remember being a kid. It was like that.

 

I'm not saying that the internet necessarily makes things better... but it didn't invent this sort of thing either.

 

Edited by Tanaqui
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Yes, the optimism, that if she does it right her kid can avoid these things, is a common theme of bloggers who have yet to run the gauntlet of parenting kids all the way to adulthood.

That said, this is a salient point:

 

 

If your child does not maintain an online self, chances are her social circle is small — friends from school, neighbors, family. If she has a rough day at school, a bell sets her free each afternoon. The jerks who taunted her at lunch aren’t coming home with her for the night. She has space to think, to be with you, to read, to hug her dog, to recover, to get brave. Online, there is no school bell, there is no escape; she exists globally, and so do her mistakes. The ridicule is permanent. Puberty is harrowing enough in physical form, asking a child to also manage an online ego is like asking them to thread a needle while the plane is going down.

 

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She's not wrong. Kids do not need online "friends" Most of us survived just fine with our handful of close friends and went home to spend time with our families, or read, or do homework. There is no need for it and parents feel peer pressure to let their child participate. I feel fine saying no to all social media youtube, pretty much everything computer related.

Edited by nixpix5
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 We have to let them go at some point, but it's a struggle between giving them privacy and seeing stuff like that article and freaking out. I think it's a long game learning curve. 

I can't begin to express how much I have hated badly fumbling through this new frontier.

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She's not wrong. Kids do not need online "friends" Most of us survived just fine with our handful of close friends and went home to spend time with our families, or read, or do homework. There is no need for it and parents feel peer pressure to let their child participate. I feel fine saying no to all social media youtube, pretty much everything computer related.

 

And some of us had NO friends, close or otherwise, until we went online.

 

I won't ever say my kids can't spend time online because I know how important it was for my own development to finally, finally, finally be able to make friends.

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I'm sooooo glad that I didn't have social media as a teen. I would have tried to use it to make friends. I wouldn't have been able to get off of it but the bullies would have made my life miserable. HS was already terrible enough for me. I really didn't need the crap to follow me home.

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I read the whole article and am glad I did. Some of the points she brought up were very thought provoking. I was clueless about how intense social media has become for children, at so young.

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I read the whole article and am glad I did. Some of the points she brought up were very thought provoking. I was clueless about how intense social media has become for children, at so young.

 

Our pastor's daughter is the same age as our son. When she shared this article, she mentioned that they'd uninstalled musical.ly off their daughter's ipod due to starting to see in her just a touch of things that are mentioned in this article.  I don't think I'll share it with my son. But it will inform my discussions with him when we talk about why he is not getting a smartphone next year.

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Disclaimer I don't have kids there yet. Kids are getting tablets this year.

 

I think the best way to manage online is like real life. There's some places we absolutely trust the venue and would let our kids go. Same with digital tech.

 

There are some places that we are happy for our kids to go but we want to be with them when they are there.

 

Then there are places that we just don't want our kids to go.

 

For me digital stuff is like this. There are apps and software that I feel totally ok about the kids using. There are things like YouTube and maybe later Facebook etc that I am ok with them using but want to keep a close eye on what's being watched and there's other stuff that I really don't want my kids anywhere near.

 

The biggest thing is don't let the screen be a baby sitter. Kids online are in the outside the home world in a sense so we need to supervise in the same age appropriate way we would when they are outside the home.

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And just so you all know...when the young set gets wise to the fact that the grown-ups are wise to musical.ly...it will be another app. It is character and...I don’t know the right word antanire, but let’s smash together morals/ethics/well-being/stability that counts. The apps will always be one step ahead.

Yep.

 

First it was Facebook. Now Facebook is for grandparents. Then it was Snapchat. Now Snapchat is for trendy mums. Next it is or will be something else. It's not the apps or platforms that matter really it's being there right there in the kids life.

 

(Not saying that anyone who's kids have had issues wasn't present enough - I know how hard it is. It's not a guarantee but it's the only thing that can really help)

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Ds10 has a cheapish smartphone. For the past year it has been used entirely at home on the WiFi. This month i put a phone/text plan on it so he can call me when tennis is finished or whatever. I would like to block all but our WiFi though if anyone knows how to do that? Or would I have to lock WiFi when he leaves the house?

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Ds10 has a cheapish smartphone. For the past year it has been used entirely at home on the WiFi. This month i put a phone/text plan on it so he can call me when tennis is finished or whatever. I would like to block all but our WiFi though if anyone knows how to do that? Or would I have to lock WiFi when he leaves the house?

Don't know how you can stop him from using wifi at another location. You can turn it off on the phone itself, but he can turn it back on. I asked our service provider to turn off the data. I get it switched back on when Hobbes might need Maps, etc: for a university visit, for example.

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I struggle with this. DS will likely need a smart phone or tablet for a while because the help it provides with his learning disabilities is necessary. I can disable the general internet, but need access for education. I disable general app downloads but I have approved some that later needed to be removed. We use you tube sometimes for educational videos. I don’t want a slippery slope so I guess it will have to be continual restrictive use and homework by me to know what’s acceptable. It’s a lot of work!

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And just so you all know...when the young set gets wise to the fact that the grown-ups are wise to musical.ly...it will be another app. It is character and...I don’t know the right word antanire, but let’s smash together morals/ethics/well-being/stability that counts. The apps will always be one step ahead.

A friend is a police detective and he was sharing with me, in a five minute conversation, so just skimming the surface, some of the apps and things criminals use (not special criminal ones, just ones people use to hide from someone.). He works in some sort of tech where he gets info from criminals phones. He says his daughter is getting a jitterbug phone when she gets old enough. Says they still make them! So it's not just paranoid parents making this decision. He also worked in crimes against children before his current job.

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She's not wrong. Kids do not need online "friends" Most of us survived just fine with our handful of close friends and went home to spend time with our families, or read, or do homework. There is no need for it and parents feel peer pressure to let their child participate. I feel fine saying no to all social media youtube, pretty much everything computer related.

 

Depends on the kid. 

 

Some kids do NEED online friends, to have a social life at all. My ASD kid has more friends online than in person. As an adult I need my online friends. It may be an introvert thing. It may be an ASD thing. I don't know. I do know that for my son, being online means NO ONE has body language cues, which levels the playing field for him, since he's bad at them anyway. I of course make sure he gets in person socializing time, but some of his best friends are online, and live around the world. 

 

That said, I do think the 24/7 thing is a real issue, and should be addressed with phone time outs, limited hours on the phone, etc. Even for myself I sometimes set up an app that regulates the hours social media is available on my own phone, and have similar time based parameters set up for my son's phone and internet. 

 

And you have to know your kid. Mine is not the type to be upset by online bullies. He doesn't care enough, lol. A more sensitive child I'd be more concerned. 

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And some of us had NO friends, close or otherwise, until we went online.

 

I won't ever say my kids can't spend time online because I know how important it was for my own development to finally, finally, finally be able to make friends.

 

Exactly.

 

People love to quote stuff saying that people that are online a lot are lonely, as if being online made them lonely. But I think odds are, lonely people are going online to look for companionship BECAUSE they were lonely in real life. 

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This piece has been all over and it baffled me. A parent of a relatively young kid discovers that if she searches and follows up on the darkest tags she can think of, that the internet has lots of scary stuff. Duh. Just in case she hasn't worked herself up over it enough, she watches a guy masturbate on a live feed to make sure she's really disturbed. Then she freeform rants about it and basically tells everyone, panic, right now, panic. Then her suggestion is - not just limit the internet, not just put parental controls on it, not just keep your kids off social media, not just don't let them have data on their smart phones or make sure they have only dumb phones if they even need them at all, but delete the whole internet from all your child's devices.

 

Is this a parody piece? I mean, why does anyone but the biggest Luddites think this is reasonable or practical?

 

Seriously, I'm not against limits. And there's plenty to be concerned about. But a lot of the stuff that the studies are showing that is the insidiously worst stuff about social media for kids she doesn't even touch on - like how the more they check it, the more anxious they are. Or how focus drops when you have your smartphone just in the room with you in class, not even out. Even for the p*rn issues, she doesn't get into the studies about how it's rewiring kids brains - she just panics. Which, okay, I get it, it's scary. But it's also not practical or informative, so why is one mom's panic so popular (no less than half a dozen people I know have shared this thing) when it isn't accompanied by decent writing, organization, or practical suggestions?

 

She never once talks about talking to her kids about these dangers. That's the biggest red flag for me on the practicality of this piece. You have to talk to kids about this stuff. You have to tell them that it's dangerous and do education about it. You can't just say no and delete the web browser. And it has to be a balance between the need for the benefits of the internet - I mean, no internet? seriously? delete Safari entirely? for us that would mean never look things up online, don't use online classes, don't use online learning tools like Khan, don't watch Youtube videos for school like Crash Course, don't check your bus route or your movie time or your class schedule - or, I guess, make Mom do it for you? I just... you can control a 9 yo this way, I guess. But a teenager? My kids aren't even that old and they go places on their own, they text their friends and meet up with them. I don't want to take any of that away from them. I think she has no clue how to deal with an older tween or teen with this stuff at all.

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One point I wanted to address and make others aware of: even when disabling Safari, savvy kids can still access the internet from an iPhone. Certain apps can connect to the internet, and there is a backdoor route through advertising in settings. If the phone has a data plan, or is connected to WiFi, disabling Safari doesn’t necessarily eliminate internet access.

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None of my kids get any computer access or phone access until 15/16. None.

 

When they start dual enrollment, I add another phone to my account. They can't put an app on it without coming to me to ask for the password. And I make it clear, it is my phone that I am letting them use. We discuss all the pitfalls out there and how it's not about their maturity, it's about learning how to swim with an awareness that there are sharks in the water.

 

Yes, for many of my kids this meant they didn't make a lot of friends. For my oldest, he didn't really make genuine friends until he was out of high school. And really, I'm okay with that bc we did offer him lots of support and encouragement. And he has some great friends now. And honestly, most people aren't friends. They are aquaintances. Life long real friendships are often made later in life.

 

But when I suggested getting a job and maybe not home schooling, my teens and twenty something kids were horrified I'd do that to their siblings. Like really mad and upset.

 

So far, I'm 5 for 5 who think I handled the tech issue right and say they are grateful for it.

 

It doesn't have to be complicated. It does require a bit more work on my part, but not much really.

Edited by Murphy101
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I am not an all or nothing person.  I believe strongly in having good and long conversations with our kids about all of this and helping them make wise decisions.

 

I see the effects of both the all or nothing crowd and it can be damaging.  

 

My 14 year old has a phone and has for 2 years.  A smart phone.  With snapchat.  And texting.  

 

He does not have "online friends" who he doesn't know in person, but this is by his choice.  

 

My oldest has a couple of people he has met online playing games.  He actually met one of them recently as she lives near where he now goes to college.  It was a positive thing.  They are now friends.

 

Parent involvement, Parent involvement, Parent involvement.  Important.

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She's not wrong. Kids do not need online "friends" Most of us survived just fine with our handful of close friends and went home to spend time with our families, or read, or do homework. There is no need for it and parents feel peer pressure to let their child participate. I feel fine saying no to all social media youtube, pretty much everything computer related.

 

I don't know about that.  My kids are friendly with kids at school, but they've never had a playdate or a sleepover or anything like what I did growing up with kids from there.  All social interaction is pretty much conducted online.  We got my oldest a phone at 13, and my younger one got one this year at 12.  My oldest has Facebook and Instagram, but she doesn't really use them much.  What both of them do use is texting.  They text their friends pretty extensively.  I know online friends have often been (and are now) my best friends.  It's a topic that's worth discussing, but the reality is, social interaction is primarily conducted online, and if your children are not a part of it, they may very well not have any friends. 

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None of my kids get any computer access or phone access until 15/16. None.

 

When they start dual enrollment, I add another phone to my account. They can't put an app on it without coming to me to ask for the password. And I make it clear, it is my phone that I am letting them use. We discuss all the pitfalls out there and how it's not about their maturity, it's about learning how to swim with an awareness that there are sharks in the water.

 

Yes, for many of my kids this meant they didn't make a lot of friends. For my oldest, he didn't really make genuine friends until he was out of high school. And really, I'm okay with that bc we did offer him lots of support and encouragement. And he has some great friends now. And honestly, most people aren't friends. They are aquaintances. Life long real friendships are often made later in life.

 

But when I suggested getting a job and maybe not home schooling, my teens and twenty something kids were horrified I'd do that to their siblings. Like really mad and upset.

 

So far, I'm 5 for 5 who think I handled the tech issue right and say they are grateful for it.

 

It doesn't have to be complicated. It does require a bit more work on my part, but not much really.

 

 

Your kids are not on computers at all until 15 or 16?   Nothing?  They don't do online classes, research, or any websites? 

Phone too?   

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This piece has been all over and it baffled me. A parent of a relatively young kid discovers that if she searches and follows up on the darkest tags she can think of, that the internet has lots of scary stuff. Duh. Just in case she hasn't worked herself up over it enough, she watches a guy masturbate on a live feed to make sure she's really disturbed. Then she freeform rants about it and basically tells everyone, panic, right now, panic. Then her suggestion is - not just limit the internet, not just put parental controls on it, not just keep your kids off social media, not just don't let them have data on their smart phones or make sure they have only dumb phones if they even need them at all, but delete the whole internet from all your child's devices.

 

Is this a parody piece? I mean, why does anyone but the biggest Luddites think this is reasonable or practical?

 

Seriously, I'm not against limits. And there's plenty to be concerned about. But a lot of the stuff that the studies are showing that is the insidiously worst stuff about social media for kids she doesn't even touch on - like how the more they check it, the more anxious they are. Or how focus drops when you have your smartphone just in the room with you in class, not even out. Even for the p*rn issues, she doesn't get into the studies about how it's rewiring kids brains - she just panics. Which, okay, I get it, it's scary. But it's also not practical or informative, so why is one mom's panic so popular (no less than half a dozen people I know have shared this thing) when it isn't accompanied by decent writing, organization, or practical suggestions?

 

She never once talks about talking to her kids about these dangers. That's the biggest red flag for me on the practicality of this piece. You have to talk to kids about this stuff. You have to tell them that it's dangerous and do education about it. You can't just say no and delete the web browser. And it has to be a balance between the need for the benefits of the internet - I mean, no internet? seriously? delete Safari entirely? for us that would mean never look things up online, don't use online classes, don't use online learning tools like Khan, don't watch Youtube videos for school like Crash Course, don't check your bus route or your movie time or your class schedule - or, I guess, make Mom do it for you? I just... you can control a 9 yo this way, I guess. But a teenager? My kids aren't even that old and they go places on their own, they text their friends and meet up with them. I don't want to take any of that away from them. I think she has no clue how to deal with an older tween or teen with this stuff at all.

Yes, deleting a web browser seems like a complete non-starter to me. One of my kids self-educates so much using YouTube. And nearly everything you do on a smartphone can be done on a laptop or ipad, so that makes no sense, either.

 

She *does* touch on anxiety, though:

 

 

How many “Likes†is that self worth? How many followers? A kid learns quickly and harshly that their value is determined by a number. A negative thought pattern is inevitable: Everyone else has more followers. Everyone else has more likes. I posted yesterday and only two people have liked it. Studies show that girls as young as 10 struggle with body image and suffer from anxiety while using Instagram. In an article for Time, Frances Jensen, chair of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, says that social media and smartphones may not be the root cause of a anxiety and depression but, “They may turn out to be an accelerant — the gasoline that turns a flicker of adolescent angst into a blaze.â€

 

I didn't realize this article was popular, but the reason is probably because this conversation is NOT universally happening. You may be well aware of the social media dangers to rewiring brains, but many are not. I see it as a start.

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Disclaimer I don't have kids there yet. Kids are getting tablets this year.

 

I think the best way to manage online is like real life. There's some places we absolutely trust the venue and would let our kids go. Same with digital tech.

 

There are some places that we are happy for our kids to go but we want to be with them when they are there.

 

Then there are places that we just don't want our kids to go.

 

For me digital stuff is like this. There are apps and software that I feel totally ok about the kids using. There are things like YouTube and maybe later Facebook etc that I am ok with them using but want to keep a close eye on what's being watched and there's other stuff that I really don't want my kids anywhere near.

 

The biggest thing is don't let the screen be a baby sitter. Kids online are in the outside the home world in a sense so we need to supervise in the same age appropriate way we would when they are outside the home.

The problem I see is that the draw to be a bit more peer-oriented happens, and then all bets are off.

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I don’t know. Parental involvement doesn’t seem to be enough for a whole lot of kids out there. It’s easy to say this stuff can’t happen to us because “parental involvement†but there’s many kids suffering despite their very involved parents.

 

Kids make horrible mistakes and get in way over their heads quickly and even the ones that are very close to their parents still don’t go to their parents. This stuff isn’t happening bc all the parents aren’t involved.

Edited by Murphy101
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Your kids are not on computers at all until 15 or 16? Nothing? They don't do online classes, research, or any websites?

Phone too?

Yes. They don’t have access to any of that until 15. And no, it has not hampered their abilities later.

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Yes. They don’t have access to any of that until 15. And no, it has not hampered their abilities later.

 

And mine have had access and it hasn't tainted them.

I don't really get the piety or the shame.

 

This isn't addressed at you specifically but there seems to be this "Oh, we homeschool and our children don't do X or Y like those PS kids do!  Thank goodness we are wholesome."

 

I have known HSers who didn't have internet access to find ways if they want to.  I have found public schoolers who have all the access they want who make wise choices.

 

 

Edited by DawnM
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I don’t know. Parental involvement doesn’t seem to be enough for a whole lot of kids out there. It’s easy to say this stuff can’t happen to us because “parental involvement†but there’s many kids suffering despite their very involved parents.

 

Kids make horrible mistakes and get in way over their heads quickly and even the ones that are very close to their parents still don’t go to their parents. This stuff isn’t happening bc all the parents aren’t involved.

 

I think it has to be a multifaceted solution. I see parents try to solve this purely technologically - "I didn't give them smart phones, so we're good." "I put a password on the internet, so I don't need to worry." "I deleted Safari, so now it's okay." Even the really sophisticated software solutions often have holes in it. Plus they can go to friends' houses. There are ways around it for most kids. Like the author's "delete Safari" thing is laughable to me as a technological solution. Again, have you all seen that TED talk about the kids who had never seen a computer and hacked it to get into the features that were disabled within a week? 

 

Of course, "I talked to them and told them it was bad and now they know, so I don't have to worry" is just a naive and overly simplistic. 

 

Basically, any time a parent thinks, "this is taken care of" about kids and any aspect of the internet, then they're being naive. I'm sure different approaches can potentially work - but I can't imagine that a pure "NO!" solution works for many kids or that a "Whatever" solution works for many kids either.

 

One of my biggest problems with this piece was that because it's an ongoing issue that you're ideally constantly discussing, revisiting, checking in on, etc. you simply cannot be in panic mode all the time. It's not healthy for us or our kids to constantly be - not just worried, but full on freaked out ranting all the time. And this article comes off like that's where she is and how we should react. And then make decisions from there. There's a ton of good stuff online too. We have to acknowledge that too and move from a place of understanding that as well - at least, I absolutely do.

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I don't know about that.  My kids are friendly with kids at school, but they've never had a playdate or a sleepover or anything like what I did growing up with kids from there.  All social interaction is pretty much conducted online.  We got my oldest a phone at 13, and my younger one got one this year at 12.  My oldest has Facebook and Instagram, but she doesn't really use them much.  What both of them do use is texting.  They text their friends pretty extensively.  I know online friends have often been (and are now) my best friends.  It's a topic that's worth discussing, but the reality is, social interaction is primarily conducted online, and if your children are not a part of it, they may very well not have any friends. 

 

A couple of times in this thread people have said it's okay if their kids don't have friends over not being allowed any access to computers or phones.

 

I'm not okay with my kids not having access to friendships. I'm okay limiting social media, but they need text access at the very least, just like we needed phone access as kids ourselves. Ban the social media if you must, read their texts if you have to, but for goodness sake, it breaks my heart that there are some people who are proud that their kids won't have friends over not having access to the most basic and common form of communication that is used today.

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What the hecken.

 

I never insinuated any of that. And that’s not how I handle things either. I just said this is what I’ve done and it appears to have worked okay so far.

 

But hey great way to close down discussion.

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I think it has to be a multifaceted solution. I see parents try to solve this purely technologically - "I didn't give them smart phones, so we're good." "I put a password on the internet, so I don't need to worry." "I deleted Safari, so now it's okay." Even the really sophisticated software solutions often have holes in it. Plus they can go to friends' houses. There are ways around it for most kids. Like the author's "delete Safari" thing is laughable to me as a technological solution. Again, have you all seen that TED talk about the kids who had never seen a computer and hacked it to get into the features that were disabled within a week? 

 

Of course, "I talked to them and told them it was bad and now they know, so I don't have to worry" is just a naive and overly simplistic. 

 

Basically, any time a parent thinks, "this is taken care of" about kids and any aspect of the internet, then they're being naive. I'm sure different approaches can potentially work - but I can't imagine that a pure "NO!" solution works for many kids or that a "Whatever" solution works for many kids either.

 

One of my biggest problems with this piece was that because it's an ongoing issue that you're ideally constantly discussing, revisiting, checking in on, etc. you simply cannot be in panic mode all the time. It's not healthy for us or our kids to constantly be - not just worried, but full on freaked out ranting all the time. And this article comes off like that's where she is and how we should react. And then make decisions from there. There's a ton of good stuff online too. We have to acknowledge that too and move from a place of understanding that as well - at least, I absolutely do.

I agree with everything you said, except parts of your last paragraph. People simply don't act, it is a ton of work, without some pretty healthy motivation. Once they see the need, though, yes working from a less panicky place is better. But you actually need to act.

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It pisses me off, frankly. Try an online search for ways a parent can monitor their child's online activity. All I get are "feel good" pieces about having honest discussion with your child and giving them privacy. Sorry, but that tone is NOT helpful. You're basically poo-pooing very real, very necessary concern. 

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I think it has to be a multifaceted solution. I see parents try to solve this purely technologically - "I didn't give them smart phones, so we're good." "I put a password on the internet, so I don't need to worry." "I deleted Safari, so now it's okay." Even the really sophisticated software solutions often have holes in it. Plus they can go to friends' houses. There are ways around it for most kids. Like the author's "delete Safari" thing is laughable to me as a technological solution. Again, have you all seen that TED talk about the kids who had never seen a computer and hacked it to get into the features that were disabled within a week?

 

Of course, "I talked to them and told them it was bad and now they know, so I don't have to worry" is just a naive and overly simplistic.

 

Basically, any time a parent thinks, "this is taken care of" about kids and any aspect of the internet, then they're being naive. I'm sure different approaches can potentially work - but I can't imagine that a pure "NO!" solution works for many kids or that a "Whatever" solution works for many kids either.

 

One of my biggest problems with this piece was that because it's an ongoing issue that you're ideally constantly discussing, revisiting, checking in on, etc. you simply cannot be in panic mode all the time. It's not healthy for us or our kids to constantly be - not just worried, but full on freaked out ranting all the time. And this article comes off like that's where she is and how we should react. And then make decisions from there. There's a ton of good stuff online too. We have to acknowledge that too and move from a place of understanding that as well - at least, I absolutely do.

Agree with all this. I have lived in the constant freak out mode and it is very unhealthy. Constant monitoring, checking, obsessing about what they are doing is not a healthy way to live and not conducive to relationship building. Just cannot maintain that level of freak out and it is counter productive.

 

Parents need to admit and accept that they can never know everything their kid is doing. Parents never did, even before the Internet. I'm fairly conservative on this issue (my 15 yo has a flip phone) but I know the time is coming that this kid will have a smartphone. We'll limit and discuss and I reserve the right to check it at will but there is no way to lock it down 100% and I don't want to live in constant distress over it. BTDT and it was not good.

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I agree with everything you said, except parts of your last paragraph. People simply don't act, it is a ton of work, without some pretty healthy motivation. Once they see the need, though, yes working from a less panicky place is better. But you actually need to act.

 

If you genuinely had no idea that there's p*rn on the internet, then sure, you need a wakeup call and a period of panic is maybe useful to act.

 

But who the heck doesn't know there's p*rn on the internet? Who are these people?

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Um Farrar, on topic? Thread title, article title? People DO know there is porn on the internet, it's the rest of the effect on rewiring brains? Remember?

 

But what you're saying is that people don't know, don't have access to the information that there's "bad stuff" - on social media and online apps. I'm saying, who doesn't have access to that information who would also have kids online? I really think it's a duh kind of thing but that's the central thesis of the article - that parents don't know.

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Adding... see, the other piece of my frustration with this piece is that it's not even informative on HOW to limit your kids' access to stuff. Her solution is technologically silly. I think it's almost misleading. The information is widely available about much better ways to use technology to control kids' content. She could have just done a little research to realize that "delete Safari" is not a great solution.

 

While that information is out there, sure, some people don't know it. She didn't, for example. That would have been a useful article. "I recently had a wakeup call about how much bad internet stuff my kid was potentially going to see with an app she asked to use. I freaked out. Here are some of the things I freaked out about. But then I got smart and researched smart ways to limit her access. Here's a summary of what I found."

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The bottom line for me is that it does affect brain development. It just does. That’s not freaking out. It’s just acknowledging an established fact. Like car seats. Like handrails on stairs. Like bike helmets. Like lead paint.

 

Many people poopooed on those who said we have got to start DOING things that protect those kids too. They accused parent advocates of freaking out. They pointed to children who hadn’t suffered problems.

 

It’s not about raising kids to make wise decisions. That’s not even a fair statement. Those kids that supposedly made a bad decision? They were set up to make it. And those lucky ones who didn’t probably would make the same decision in those other kids situation.

 

It’s about recognising a known threat to their healthy mental and emotional development and working to keep them safer and healthy.

 

Cars are great. The ocean is amazing. But I’m not giving my kids free reign in either. Because many, if not most, just aren’t developmentally ready. And we have got to stop acting as though that is a character statement of the child or the parents. It isn’t.

 

By all means I think parents should handle it how they see best. Parenting is humbling to us all and I think sharing is helpful but no guarantee.

 

But this is not about character or involved parenting.

 

Good smart kids with close relationships to their involved parents are suffering the ill-effects everyday. We need to set aside all our egos and ask why that’s happening and be willing to do what it takes to change that. That’s not hysteria anymore than talking about how to handle gun regulation is. These things are affecting millions of young people in brain altering and emotionally scarring ways.

Edited by Murphy101
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I have no problem with different families coming to different conclusions about how to handle the potential dangers of SM.  I do have a problem with hand wringing and :willy_nilly: the whole Chicken Little thing.  It doesn't do anything productive.  You might come to the same conclusions as someone who makes a reasoned and objective decision about things, that is true.  But the fear and the anxiety about it doesn't help families.  And it leads people to shame and judge other just as reasoned and objective people who have come to different decisions about how to handle it.    Because there isn't just one way to handle SM.   And down the road for these people, it doesn't help them to know how to help their kids (or young adults) transition to using social technology.  (If they do decide to transition - which of course is their choice.) 

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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I don’t know what SM means.

 

I’m scared to google it.

 

LOL

 

I’m not worried about any particular thing on the Internet. For me. It’s about brain development and general safety precautions.

 

I’m not at all chicken little. I love technology. Without it, I’d have to actually buy knitting pattern books. And go into stores to buy things like replacement laptop chargers. Or go from one dealership to the next to find a car. The horrors. No thanks.

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