If they don’t already, parents need to know that owning a cellphone is more and more like owning a computer. Because, though they fit in zippered little compartments in our kids’ backpacks, 3G phones or “smart phones” are full-blown Net-connected computers (unless you have your mobile carrier turn off Web browsing). So they’re entertainment and social devices and a way for scammers to trick you into subscribing to this or that long-term “service” as much as a way for Mom or Dad to keep tabs on kids’ whereabouts – and “about half” of US kids aged 12+ have cellphones, reports Alina Tugend in the New York Times, citing Yankee Group research (for better figures, see my post later this week with Pew/Internet’s latest on teen cellphone ownership). “Many parents – and I include myself in this category,” Alina writes, “keep a (somewhat) careful eye on television, computer and video game use. But we didn’t really take into account cellphones, since at least until recently, phones were intended, well, pretty much for calling people.” She offers some advice from a pediatrician on family cellphone policy, including the most basic tip that limits need to be set. When things slide a bit, here’s a solution Tugend, a mom herself, has arrived at: “Next time I observe my children overly focused on their cells, I’ll send them a text message: ‘Put the phone away’.” [See also "House rules for teen texting."]
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
- Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments