It's not what you might think it’s about. It's not even a single, now-you-get-it conversation. It's an ongoing, long-term conversation families need to have about safe, constructive use of the Net and communications devices because both kids and technology keep changing. Marian Merritt, Symantec's chief online-safety evangelist, recently wrote about it, and I agree with her: "Your goal," she suggests to parents, "is to understand how your child is using technology, recognize any potential risk factors that need addressing and ensure you are the person your child can go to if something weird should happen when they are on the Web." All of that's important, especially that last point, because research shows that kids don't talk to parents about bad stuff that happens online, and we need to do everything possible to encourage them to. Merritt offers talking points for "the talk(s)" in the form of some questions you can start off with, but don't forget another good bit of advice: "Have the conversation during a quiet time when there are no time pressures," have the online computer at hand in case you want to check things out together, and "keep the chat neutral, not confrontational" so your child will continue the conversation willingly the next time!
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- New Facebook policy targets guns, other regulated items
- Google’s new learning tool that learns
- The flap over Talking Angela the chatbot app
- About the worldwide ‘selfie’ phenomenon
- How technology will improve the well-being of young adults
- Calling our children narcissists on ‘a sociopathic scale’: Really!?
- Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!
- Teens’ own (wise) perspectives on life with social media
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media
- Smartphones that promise user privacy
- Author danah boyd on why teens and social media are ‘complicated’
- Security experts at RSA decry government hacking
- In defense of Internet safety education
- ‘Neknominate’ is a stupid and potentially deadly online dare game
- Confessions of a binge viewer
- People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems