This could be unnerving for parents of teens – finding their kids' friends "hanging out" in the house virtually, via Webcam – but it looks as if ColumbiaJournalist.org found some parents who are handling it well. "Once dismissed as a potentially lewd distraction for the tech-savvy, video chatting has increasingly insinuated itself into American homes. While no firm numbers are available to document its rise, interviews with parents, children and college students suggest that as technological barriers have all but disappeared, the practice has become as easy as making a phone call and, for some, just as common." The article leads with a mom who heard a tiny voice coming from the breakfast table ask, "Is that your mom?" and finding out her daughter who was eating breakfast in front of her laptop was actually having breakfast with her friend on screen – they were using their Webcams. You do know that many new computers come with built-in Webcams, right? Parents need to know that because there are also very negative, uses of Webcams by youth (see "Kids & Webcams: Disturbing story" and this about live Webcam chat site Stickam). But there are just as many great uses for Webcams. One college student told the reporter, for example, that all her friends videochat with their parents back home – who wouldn't want to see their distant children when they're talking with them?!
NEW! Subscribe to our newsletter
Please sign up for our email newsletter. We publish about twice a month (you can easily unsubscribe if you need to).
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