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3 Reasons Why Parents Should Talk With Teens About Tech

Hugh Grant



3 Reasons Why Parents Should Talk With Teens About Tech

Technology has become an increasingly important part of everyday life and its influence will continue to grow in the coming years. Many parents may not be sure how to speak with their children about this tech or whether it is important. Let’s look at three reasons why this conversation should take place between parents and teens and what information they should learn.

1- Safety

Although technology has improved communication for billions of people worldwide, it has also given scammers, child predators, and other bad actors the ability to increase their reach. According to the US Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Task Force, at any given time, over 50,000 predators are online and actively seeking children.

Teenagers should be taught about the importance of privacy settings on social media and to avoid giving out personal information that could be used by a predator for nefarious purposes. They should also avoid private communications, known as direct messages or “DMs” with anyone they don’t know personally.

2- Understand the Permanent Nature of Online Posts

Many teenagers might not understand that the things they post online, especially on social media, will stay online forever. Every year, many celebrities, social media influencers, and other professionals come under fire for controversial posts or comments left online in the past, many of which were written while they were in their teens.

A story by the Washington Post in 2018 revealed that sports agents now have to check their clients’ old social media posts for anything controversial. Teenagers should be taught not to make these types of posts to avoid similar situations happening to them decades from now.

It’s important for teens to know that their social media today will impact their lives forever…from when they apply to college to when they start looking for jobs to even when they start dating someone.

3- Avoiding Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is a serious condition that affects millions of people around the world, although it is not often thought of in the same terms as other harmful addictions that people might face like drugs or alcohol. It is particularly harmful as it can lead to more significant mental health or addiction issues for teenagers in the future.

Further, a 2021 study published in Child Psychology suggests that overuse of the internet can lead to substance abuse and increased loneliness or isolation. Teenagers who overuse tech might look to online sources for connection and dopamine rather than their friends or classmates.

Parents should speak to their children about technology to make sure that they don’t become victims of abuse or cyberbullying, understand the inherent risks of social media, and avoid developing potentially harmful internet addictions.

It may not be a pleasant conversation to have, especially for older parents who didn’t grow up with technology and might not understand it as well as their teenagers do. However, it is essential for the child’s current and future well-being and safety that they understand the negative aspects of technology as well as the positive.

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