Did you know that more than half of kids aged six to nine now use some kind of children’s social network? Or that 47 percent talk to their friends on the Internet? And that 14 percent are on Facebook in spite of the fact that they are underage? To top off these startling revelations of a new study is the distressing news that 58 percent of parents admit they are in the dark about what their kids are up to in our brave new world.
Our kids have been born into this world. They are “digital natives” and many parents and teachers are “digital immigrants,” trying to learn a new foreign language and enter a mysterious culture that is both unfamiliar and overwhelming. Some parents I talk to have stuck their heads in the sand, hoping it will all just go away. Not likely.
Our children are spending more and more time online—and this trend is only going to continue to soar as smart phones are in kids’ hands at younger and younger ages. It is imperative that parents educate themselves about how to protect their children in the new technological universe.