How has social media changed the world we live in? What are teens perceptions about safety or potential risk associated with online activity? What type of image are teens portraying online?  Is it different from the image portrayed in real life? Can their behaviors affect their future? These are some of the common questions parents, and we all, ask as a result of the importance technology plays in our and our children’s lives nowadays.

 

Benefits of the Internet and Social Media

  • Staying in touch with distant family
  • Keeping up to date on current world events
  • Staying informed about community events
  • Making new friends
  • Finding a job
  • Operating a business
  • Buying a car
  • Buying a house
  • Getting an education

 

Draw backs of the Internet and Social Media

  • Texting while driving
  • Identity Theft
  • Digital bullying
  • Sexting

 

Technology Being Used by Teens

  • 93% Personal email address

 

  • 84% Cell Phone

 

  • 84% Social networking profile

 

  • 63% IM screen name

 

  • 45% Game system

 

  • 19% Blog

 

(TRU Research, 1,032 teens surveyed,2010)

 

As you can see there are positives and negatives to the Internet and Social Media as with everything else in the world. Since the use of electronics is so prevalent in the lives of children these days it is extremely important that they get educated properly on the risks involved with using their computers, phones, etc. Many children are not aware of the negative consequences a comment or a photo posted on the Internet can have on their lives and the lives of their friends. They may believe that no one may be able to see their page or get a hold of their contact information. They may not be aware of the fact that people change their identities on the Internet to induce children to do things they should not be doing. Even bullying exists in the cyber world. The cyber world is not as safe and private as most think it is.

The question is “Are you educating your children about the Internet and Social Media?”

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Marta Rocha

About the Author: Marta Rocha is a Mental Health Counselor. Marta is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English. Marta Rocha is specialized in the areas of Marriage Counseling, Family Issues, Stress Management, Leadership Training, Anxiety, Depression, Sports Psychology, Grief, and Substance Abuse & Addictions. Marta Rocha has 12 years of experience in sales & marketing, advertising, promotions, management, and professional development. Her professional affiliations are with the American Counseling Association, and the American Association of Christian Counselors.

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