Parents need to wake up to the problems of social media

Discussing social media and children, TMCNet.com, March 10, 2013.

A must-read article featuring a technology security expert at the University of Notre Dame Kolin Hodgson, who spoke with a group of sixth graders in South Bend, Indiana. His conclusions are a bit chilling. And his recommendations are quite firm, even stern.

social mediaHe points out how easily kids on the web and Facebook specifically can be hurt by social media, and he recommends that parents not allow their children to have access to the web in their bedrooms. He points out that no caring parent would allow a stranger in his child’s bedroom. Since the web allows strangers to gain easy access to children, a parent is doing just that if the web is too easily available.

He cites the well-known case of Amanda Todd who became involved in showing nude pics of herself to a male, then suffered through the photos going viral and her being bullied incessantly. She committed suicide.

Though the actual case of Todd was quite complicated, overlaid with her own low self esteem, her living in a divorced family, and her moving back and forth between her two parents’ homes, the case is apt. And the teen behavior of sexting on the net is quite common.

While no one wants to be seen as a prude and kill-joy in these matters, the problems fomented by the social media can be serious, and parents, especially tech-unsavvy ones, need to wake up.