Today's Teens Aren't the Only Ones Sexting and Cyberbullying (Part 2)
“Is it spying or is it good parenting when parents closely monitor teens’ online activity?” asks Tony Anscombe. “Parenting teens that have grown up alongside the Internet and with mobile phones in hand requires an entirely new set of rules and tactics. Our research reveals that while parents trust their teens to do the right thing, such as avoiding pornography on the Internet and “sexting,” they are still concerned about their children’s safety and how teens’ online behavior may affect their future careers.”
Forty percent of American parents worry the content their children post to Facebook and other social networks will affect their children’s job prospects down the road. Adding to this stress, less than 50 percent of American parents feel their child’s school is doing a good job preparing their students for the online world. They aren’t alone in their concerns. Digital Coming of Age found that nearly half of all parents around the globe felt that schools were not effective in teaching their teens to responsibly use the Internet.
"In a very short period of time we have seen amazing changes in the ways we communicate and gather information because of digital technologies. Cell phones, video games and the Internet blur boundaries and change rules. This of course affects families and especially families with teens between the ages of 14-17 who are coming of age with these digital tools,” said Jason Brand, licensed clinical social worker who focuses on the impact of technology on the social and emotional development of kids. “It's important for parents with older teens to have access to research and practical advice to help them adequately address their concerns. With good information about this rapidly changing area in teens’ lives; parents can know what to expect, understand what's normal and identify possible red flags."
“Our latest research will hopefully facilitate conversations with parents, educators and others around the most effective strategies to monitor youth activity and teach them how to express themselves safely and thoughtfully online,” Anscombe continued. “We’re all learning as we go. We can’t parent today like we were raised, because the Internet simply wasn’t available or as accessible when we were young.”
Other key findings from Digital Coming of Age include:
- UK parents are most likely to suspect teens of ‘sexting’ – nearly 25 percent of UK parents suspect their kids of sexting, compared with US (21%), Australia (22%), Spain (21%), Canada (20%), New Zealand (17%), Japan (15%), Italy (11%), France (10%), Czech Republic (13%) and Germany (9%)
- Spanish parents are (45%) most suspicious their teens are illegally downloading music – compared with parents in the US (19%), Czech Republic (35%), France (30%), UK (28%), Australia and New Zealand (27%).
- Just under half of parents surveyed are concerned their teens mobile photos are geo-tagged.
- Twenty percent of UK and US parents suspect their teens of accessing pornography on their PC – in comparison to over a quarter of Spanish parents.
- Twenty percent of UK and US parents have seen sexting messages and content relating to cyberbullying on their children’s social networks – compared with over 25 percent of Australian and New Zealand parents.
Research for all stages of the Digital Diaries series was conducted by Research Now on behalf of AVG Technologies. For more information visit: www.avgdigitaldiaries.com