Technology and teenagers: Parents need to pay attention
According to the Pew Research Center’s 2015 report, 92 percent of teenagers (13 to 17 year olds) use the internet daily. Of those, 24 percent say that they go online “almost constantly.” The availability is aided by the convenience of mobile devices.
Three out of four teenagers have a smartphone or have access to a smartphone. Only 12 percent of teenagers don’t have any form of a cell phone.
Parents should pay attention to overuse of technology for a number of reasons, including:
- Stunted development - extreme multitasking with digital devices has been shown to decrease social and emotional development in 8-12 year olds. Face-to-face interactions are important.
- Safety - internet predators are a real threat. Monitor what your child does online and teach him or her not to reveal personal information or identifying photos of any kind.
- Cyberbullying - bullying incidents are becoming more common and more severe due to cyberbullying being so easy. Bullying is not harmless. It can affect social, emotional, and physical health and can lead to self-harm.
It is important for teens to have time away from technology each day, especially prior to sleep. Computers used by adolescents should be located in shared spaces, and screen time (computer or phone) should be disallowed as much as possible in the hour before bed.