5 Ways Technology Has Failed Our Children

Kids can stay in touch with friends and family members no matter where they may be, quickly access information they need to complete homework, and entertain themselves by streaming movies, music videos, and TV shows.

There’s no denying the benefits of technology—but there’s also no getting around the fact that technology has failed children in a number of ways. Here are 5 ways technology has failed to protect children in the digital world and real world:

Cyberbullying

Kids can be cyberbullied in a number of ways. Some kids receive harassing texts or phone calls from people they know at school, while others receive anonymous messages attacking their looks, values, or character through social media.

Regardless of the form it takes, cyberbullying is dangerous. Victims of cyberbullying often report feeling depressed, lonely, or anxious after being targeted. They may loss interest in hanging out with their friends or participating in their favorite activities.

Kids who have been cyberbullied are also more likely to start suffering academically, and may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the emotional pain. It has been reported that about one-third of teens have been cyberbullied, which indicates that technology has not done enough to protect children from this harmful behavior.

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Contact With Strangers

Every parent has seen or heard the tragic news stories where an online predator meets up with a child he or she has met online. Unfortunately, this is just one more danger that kids face in the digital world.

Child predators have easy access to kids online, and they can pretend to be whoever they want to be in order to attract new victims. An unsuspecting child may be targeted on social media by a child predator posing as a minor. The predator will then spend time building trust with the child, and eventually begin to ask the child personal questions. He may request sexually explicit photos, or ask to meet in person or talk on the phone.

The anonymity that the digital world provides makes it far too easy for child predators to reach children, which is one more way that technology has failed today’s youth.

Identity Theft

You may think kids don’t have to worry about identity theft, but you’re wrong. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has made it clear that kids are the perfect targets because of their clean credit history. How can you protect your child from having his identity stolen?

Educate him about the dangers of sharing too much information online. Make sure he understands that certain information, such as his address, phone number, and Social Security number should never be shared with anyone. Kids should also know not to give out their usernames and passwords to anyone—even a trusted friend.

Kids who follow all of these rules may still fall victim to identity theft if they are targeted by phishers. Be sure your kids know not to open emails unless they are sent from someone they know in real life. As a parent, you can also get in the habit of checking your child’s credit report on a regular basis. This can help you spot fraudulent activity right away.

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Exposure to Inappropriate Content

Kids have the world at their fingertips thanks to technology, which means they could easily be exposed to inappropriate content. Some kids may surf the web actively seeking sexually explicit or violent content, while others may stumble upon it accidentally. Typing in the wrong website or clicking on an unknown link can expose kids to violent or sexually explicit videos, images, or text.

Sometimes, kids are exposed to inappropriate content by their friends. Almost 40% of all teenagers have admitted to either posting or sending sexually explicit messages to someone. Kids may send inappropriate videos, photos, or texts to each other through a number of social media apps, including Snapchat, WhatsApp and Kik.

What happens when kids are exposed to this type of content at a young age? Research has shown that kids who are exposed to sexual content are more likely to start having sex early and to have casual, unprotected sex. If kids are exposed to violent content, they may be less empathetic and more aggressive towards others. Based on this information, it’s clear that technology has failed our children when it comes to protecting them from this type of content.

Impact on Their Offline World

Technology can impact many areas of your child’s offline world. For example, kids that rely on technological devices to communicate with their friends may have failed to learn social skills they will need in their adult lives. Children who spend a lot of time using technology may find it more difficult to read others’ emotions, form strong relationships, or engage in face-to-face conversation with others.

Technology has also failed to teach kids the value of patience. In the digital world, kids can order items with one-click and have it delivered to their doorstep the next day. They can find the information they’re looking for in a matter of seconds or stream live videos. This makes their lives more convenient, but it has also made them expect instant gratification for everything they do in the offline world.

How can you protect your children from these dangers? Using TeenSafe. TeenSafe is a digital monitoring tool that gives parents access to their child’s digital world. Using this tool, parents can see their child’s text messages, call logs, browser history, messages sent through WhatsApp and Kik, and installed apps. They can spot potential dangers–such as spending too much online, talking to strangers, or sharing personal information–before they turn into large problems. TeenSafe empowers parents to stay on top of their child’s digital activity so they can protect them—even when technology fails to do so. However, monitoring is only effective when parents and children have open communication–so be sure to talk to your child about monitoring and digital safety today!

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