Alright so why am I writing about Anthony Weiner? Well, if an educated man could fall prey to these digital no-nos so could your hormone-charged teenager. Anthony is literally the poster child for why you need to train kids on how to use their phones.
Living in NYC, it is impossible to not be exposed to the incredible amount of press around this scandal which is a complete distraction from the actual debate. So much noise was caused by a few inappropriate images and texts, whatever context. This is a real problem and should be a concern for all who have young kids with devices. If the mayoral candidate for the greatest city on Earth is freely and openly sharing images of his kibbles and bits then most likely your kids are too. You need to talk to them. It is important.
Not going to happen your kids right? Believe it, it can and has happened to many kids already. Recently Rehtaeh Parsons a young girl from Nova Scotia, killed herself on April 4 this year due to cyber bullying. Very sad story.
Here are five things you need to tell your child about how to communicate online:
- Don't share anything with anyone that you wouldn't want to share on stage in front of everyone you know at once.
- If someone is pressuring you to share something that is private chances are they want to use it against you, so simply don't give them that opportunity.
- Never meet with anyone, that chats with you online unless you discuss it with me/us first.
- You are representing your family and loved ones with everything you say online is no different. Be proud of who you are and remember that you have value that no one should take away from you. So don't let them
Kids are using technology at younger and younger ages which is great, I am an advocate. So much of our world is tech focused now and learning tools early is a good thing. The reality is that being online is a point of exposure and how we use it can have dire consequences. My point to young parents is you should all think about how to deal with these types of scenarios the first time you buy your child a device, talk to your kids before it is a problem.