Many of you who are parents today remember the days when there were no cell phones. Back when you were kids, they weren’t needed. There was a dime in every pocket in case something went wrong and a phone call home was warranted. You may remember when going out and acting less than clever simply resulted in a few laughs later on when memories were once again brought back to light. Now 30 or 40 years later, things have most certainly changed. There are no more public phones due to the overwhelming amount of people, including small children, who now carry cell phones. Along with those portable communication devices come cameras and digital recorders. People are snapping pictures at an extraordinary rate and posting them on the Internet. Here are a few things to caution your child about the Internet.
- Pictures from cell phones- There is a reason students are asked to keep their cell phones concealed during class. It isn’t just to be sure they are paying attention, although that is the reason given. There is also a danger of someone snapping a picture or recording someone’s private conversations. It is imperative that your child understands that behaving in an admirable way in public is more important than ever. Facebook is not only a fun way to connect with friends and family but it is also a fabulous way to embarrass someone you are angry with or simply do not like. And Facebook isn’t the only social network that people are using. Just something to keep in mind.
- Strangers- It is very easy to misrepresent yourself without fact-to-face contact while on-line. Your child might meet someone while gaming or even just on Facebook, meeting new friends, but could be meeting someone who is lying about their age, and who they really are. This person could be a predator, or just someone playing an unacceptable joke. Make sure your children never give out personal information or agree to meet someone they met on-line, and keep an eye on their activity.
- Facebook- Although Facebook can be a lot of fun, and even useful in promoting businesses, making friends, and staying in touch with what is going on with family, what you post could get you in trouble. For example, if you post pictures of a teacher who is unaware that she was photographed, you could get in trouble by your school. So always be aware of what you are posting and who might be watching.
So, even though times are changing and technology is making many improvements to our world, there are still some things that must be monitored. Although your children probably can’t even imagine life without a cell phone, some parents certainly do. Remind them of the dangers and watch them closely. Things are not as safe as they were 40, 30, or even 20 years ago; so make sure they know what they are up against.