All parents have shared the experience of struggling with their teen spending too much time on the computer. My 15-year-old daughter will regularly come home from school, have a bite to eat, lock herself in her bedroom and jump straight onto her laptop. In fact some nights she’s locked up in there till 11pm, and we won’t hear a peep from her.
But the concern is, what are our teens actually doing online? Statistics show that 66.5% of teens said their parents don’t know everything they do online, and almost 40% would change their online behavior if they knew a parent was watching.
As a parent, I feel it is important to maintain that level of trust between my children, and myself. By doing that I give them the freedom of having their own laptop as opposed to making them use a family desktop where I can watch their every move, or deceitfully read their daily history.
But with the distractions available on the Internet these days, should we be setting more boundaries? Should we be concerned when it may be negatively influencing our children’s well-being and grades? Not only is Facebook said to be a major distraction when it comes to academic performance, but it can also lead to stress, sleeping disorders and depression. Another negative factor, which plays great importance, is the lack of family time, which limits opportunities for family bonding, sharing values, conversation and general socializing.
According to Roiworld’s Teen & Social Network Study, teens are spending an average of 2 hours and 20 minutes a day online, with 80% of that time spent on social networking sites. The statistics show, with teens admitting to 3.6 hours a day on Facebook, the average logs on to Facebook 6.1 times per day. In fact a whopping 70% log in every time they start their computer.
It's understandable that kids want to be socially connected, but it's concerning that sites like Facebook have become such a major distraction for...