What teens do online and what parents know about it
Social networking sites are now a big part of a teen’s day:
• 51% check the sites more than once a day
• 22% check more than 10 times a day
Parents have a lot to learn about their children’s social networking behaviors:
• Just 4% say their children check social networking sites more than 10 times a day (22% of teens do)
• 23% of parents say their children check more than once a day (51% do)
• 12% of teens with Facebook or MySpace pages admit their parents don’t even know about the account
• Just 16% of parents think their child has shared information they would not normally share with the public (28% have)
What Teens Do Online: The Good Stuff
There’s a Good Side to Social Networking
The Internet is also helping teens support charities, volunteer, be creative, and even study.
Parents and children agree that the Internet is helping their academic performance in school:
• 75% of parents say the Internet helps their child’s academic performance
• 67% of teens say the Internet helps their academic performance
What should parents do?
Parents play a key role in helping kids learn the same sense of responsibility and self-respect in their online world as they do in their offline worlds. Read Tips for Social Networking for helpful tips such as:
• Talk often about life in the digital world and what it means to be a safe, smart digital citizen: remind kids that online posts can last forever, and that potentially anyone can see them. If they wouldn’t put something up in the hallway in school, they shouldn’t post it on their pages.
• Get yourself an account: see for yourself how your kids’ online world works – it’ll be easier for you to understand what they’re talking about.
• Make sure your kids set privacy settings: they aren’t foolproof, but they’re important
• Set rules for what they can and can’t say, post, and play online: the bottom line – posts with drugs, drinking, sexual posing or activity will come back to haunt them. If they wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, they shouldn’t post it.