The internet has changed the world as much if not more so than the invention of the printing press. Information both reputable and non-reputable is no more than a click a way. Additionally, the internet has changed the social sphere as well. One can now easily keep in touch with both old friends and new friends. Pictures and status updates let anyone know what their friends are up to in real time. Many other spheres of society have also changed. Unfortunately, the children of the internet age are being raised by those who were not from the internet age, and we now have children and teenagers using the internet irresponsibly.
Teenagers and children are not known for their reasoning skills and with good reason. They CAN’T reason like adults. The frontal lobe, which is responsible for higher reasoning, is one of the last parts of the brain to develop fully, and brain development is not usually complete until around ages 21-25. It is bad parenting to expect teenagers to behave as if they have the reasoning skills of adults.
And yet, people are interacting with the internet at younger and younger ages. Many don’t monitor their wards’ internet access, or they operate in a trust centered approach. Teenagers are also known to be rebellious, and it is easy to be rebellious when you can do things in secret.like having two Facebook profiles or snap chatting nude photos. Remember, teenagers can’t and won’t reason like adults. This kind of behavior really should be looked for.
It gets worse, many of online bad behaviors are being criminalized. Teenagers sending naked pictures of themselves, can be considered distribution of child pornography. Posting mean things to each others profiles can, in some instances, be seen as cyber bullying, and anti-bullying laws are getting more widespread and stricter. Nothing a teenager posts will every really go away. In an age when employers use google, what a teenager posts could haunt them for years if not for lifer.
Parents consider this blog post a warning. It is important for you to understand how the internet works. It is important for you to keep up with the latest apps and technology. I know you all want to protect your children. Keeping up with the internet age will help you do this. Monitor, search, and keep informed.