Over the past few years, we have seen technology progressing and advancing day by day. It’s hard to live without technology these days. We are dependent on our digital devices much more than we were in the past.
Gone are the days when we used to sit in a particular place to use our personal computers. Thanks to advanced technology, we can now hold digital devices in the palm of our hands and use them anywhere we like at ease.
Kids and teens are seen spending much more time on their digital devices. As soon as they enter the teenagehood, they demand their own smartphones and laptops. Parents have to give in to their pressure and hand them their digital devices. The question is, can you really trust your teens with their devices? No matter what, the need for a parental control app on your teen’s phone is essential.
Teens and Digital Devices
Several studies have suggested that teens use digital devices much more than most adults. In fact, they are found more active on social media platforms than adults. Almost every teen has a Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat account these days.
We have also seen many cases where a teen possesses more than one digital device. They have a smartphone, a tablet, as well as a personal computer/laptop. What’s more, they also own a gaming console where they can play games day and night exclusively with their friends.
No doubt teens can develop certain good qualities while spending time on their digital devices. Digital devices do play a vital role in the lives of many teens. For instance, when they use social media apps on their devices, they can get a chance to connect with their friends and feel a sense of belonging.
They can seek information and gather knowledge for their homework and school assignments. They can make new friends and build new relationships. This may help them realize what they like and what they don’t in a particular person. Hence, this helps them gain autonomy over deciding what’s best for them. They can also get to explore their own identity when they use technology.
Should You Trust Your Teens with Their Devices?
Most parents are reluctant while handing a digital device to their kids. This is because they are aware of the disadvantages of using digital devices too much and they also know about the harmful dangers to which their kids can become exposed to in the online world.
Teens have no idea what they are about to encounter when they start using their devices and social media apps. They think they are safe in the online world but actually they aren’t. In fact, they are exposed to several online dangers when they are spending time on their devices.
The truth is, parents cannot completely trust their teens with their digital devices and social media because they can stumble upon various risks and challenges on the internet. Let’s understand how dangerous digital devices and social media can be for your teens.
Drawbacks of Using Digital Devices and Social Media
First of all, they would be exposed to cyberbullying which is one of the greatest online threats for kids. The internet and social media platforms have allowed bullies to attack their victims quite easily while remaining anonymous.
Those days are left behind when bullying only took place within school playgrounds and backyards. The bullies can target innocent kids through online platforms, especially social media apps, and send them inappropriate, embarrassing, and threatening messages.
Most teens succumb to life-threatening problems while being a victim of cyberbullying. Since teens cannot identify the signs of cyberbullying, they remain quiet and bear the consequences on their own without reporting the incidents to any adult. This is what leads them to anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.
Other harmful dangers for spending too much on digital devices and social media is pornography and sexting. These two harmful threats loom when kids access the dark side of the internet. Teens can come across pornography and inappropriate content on the internet either by mistake or for the sake of killing their curiosity.
When teens start using social media apps, they tend to become friends with new people who they don’t know in real life. They develop online relationships with unknown people and fall in love. This leads them to sexting that involves sending and receiving messages containing sexually inexplicit content with each other.
Now, let’s talk about sexual predating. Online predators are present everywhere on social media platforms in the search of innocent kids and teens. They find them social media apps, become friends with them by luring them into sweet talks, and gain their confidence.
When teens have enough trust in them, the predators demand them to do inappropriate things such as asking for sexually explicit images and videos. Later, these predators can blackmail the teens and their families for money against content extortion or sell the content to the dark web for a good price.
How Can You Easily Allow Your Teens to Use Their Devices?
So far, it has been proven that you cannot trust your teens with their digital devices. If you want them to use their devices and spend reasonable time on social media, you need to make use of parental control apps.
You can download and install a reliable and parental control app on your teen’s device to monitor their use of digital devices through social media apps. The parental control app can also help you filter inappropriate content or block porn and adult websites and apps that you do not want your teens to use.
Besides using parental control apps, you can also manage your teen’s digital devices. You can limit their smartphone use at the time of study or during dinner time. You can put limits on their screen time so your teens cannot spend more time than the specified time on a particular app or site.
You should also initiate a conversation with your teens and ask them about their online lives. You can ask them if they are facing any problem on social media or if someone is trying to stalk them online. Your kids need to feel comfortable around you so they can come to you when they feel any trouble in the online world.