It is a given that kids today have more ubiquitous access to the internet than ever before. You see this around you in homes, coffee shops, libraries and neighborhoods. Recent studies help guesstimate some actual numbers.
Generation of 'SmartKids'
In the US alone, roughly 18 million kids ages 0 through 17 own a personal mobile internet device like a smartphone or tablet. 97% of these kids access the internet on it.
The estimate is based on three different studies - Teens & Technology 2013 report from the Pew Research Center, The Intelligence Group’s Cassandra Report (Winter/Spring 2013), and the Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology survey by Northwestern University.
Good, Bad or Inevitable
Whether this is good or bad is moot, it is but inevitable. Experts actually recommend against providing an "unsupervised" personal internet device until the child is 11-13 years old. As a parent or administrator, you should be aware that 58% of kids report having a negative experience online. However, only 25% of parents report exploring parental control options.
So what should you do? The first step is to educate yourself. A vast repository of resources is available online, from sites like Enough is Enough, Common Sense Media, and PBS Kids. Discuss the threats with your family. Use parental controls like Mobicip to stay in touch with your kids' Internet usage. Be aware. Stay Connected. It is the least you can do.
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