Children and the internet – How safe are they?

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No one seems too surprised by the fact that some 7.5 million users in the US alone violate Facebook’s member requirement every single day – simply by being under 13 years of age.

We have reached a stage in our digital era where digital consumers are increasingly starting younger. According to a study by the non-profit organisation, Joan Ganz Cooney Centre, more than two-thirds of 8-year-old children go online each day.

Whilst this might in itself not be a bad thing, the jury is still out on weighing the pros and cons. Key really is for parents to take responsibility of their children in terms of how they engage online.

Certainly this age of super connectivity has some drawbacks – from attention deficit, to lack of face to face engagement – having said that there are numerous positives from the way children can find out about the world around them, gain access to information, share, connect and engage – granted this is a whole new way of doing it but that does not mean it is all bad!

It is interesting to note that books were once considered bad for us – that they may indeed ‘brain wash us’. There are always two sides to any coin and the fact that we are neophobic by nature accounts for why we tend to be suspicious of any change in our lives.

Let’s focus instead on the benefits that digital offers us and ensure we keep our children safe as we would in any environment – familiar or otherwise!

 

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