Friday 27 February 2015

It's Not Being A Worrier, It's Being A Mother - Children, Technology and The Internet.

Day after day I am sent emails from various companies and individuals asking me to take part in surveys, as much as I don't mind them as I do find they can be informative, they can be quite time consuming and unfortunately time is just something I don't have enough of at the present moment.

However, a few weeks ago, skimming through my emails, deleting all the junk, or what I class as junk, a certain survey email caught my eye and I found myself not only opening the email but also participating in the survey - something I've not done in well over a year!

The survey was from My Voucher Codes about children and technology, mainly connected to the internet and what worries parents have, this is something that worries me on a daily basis, but one thing I know I cant keep Spud away from forever. When I was a child, pre-teen and teenager, I didn't hear of cyber bullying, nor did I witness or experience it myself, grooming was always a subject that would arise with my parents who constantly warned me about not speaking to strangers online (or in person).

Porn was something that was never discussed, nor something I tried gaining access too, I was a teenage mother so yes sex was something I done at the age of 15, however porn wasn't of no interest to me at that age. Social media wasn't around (or least I didn't know about it) and so another thing my parents didn't have to worry about, and back in my day, there would only be one desktop computer for the whole household, so internet time was very limited and quite rare.

Nowadays, it's like most households have a number of technology gadgets, with children as young as three reported in the media to have iPhones and iPads, or another competitor's products. I must admit, Spud has a number of children themed technology products, it's of today's age and something that interest him, however I try to monitor his internet time as best as I can, and have parental controls on the maximum with only a number of trusted sites he is allowed access too. 

Filling out the survey sadly wasn't an eye opener, we've all heard and read the stories of children and teenagers being cyber bullied, with some sad fatality cases reported too. We've also read and heard stories of children becoming radicalised by online terror extremist groups, and we've read the reports in the big newspapers of children becoming addicted to technology.

The answers was categorised into three different categories; extremely worried, concerned and not at all worried. The results are now back, and as well as many individuals picking up the results, Tech Lounge have also published the findings on their website reaching out to many.

I have my opinions of the survey, and know what worried me more than the rest, but the results are quite interesting and show just how different two parents are, here are the statistics below for yourself to see;

·         Online bullying – 58% Extremely Worried
·         Accessing adult content such as porn, swearing, nudity, sex and violence – 49% Extremely Worried
·         Sharing inappropriate images – 49% Extremely Worried
·         Grooming – 48% Concerned
·         Access to extremism – 44% Concerned
·         Addiction to social media – 57% Concerned
·         Effects on Education – 66% Concerned
·         Privacy – 55% Concerned
·         Effect on long term health – 49% Concerned
·         Running up huge bills. – 65% Not at all Worried

Running up a huge bill is not a concern to me at all, although I wouldn't be impressed if Spud was to do so, it's not something that covers my mind with worry. Also due to the controls I have in place, and Spud's age, I don't worry about social media and an effect on his long term health and education.

What worries you the most with your child/children and technology, I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

Until next time,
Jada x


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