Understanding Teens Online Behavior
Teens have access to an unlimited and usually unrestricted amount of technology and information. Children are getting forms of technology at younger ages every year. With the creation of search engines and the internet, we can understand any topic we desire. Some parents choose to monitor their teens online behavior through restrictive internet or computer settings. But is restricting teens online behavior actually benefitting them? The New York Times discusses the positive and negative effects of monitoring teens online behavior.
The Expert Opinion
Experts in technology and adolescent behavior believe that when it comes to monitoring teens online behavior, the best method is communication rather than using restrictive tools. Having conversations about texting, social media use, search history, or online profiles matters more than monitoring software. Investing time in being active in children’s online lives educates them on what’s appropriate to post and share. Children develop self-control and the ability to make good decisions when experiencing online activity early on.
Children should be monitored, but openly at a young age. Children who felt like their parents were monitoring their activity online were noticeable less distressed by online conflict. Allowing children to develop online lives helps them to develop positive online behavior as a teen.
39 percent of parents’ report using monitoring software to control blocking or filtering of their teenager’s online activities. Only 16 percent of parents us parental controls on their teens cellphones. Relatively few parents rely on technology to monitor their teens online behavior. 90 percent of parents say they have talked to their teens about what is appropriate online behavior and use. No matter how effective the tools for monitoring teens online behavior, communication is always the more powerful tool. Many of the programs available for monitoring are too limiting. They either block too much or too little, and many teens can configure around the controls disabling their restrictive qualities. For parents, it’s not about control children from the time they spend or actions they make online, it’s about raising adults who can have self-control and make positive decisions for themselves.