I bounce around a lot here on the blog with topics but this one has been gnawing at me for some time. We – as in the parents out there – need to be better at knowing what are children – and that goes for those who are almost adults, too – are doing online and, yes, on their smart phones.
First, let me say that I think kids are great with their knowledge of computers and smart phones. That is part of the problem. We are not all that knowledgeable. The kids can hide stuff on both systems better than adults can. You need to make yourself, as a parent, more knowledgeable about how to find things – all kinds of things – on your child’s computer or smart phone.
Second, we need, as parents, to fight this culture of celebrities being looked up to by children. I am casting a wide net but there are always exceptions. Kids, particularly teenagers, do not need to know or possibly think that sex tapes, sexy photos or nude photos are acceptable. Teens particularly look up to celebrities. The news, mostly entertainment news but in some cases actual news, reports on all sorts of sordid activities, including documentation, of celebrities. Why would a teen not think that these things – sex tapes, nude photos – are okay?
I know you are probably thinking I am blowing this out of proportion. I am here to tell you I am not. Teens can find programs that will hide photos on their desktops, laptops and phones. Teens bow to peer pressure so are likely to give in to requests from other teens. And, yes, whether someone is told that something is deleted or not, nothing ever disappears from the internet.
So, talk to your kids. Explain that photos, documentation of all kinds never disappear. They can be deleted and then retrieved. They can be copied and hidden somewhere you may not think to look. Explain that there is never a reason to give friends photos of your body. After you talk to your kids, get out there and get educated. Find out about the latest way to hide items – on a computer AND on a smart phone.