Fact or Fiction? Test Your Knowledge of Kids and Technology (page 2)
Today’s youth are a generation of “screenagers” as technology rules many of their activities and relationships. How well do you understand what’s fact or fiction when it comes to kids and technology? Keep reading and test your knowledge.
Fact or Fiction: Kids today watch less television as they plug into newer forms of media.
Answer: Fiction. Kids today are masters of multi-tasking. They still spend a lot of time in front of the television, which accounts for more than half of their electronic media exposure. A typical teen watches TV while sending text messages and networking with friends on Facebook.
Parent tip: If you’re concerned that your child’s TV viewing is distracting him from doing homework on his computer or interacting carefully online, set limits that prevent him from doing too many things at once.
Fact or Fiction: Most parents trust industry ratings to figure out how appropriate the content of movies, music, and video games is for their kids.
Answer: Fiction. Studies and surveys show that most parents find industry ratings for movies and other media aren’t very useful. Ratings tend to be inconsistent, too lenient, and/or hard to understand.
Parent Tip: Don’t rely on ratings alone. Preview the games, music, or movies your child wants, search for lyrics online, ask other parents to weigh in, or consult online reviews written by other parents.
Fact or Fiction: Even though your teen may be more tech-savvy than you are, you’re well-qualified to teach her about Internet safety.
Answer: Fact. Kids don't have all the answers when it comes to technology. They may know more about using a computer, cell phone, or social networking site, but you have life experience and hard-earned wisdom. Adults know, for example, that things (and people) aren't always what they appear to be – a perspective that’s key to operating safely in cyberspace. And, while kids can be clueless or careless about how their online activity might affect their reputations, most adults think about the long-term impact of youthful indiscretion.
Parent Tip: To get your point across to your child, try using real-life examples and news stories to support the advice you offer.
Fact or Fiction: If your child is being harassed or bullied online, she should politely ask the bully to stop, or tell the bully’s parents and friends.
Answer: Fiction. She should ignore the bully but report the problem to you and, if the cyberbully is a student at her school, tell a teacher or school administrator. Cyberbullying experts, law enforcement groups, and most school administrators agree that this is not being a “tattletale”; it’s taking action that is smart, safe, and effective.
Parent Tip: Even if your child has never been bullied online, make sure she understands what to do (and not do) if it ever happens to her.
Fact or Fiction: Cell phone use is the most common cause of distracted driving leading to crashes and near-crashes.
Answer: Fact. According to experts, using a cell phone (talking or texting) while driving is the most common driver distraction resulting in accidents and near-misses. In many states, talking on a hand-held cell phone is now against the law, as is texting.
Parent Tip: Make sure your teenage driver understands this very real risk. If he can’t seem to break the habit of using his phone while behind the wheel, insist that he put his phone out of reach (like in the back seat) and turn it off while driving.
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