Saturday, December 11, 2010
TEENS AND CELLPHONES
I’m a guest at the GEN MOBILE event sponsored by the FCC on Tuesday, Dec. 14th at 10am. It’s an event for teens and parents regarding the usage and abuses of cellphones in today’s society. The focus is on the use of cellphones by teens and misuse of it.
It’s when sexually explicit text messages are sent via cellphones. Now you may think your 12 year old boy or girl wouldn’t possibly be exposed to this – BUT YOU ARE MISTAKEN. I first saw this when my son was around 12 yrs old. He and a friend had got home from camp after meeting other 12 year old girls and were laughing over some rather explicit text messages that his friend got from a girl he’d met at camp. Not only was I shocked, but I was enlightened that one should never assume that there kid is safe from what the world has to offer – good or bad. Parents need to be realistic and start thinking like a kid.
Do you know that girls that are rather young – as young as 12 years or less send boys pictures of themselves? Not nude pics but pictures in their bathing suits and in poses used to be seductive. Never assume that your daughter or son isn’t sending or getting these messages. Some kids even post them on Facebook. I’ve been shocked at some of the friend pics on my kids FB pages and I wonder if the parents even check on their kids accounts. I suggest parents talk about these to their kids and let them know that once a picture is taken – it can end up ANYWHERE.
Yep, you know it. If you can harass a person on the phone, you can text them and the harassing comments last for-ever. This is another misuse of cellphones by kids. In cases like this you have to teach your teen that words won’t physically harm them and that there are ways to trace those messages and fight back against this form of harassment.
HOW PARENTS CAN BE ON TOP OF THE GAME
Parents don’t have to be on the eight ball when it comes to this. Contact your cellphone provider and see if they offer a service that allows you to monitor the text (in and out) to your kid’s phone. As the one who pays the bills parents, you have the right to check up on how your property is being used. It’s time for parents to act like parents and monitor what their kid is doing. You just may be surprised what you find.
Lastly, talk and educate your kid. I do that with my kids. Now that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes, it means that I am educating them and guiding them in their growth. I leave the door to communication open, ask my kid the questions instead of demanding that they do what I say only, I expect my teens to take ownership of their actions.
The misuse of cellphones can be a life changing event for teens and has led to depression, possible prison time, and in some cases suicide. Step up parents and get knowledgeable.
To find out more about this event sponsored by the FCC click here.