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Humble Media Genius

Uh-Oh! Technology!

We asked parents what they think you should know about some of the pitfalls of kids and technology. Do any of these sound familiar?
Picture of Ruff falling off a chair

My daughter (in middle school) once texted something indicating another girl was bullying her when it wasn't happening. Other girls then acted on this and it resulted in an irate father showing up at the house.

My son started watching extremely inappropriate videos on YouTube (after hearing about them from other kids at school). Kaspersky (filtering software) disallows those searches and I track his usage now.

My 7-year old son created a Facebook account for one of his friends and I found out when the mother called me! Oops. Not only was she not happy because her daughter was not aloud to have an account but my son didn't want to give them the password! This enabled us to talk about cyber identity.

My daughter was on the receiving end of some comments after she had called out a class bully. She informed me she was printing some of the comments out and took them to the school counselor; some meetings at school took place between the kids involved. My daughter learned that she was empowered to take control to stop inappropriate comments and that adults are there to help.

Picture of Blossom with a list of rules

Apps and games have been downloaded without permission.

As a teacher I can honestly say, don't think your kids or your kids' friends aren't presented with temptations online. Be proactive.

As a high school teacher, it seems like at least once a week there is a brawl in the lunch room or in the halls that, if you trace the events back, is the direct result of a post on Twitter. It's frustrating because there is nothing that I can do to stop this from happening.

My son at age 11 searched for inappropriate images on his iPod touch, and even though I had set up all the parental controls and limits that I knew how to do, Google Images still showed explicit pictures through the Safari app. He lost access to the device for 6 months, and now we check his history even more frequently.

We have had an incident where my son (10 years) activated the open chat function on Team Fortress 2 on Steam and was engaged in a verbal altercation with an adult who was using foul language while using a headset. He lost his online privileges and understood he would have to earn those back, which took him 6 months.

Picture of Chet playing video games

My kids rarely use apps that connect to other people. However, there is sometimes trouble with mean comments being made.

The worst thing he's done is download things without permission. Pop up ads with misleading or confusing messaging has lead to some issues but he learned quickly not to download without permission.

My 12-year old, when he was 8, was prompted by older kids on the playground to use another browser than IE (so that the parents wouldn't realize it) and then to go Google various *ahem* risqué keywords. He did this when we weren't looking and used Firefox to Google those words. He got quite an eyeful and also downloaded some malware. We discovered the surfing session due to the malware and confronted him about it. Lots of tears on his part and we now regularly check and monitor ALL installed browsers history and usage on our computers.

Young teenager, going through angst over why a girl didn't 'like' him. Decided to publicize his questions on FB, there was nothing mean or incorrect in what he posted. However, girl's mother went to the principal of the school, principal had a chat with my nephew. FB is not private, and is not your bestie. Private angst should not be shared.

Picture of Ruff playing with toys

My sons liked Thomas the Tank Engine toys at age three, and my wife had been showing pictures of the toys to them on eBay. One day she neglected to logout (they were 3). When she came back from preschool, we found they ordered $100 worth of the toys from China.

Some chain letters that my daughter received have been disturbing.

My daughter sent inappropriate pictures to her boyfriend when she was a minor. We had to have a discussion about the five Federal laws she broke. It was a good lesson for her and for me.

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