Dangerous Teen Activities Online

5 Dangerous Behaviors Teens do With Their Smartphones

Several surveys have found that most parents do not know what their children are doing online. When parents and children were given the same questions about their online behaviors, over 70% of the parents were unaware of how their children were using their smartphones and tablets. And over 70% of teens were intentionally hiding certain behaviors. Here are five dangerous behaviors that teenagers engage in.

Sexting

Smartphones and tablets are convenient for a lot of things. The problem with this is that it is too easy for teens to make a mistake. Almost 1 in 5 teens have sent nude or erotic photos of themselves. Out the ones who receive the pictures, about 20% of them share it with someone else. That’s 4% of teens who have had their photos shared with an unintended person. Teens should know that once something is on the internet, it stays on the internet. Clearly, sending and sharing photos like these are not acceptable behavior.

Cyberbullying

Almost 1 in 4 teens have said that someone has written lies about them online. Cyberbulling may sound like something that is make believe, but it is real, and it has serious effects. Suppose a teen does send a nude photograph. The recipient now has some emotional leverage to control or blackmail that person. Imagine with all of the social networks and the constant connection to the outside world how much more embarrassing it can be when many people decide they want to pick on someone. Victims of cyberbullying get bombarded in all of their online social networks, and it can be overwhelming.

Using Smartphones or Tablets at Inappropriate Times

This is a behavior teens engage in that most of their parents are aware of, but some parents are not aware that it can have consequences on their teen’s development to use smartphones or tablets at certain times. I have been guilty of using the phone at inappropriate times myself. One thing we don’t think about is that these devices shouldn’t be used when it’s time to go to sleep. Sleep is important for health, and proper sleep is important for proper brain development. It is our bodies’ time to heal, and every sleep cycle is important. Smartphone and tablet screens are shining lights into our eyes, and our bodies are not designed to sleep in the light. Studies show that this can lead to sleeping disorders, which can have pretty serious side effects, including depression.

Texting and Driving

46% of teens surveyed admitted to texting and driving at the same time. The risks here should be obvious. This is illegal in many states because it is deadly. The first thing any driver learns is that their vehicle is a deadly projectile. These things take time to stop and move a lot of force. If you do not pay attention while driving, you can kill someone. That is not something someone should live with for the rest of their lives. It can wait.

Sharing Personal Information

Teens need to know which types of information can be shared, and things that can’t. Teens should know to stay away from apps such as Whisper, which allows them to anonymously confess to secrets to other users in their general area. Every family has their own set of boundaries. Usually, teens know not to tell anyone where the house safe is located. Teens should also not tag their address in social media. There was an instance where a teen was staying with her grandmother, and helped her count her life’s savings. She posted a picture with tens of thousands of dollars on social media. That evening, masked robbers stormed her parentsn6xi10vr_sdfsfps house. Certain information should be kept private.

What Parents Can Do

By installing parental control software to your smartphone or tablet, you can observe and restrict how the device is being used. As a parent, you can be aware of your child’s online behaviors and also prevent certain behaviors from occurring. You can decide which apps are appropriate, make sure that certain numbers are not contacting your child, and be alerted to any behavior you might not approve of.

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