Each year, our kids get exposed to more technology at earlier ages. Most American children have now used a mobile device by the age of two. Looking at tweens and teens and their technology adoption, we’re seeing problems with gaming addictions, online bullying, social media sexualization, and other disorders from overuse of information technology.
At the Center for Technology, Media and Society, we advocate for parents and teachers to become as educated as possible about the influence of these technologies on children. We highly recommend resources provided by Common Sense Media as a place to start. Their resources focus on games and apps, as well as films.
For kids old enough to have social media accounts, we advocate for strong privacy restrictions and consideration of children’s online security as the highest priority. See this post: “You are Not a Digital Native: Privacy in the Age of the Internet,” by Cory Doctorow, co-editor of Boing Boing, about how to protect today’s children from all of the data collection carried out by social media companies. While kids are now becoming more savvy than ever with technology, they can’t always comprehend the implications at a young age. Taking care to protect them as soon as possible is paramount.