What is your teen doing online tonight?
In a report first published on Feb 10, 2009, it was reported that:
Teenagers spend an average of 31 hours a week online and nearly two hours a week looking at pornography, according to a study. (Emphasis mine throughout.)
They spend some three and a half hours communicating with friends on MSN, and around two hours on YouTube and in chat rooms.
Just over an hour is devoted to looking up cosmetic surgery procedures such as how to enlarge breasts and get collagen implants, an hour and a half is spent on family planning and pregnancy websites and one hour 35 minutes is spent investigating diets and weight loss.
One in four teenagers of the 1,000 polled said they regularly spoke to strangers online but thought it harmless.
One in three admitted trying to hide what they were looking at if a parent entered the room.
What wasn’t reported in this study was that 42% of all teens also report having been “cyberbullied” while online. Cyberbullying includes threatening emails, harassing emails, extortion, emailing or texting sexually explicit text, photos or videos, and applying peer pressure to involve teens in illegal activities.
According to an online report entitled: Terror in the Classroom: What Can Be Done?, Part 3, posted at: http://www.schoolcio.com/showarticle/1038:
“Of those that reported that they had been cyberbullied, over 50 percent reported the cyberbullying lasted on average 2-4 days, while approximately 30 percent lasted a week or longer. Over 41 percent of the time cyberbullying took place with instant messaging, chat rooms and blogs (MySpace, Xanga, Facebook, Bebo, etc). In addition, 35 percent reported that e-mail was used to cyberbully them.”
“Of those students that reported being bullied, 59 percent of the time they were teased or called names, 47 percent were lied about, 35 percent were threatened and 30 percent had were sexually harassed. Almost half of those who were cyberbullied said additional bullying followed the initial episode.”
“A total 35 percent of the victims kept the bullying to themselves while 30 percent told a friend, one person told a parent and no one told a teacher! However, angry, depressed and hurt were the top three emotions experienced (averaging over 3 points on a 5 point scale).”
(Source quoted above.)
Those are not encouraging statistics, are they? They point to just how dangerous our instant information age has become for teens.
These reports do not even make mention of the fact that 20% of teens who have been cyberbullied have had thoughts of committing suicide! (You can find a downloadable report oncyberbullying and suicide at:
In some cases, teens have been driven to follow through, and actually commit suicide because of cyberbullying. Witness this report from CBS news:
“(CBS) Police are investigating whether cyberbullies contributed to the suicide of a teen in the Long Island, N.Y. town of West Islip. The nasty messages continued to show up online even after her death, reports CBS News Correspondent Jeff Glor.”
“Soccer star Alexis Pilkington, 17, took her own life March 21 following vicious taunts on social networking sites — which persisted postmortem on Internet tribute pages, worsening the grief of her family and friends”.
Not only was she cyberbullied to the extent that she took her own life, the cyberbullying continued even AFTER she died!
That’s how SERIOUS this threat is!
This is just one instance. Go online and google “cyberbullying” and as of this date, you will find over 125,000 different posting about this threat!
The problem with most teens is they think they are capable of handling things for themselves. They don’t want Mom or Dad “interfering” with their lives. But isn’t this is an instance where Mom or Dad SHOULD be involved?
How about it, Moms and Dads?
Do you KNOW what your kids are doing on line tonight?
Are you monitoring their internet activity?
Have you ever read any of their emails?
Have you ever looked at their pages on MySpace or Facebook?
Do you even know if they have pages up there?
I’m not advocating standing over them every minute they’re online, but at least be aware of what’s going on!
You should know who their online friends are, what chat rooms they visit, what sites they look at., what kind of email they receive.
As long as they are under your roof, and you are supporting them, you have the right to know. In fact, you SHOULD know! They may not like it, but it’s really for their own good.
Please take this seriously!
Do you KNOW what your teen is doing online tonight!?