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Digital Parenting: McAfee Releases Study on Online Disconnect

By Tim Woda on June 5, 2013 at 3:35 PM

In a study published on May 28th, 2013, McAfee explores the online disconnect between parents and pre-teens, teens and young adults.

Here are some of the study's findings that every online parent should know:

Almost all (95%) young people have at least one social media account. (ages 10-23) 
• 87% check their account daily. 
• 79% of parents believe this to be true. 
• 44% check their account constantly. 

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Parenting Changes in the Digital World

By Steven Woda on May 15, 2013 at 2:06 PM

This is a guest blog post from Anne Collier that was originally published on The Christian Science Monitor. Anne is editor of NetFamilyNews.org and co-director of ConnectSafely.org, a Web-based interactive forum and information site for teens, parents, educators, and everybody interested in the impact of the social Web on youth and vice versa. She lives in Northern California and has two sons.

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Why Pheed will Replace Your Child's Facebook and Instagram

By Tim Woda on May 13, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Pheed is the latest in social media and is positioned to replace Facebook and Instagram in the near future. Why? Because it offers so much more sharing options than Facebook, Youtube and Instagram combined and some of its features will make your online parenting harder. 

What is Pheed?

Pheed is a social media app that is available only on iPhones and online. Soon, it will also be available on Android phones, as well. If your child accesses Pheed using only their phone, any online parenting software that you use to track your child's social media usage will be useless. This could be a major draw for kids who have their own phones. 

Each user gets what is called a "channel" which is much like Facebook's wall. Users can post their information for everyone to see, or they can close their channel. If a user closes their channel so that only certain people can see it, they have the option of charging other users to view the channel. This can be a highly attractive feature for younger users who may let the wrong users see their channels all in the name of making a profit. 

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Digital Parenting: How Technology Has Made One Woman a Better Mom

By Steven Woda on April 26, 2013 at 3:22 PM

We loved this post from Jeana Lee Tahnk over on Mashable so much that we thought we had to share it with our readers! Jeana is a high-tech PR consultant and writer who focuses on technology and digital parenting. She pens the Screen Play technology blog for Parenting Magazine and also writes for Cool Mom Tech and more.

It's amazing how much technology has changed over the past decade and how ingrained it has become in our society. And this is just the beginning. While a Mission Impossible-like society with holographic billboards, levitation technologies and GPS contact lenses scares the dickens out of me, I can honestly say that technology has truly paved the way for a more organized and efficient life. And it's made me a better mom in the process.

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Guest Post: Digital Parenting and Responsible Technology

By Tim Woda on January 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Written by Ellie Hirsch, The Mommy Master®

 I am the mother of three little boys, ages six, four and ten months old.  My two older children each have their own tablets, know how to unlock Daddy’s iPad, often ask me to text their friend’s mothers for a play date, and know how to Skype.  It amazes me that children at such young ages are so proficient in technology, although I shouldn’t be that surprised since they are constantly surrounded by it, both at home and in school.

When I was their age, I was playing with Barbie Dolls, dressing up, and relying on the world of pretend to entertain myself.  Kids are definitely growing up faster these days and it is really scary as a parent.  I see eleven year olds with Facebook pages and I wonder, don’t these kids see each other at school everyday?  Do they sit in the lunchroom and text each other even though they sit next to each other?  Are we allowing technology to take over our children’s lives?

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Could Your Child Be an Online "Troll"? But What Is Trolling?

By Steven Woda on September 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM

troll face“Trolling” is making inflammatory, anonymous statements on the Internet for the sole purpose of derailing an online discussion or provoking the other participants in the discussion. In other words, another way for kids to participate in cyberbullying. A troll, in Internet lingo, is somebody who does this. Often times you might encounter this image when searching for a “troll”:

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What You Need to Know About Smart Phones and Social Networking

By Tim Woda on September 6, 2012 at 3:10 PM

The most common use of a teenager's smart phone, aside from texting, is social networking. Teens with smart phones are extremely likely to use them to go on Facebook, MySpace, or other social networking sites.

Recent statistics tell us that 9 out of 10 American teens who own smart phones use social networking sites. They also show that 9 out of 10 teenage smart phone owners have used their phones to go online in the last month.

Okay, the second statistic isn't too shocking: if you pony up for a shiny new iPhone and a data plan to go with it then it would be dumb not to use it. But here's the interesting part: teenage smart phone owners were less likely than their peers to go online using desktops or laptop computers. They preferred their phones.

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YouTube Has Taken Over As The New MTV - Is That Bad?

By Tim Woda on August 23, 2012 at 9:08 AM

When we were teenagers, MTV was the way we found out about new music and watched the latest hit videos. It was cool, and even better, it irritated our parents. MTV is still around today, but our kids are living in a world that is constantly evolving, and that includes music. Could YouTube, commonly known as a popular video-sharing site, be on its way to becoming the next MTV?

It's no secret that the face of music is changing. The way kids seek it out is changing, too. Do you remember collecting tons and tons of CDs? Only 50% of today's teens say they even listen to music on CDs. Radio is still primarily how they learn about new music, but music listening sites like Pandora and Last.fm abound. They allow kids to make personalized radio stations, create channels of their favorite songs and artists, and discuss music with other users.

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Facebook for Kids... Not Cool Anymore?

By Steven Woda on May 4, 2012 at 5:05 AM

Hey, parents. Just when you were getting used to this whole Facebook thing – you probably set up a profile, friended your kids, and are loving that you can communicate with all your friends near and far – it turns out that Facebook is becoming... uncool.

Facebook started as the underdog, begun by a Harvard sophomore as a way for trendy college students to talk to each other. Facebook was cool, it was a new discovery. People implicitly trusted the fledgling social network. Facebook for kids was the cool new "it" thing.

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15 Cyberbullying Behaviors for Kids to Avoid

By Tim Woda on March 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Do you think a cyberbully is a terrible person whose sole goal in life is to make others miserable? If only it were so cut and dry.

Actually, there are lots of ways to bully someone online, and plenty of “good” kids exhibit cyberbullying behavior from time to time without realizing what they're really doing. Some studies on cyberbullying report that as many as 1 in 5 of their respondents admit to some form of cyberbullying

Does your child know that the following behaviors all qualify as cyberbullying

Spreading rumors about someone online

  • Directing derogatory language or slurs at someone

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Evolution of Social Networks and What it Means for Your Kids Safety

By Tim Woda on July 1, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Every site has a brand in the collective opinion of your teen's peers – ask and your kids can most likely tell you which social network is for professionals, older people, or younger teens. What has your kids safety to do with that? (They can probably also name the social networks where they are most likely to be approached by shady characters, scam artists, and pedophiles.) And when it comes to what's hot or what's popular, social networks are constantly evolving.

When social networking seriously appeared on the market in 2003, Friendster was the emergent king. It was one of the first of its kind to really take root, and became extremely popular. Everyone who was anyone was on Friendster.

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