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"It Can Wait" Calls for New Etiquette to Avoid Texting & Driving

Topics: texting, texting and driving, Mobile Phones/Apps, social issues, texting rules & safety

Roundup: This Week’s Top Digital Parenting News

Topics: digital parenting, bullying, cyberbullying, texting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, texting and driving, school, victims of cyberbullying, Mobile Phones/Apps, texting rules & safety

Technology: A Health Threat to the Developed World

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, Mobile Phones/Apps, health & wellbeing, Health Issues, youth obesity rates, technology and obesity

Is Technology Harming My Teen's Physical and Mental Health?

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, teens and technology, Mobile Phones/Apps, health & wellbeing, Health Issues, technology and health

Is This Donut a Secret Message From Your Kid?

Topics: texting, Parental Intelligence, digital trends, Social Trends, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, steps kids take to stop spying, social steganography, what is social steganography, Texting Trends

To LOL, or Not To LOL? That is The Question

Topics: social media, texting, Parental Intelligence, Social Trends, Mobile Phones/Apps, Lingo & Slang, other social networks, netiquette

Why Texting Rules: The Silver Lining Parents Are Missing

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, parents texting, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps, social issues

Trend Alert: 6 Messaging Apps That Let Teens Share (Iffy) Secrets

Topics: Snapchat, social media, texting, Parental Intelligence, Photo & Image Sharing, Mobile Phones/Apps, Privacy & Reputation, other social networks, Texting Trends

"Jake’s Law" Addresses Penalties For Distracted Driving

Topics: texting, distracted driving, texting and driving, Jake's Law, Mobile Phones/Apps, texting rules & safety

How Mobile Phones Are Changing the Way Our Teens Learn

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, Teens, kids & technology, cellphone rules and safety, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging

Anonymous Message App Yik Yak Faces Backlash From An Entire City

Topics: social media, texting, Mobile Phones/Apps, other social networks, most concerning for parents, social issues, Yik Yak

Mobile Game Developers Join The Fight Against Cyberbullying

Topics: cyberbullying, texting, Internet Safety, games, anti-cyberbullying, Mobile Phones/Apps

In Defense Of Texting, My Favorite Parenting Tool

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, texting rules & safety

Cyberbullying Versus Traditional Bullying

Topics: bullying, cyberbullying, texting, Internet Safety, social media cyberbullying, bad behavior, Mobile Phones/Apps, social issues

Teens Who Sext Are More Likely to Engage in Other Sexual Behaviors

Topics: digital parenting, sexting, texting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, Digital Parenting Tips, bad behavior, prevention, Mobile Phones/Apps

Parental Intelligence: Understanding Text Bombing

Topics: digital parenting, cyberbullying, texting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, text bombing, Digital Parenting Tips, prevention, Mobile Phones/Apps, Texting Trends

Tips for Teens: Why You Shouldn’t Text and Drive

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, texting while driving, texting and driving, Teens, Mobile Phones/Apps

The Latest Mobile Cyberbullying Tactic of Teens: Text Bombing

Topics: digital parenting, cyberbullying, texting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, anti-cyberbullying, text bombing, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps

Why Every Parent Needs To Know About Text Bombs

Topics: texting, Parental Intelligence, text bombing, dangerous games, Social Trends, Mobile Phones/Apps

How Teens' 'Sexting' Photos End Up On Pedophile Websites

Topics: sexting, texting, Internet Safety, online predators, child predator methods, prevention, Mobile Phones/Apps, texting rules & safety

LATEST POSTS    

"It Can Wait" Calls for New Etiquette to Avoid Texting & Driving

Posted by Steven Woda

October 21, 2014 at 2:39 PM

None of us mean to get into situations where we are texting and driving. We want to set a good example for our kids and keep the roads safe for drivers and pedestrians by making driving the top priority. When splitting the focus between driving and carrying out a conversation through text messaging, safety for everyone on the road decreases drastically.

Distracted driving, the umbrella category for texting and driving, is a behavior that is particularly prevalent among the teen demographic. In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distracted-related crashes. 11% of those killed were under the age of 20. Additionally, one out of five young drivers thinks that texting makes no difference to their driving.

That's why AT&T, one of the leading cellular carriers, has started a campaign to try to curb the urge to text and drive. Their campaign is called, "It Can Wait" and it tries to teach the general public that no text conversation is more important than keeping yourself and others safe while you are driving.

Read More

Topics: texting, texting and driving, Mobile Phones/Apps, social issues, texting rules & safety

Roundup: This Week’s Top Digital Parenting News

Posted by Tim Woda

October 10, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Get the latest and greatest on the top digital parenting news and stories of the week!

This week: cyberbullying escalates during the transition from elementary to middle school (shocker!), parents are encouraging kids to pursue careers in digital fields, and a texting-while-driving tracking device is in production. Check out the news roundup and join the conversation in the comment section below.

Students Experience Increase in Cyberbullying During Elementary to Middle School Transition

A study that was recently published in School Psychology Quarterly found that students increasingly become targets of cyberbullying during the transition from elementary school to middle school. The study took place in the Midwest and examined three semesters of data following 1,180 students.

The study categorized students who were bullied into 4 groups:

  • 29% were occasional victims of traditional bullying (verbal or physical bullying)

  • 10% were occasional victims of traditional bullying and cyberbullying

  • Half of bullied students were infrequent victims

  • 11% of bullied students were frequent victims

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, bullying, cyberbullying, texting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, texting and driving, school, victims of cyberbullying, Mobile Phones/Apps, texting rules & safety

Technology: A Health Threat to the Developed World

Posted by Tim Woda

June 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM

If you've ever had to persuade your child to put down the game controller and go outside -- or if you have to coax them away from their smartphones to eat a well-balanced meal -- you already understand the impact that technology can have on physical activity and diet. While modern innovations make academic research easier than ever, they also come with a whole host of health risks, and teenagers face a bigger threat than anyone else. 

It's no coincidence that obesity rates have skyrocketed in the United States right alongside innovation. While great thinkers can harness new technology to make the world a better place, there are downsides to modernization too.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, Mobile Phones/Apps, health & wellbeing, Health Issues, youth obesity rates, technology and obesity

Is Technology Harming My Teen's Physical and Mental Health?

Posted by Tim Woda

May 29, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Technology today is reaching a critical mass stage where new products and ways of sharing are found and implemented at lightning speeds. There was a time when telling your child that they were not allowed to watch TV or have friends over was a huge punishment. In this modern age, there is a whole bucket list of things that are necessary to control.

Television, iPods, cell phones, video games, Internet…the list is staggering. Our children can reach out to others in more ways than you can think possible. As a parent, the number one issue surrounding all this is trying to understand the gravity of technology’s impact on mental and physical health. Open any newspaper or magazine and you will find articles that both praise modern technology and also condemn it. So what is the real story here? 

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, teens and technology, Mobile Phones/Apps, health & wellbeing, Health Issues, technology and health

Is This Donut a Secret Message From Your Kid?

Posted by Steven Woda

May 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM

The issue with parenting in the digital age is that it moves at the speed of light, and kids are at the very forefront of it. They know about the latest apps weeks, perhaps months before you do, and they are quietly discussing who-knows-what with their friends via texting apps and Facebook messenger. The age of being able to eavesdrop on a conversation and get all the knowledge you ever needed is over.

While those days are over, we’ve developed a new way to keep up with our kids, and digital parents need digital weapons. With that being said, kids are starting to get a bit wise to the ways of the digital parent.

Read More

Topics: texting, Parental Intelligence, digital trends, Social Trends, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, steps kids take to stop spying, social steganography, what is social steganography, Texting Trends

To LOL, or Not To LOL? That is The Question

Posted by Steven Woda

April 20, 2014 at 9:58 AM

In the world of Social Media Etiquette, the acronym LOL is quickly evolving into a term with different meaning than "laughing out loud". Think about the last time you used LOL or saw it used: did it really indicate that you/they were literally laughing out loud? This article was originally published on USA Today by AP National Writer Martha Irvine.

If I thought something in a casual online conversation was funny, I typed it. If I wanted to let someone know I was kidding in an e-mail or an instant message, same.

I might've even felt a little cool, using inside lingo that, at one time, was exclusive to the online world. (You know I'm not the only one who thought so.)

Today, though, I'm sensing a shift, even in my own thoughts about LOL. Certainly, it's as ubiquitous as ever. Just search for it on Twitter or Facebook to see how often people use it. Not exactly deep and meaningful stuff, mind you, but there sure is a lot of it.

Perhaps that's why, at least in some circles, LOL has lost its cachet. And at its worst, it's making people a little cranky.

Read More

Topics: social media, texting, Parental Intelligence, Social Trends, Mobile Phones/Apps, Lingo & Slang, other social networks, netiquette

Why Texting Rules: The Silver Lining Parents Are Missing

Posted by Tim Woda

April 18, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Texting can be regarded positively or negatively in a household. Learn how to see the silver lining of texting and end up using it as a tool for digital parenting. This article was originally published on The Huffington Post by John Duffy.

My son George, my one and only child, is now an 18-year-old man. In a few short months, we will be dropping him off at college. He's busy focusing on his senior year in high school. That moment hugging his Mom and I goodbye on some quad a few months from now isn't remotely on his radar. For him, it's just some hazy, remote construct of a distant future.

But my wife Julie and I sense that hourglass emptying, that moment approaching in double time. We take turns being upbeat and distraught, our scripts ranging from how exciting this next chapter will be for him and how ready he is, to how quiet and dead this house will feel come September. We are both working overtime to be available to every moment with him, every swim meet, awards ceremony, late night talk, even silent breakfast. We drink him in, knowing soon, this iteration of our lives together ends.

Now, today is Saturday, and after sleeping in, I thought George and I might grab a sandwich, a frequent weekend tradition for us.

But today, he had plans with his buddies. He jumped in the shower, grabbed car keys and bounced. Of course, that's how it should be: a guy should spend Saturday having a good time with his buddies, not hanging around with Dad. That would have been my last choice at 18 too. Still, as he pulled away, I swear I could hear the opening notes of "Cat's in the Cradle" swelling gently in the background. Lump in my throat, I made alternate plans. I began to work, distractedly, in silence.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, parents texting, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps, social issues

Trend Alert: 6 Messaging Apps That Let Teens Share (Iffy) Secrets

Posted by Steven Woda

April 7, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Information-sharing apps are becoming increasingly popular among teens. Learn about which ones are currently trending! This article was originally published on Common Sense Media by their Senior Content Specialist Kelly Schryver.

You probably never thought you'd see the day when Facebook wasn't the center of teens' universe. But keeping up with Facebook friends through ad-filled newsfeeds and lengthy profiles, especially given the fact that everyone knows your name, is starting to feel tiresome to many teens.

Facebook is still a go-to place for many things, such as wishing someone a happy birthday or stalking a crush. However, newer social apps make it easier, faster and more fun to capture and share fleeting moments -- sometimes anonymously. These temporary and anonymous-messaging apps provide an environment that feels more appropriate to the random, silly, saucy, and experimental sides of the average teenager.

Perhaps most importantly to teens, these apps can feel consequence-free. But of course they're not. Data never really disappears, and anonymity carries big risks. If you don't recognize the apps your kid is currently obsessing over, here's what you need to know:

Temporary Apps

Read More

Topics: Snapchat, social media, texting, Parental Intelligence, Photo & Image Sharing, Mobile Phones/Apps, Privacy & Reputation, other social networks, Texting Trends

"Jake’s Law" Addresses Penalties For Distracted Driving

Posted by Steven Woda

March 26, 2014 at 11:29 AM

We already know that distracted driving is dangerous and, as demonstrated in this case, can be deadly. See what lawmakers are attempting to pass in Congress this month in efforts to crack down on distracted driving. This article was originally posted on the Washington Post by Jenna Johnson. 

Five-year-old Jake Owen played a video game in the back seat of the car as his family sat in Baltimore traffic. He excitedly announced, “Mom, I have 42 lives!” Then an SUV slammed into the sedan.

Devin X. McKeiver, 23, was using a cellphone when he rear-ended the car. He didn’t hit the brakes. The impact killed Jake.

Had McKeiver been drunk, he could have faced jail time. Instead, with his lawyer arguing at trial that McKeiver was doing something that everyone does, he was fined $1,000.

Now Jake’s family and others are asking Maryland lawmakers to increase penalties for drivers who cause crashes while talking or texting on a handheld phone. The bill, known in Annapolis as “Jake’s Law,” also would require “distracted drivers” involved in serious crashes to give police basic information about their cellphones, so detectives can more quickly check what they were doing at the moment of impact.

Privacy advocates say that sort of forced hand-over of phone information is unnecessary, and makes it easier for police to access and follow the digital trail that most Americans now have. But proponents say the phone-data portion of the bill is merely the 21st-century equivalent of requiring a blood test for drivers suspected of being intoxicated.

Read More

Topics: texting, distracted driving, texting and driving, Jake's Law, Mobile Phones/Apps, texting rules & safety

How Mobile Phones Are Changing the Way Our Teens Learn

Posted by Tim Woda

March 18, 2014 at 2:05 PM

These days, it seems like everyone has a high tech, feature-rich mobile phone. No matter where you go, chances are you will see someone with their eyes on their smartphone. Some people claim that the prolific use of mobile phones shortens attention spans and decreases learning ability. Others say that having such a wealth of interactive, up-to-the-minute information at their fingertips allows teens to learn more efficiently. Though the dangers of mobile phone use by teens have been noted, it is clear that they are here to stay. So, what should you know about how mobile phones are changing the way that teens learn, for both better and worse?

Interactivity

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, parental monitoring, Teens, kids & technology, cellphone rules and safety, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging

Anonymous Message App Yik Yak Faces Backlash From An Entire City

Posted by Tim Woda

March 12, 2014 at 4:46 PM

We have provided a few resources to you about the new anonymous app Yik Yak and how it is dangerous for tweens and teens. Now one entire city has taken notice of its danger and responded by disabling and discouraging kids from using this app. At least 4 schools in the Chicago region have issued warning about this dangerous app that is so often used for cyberbullying. We applaud these schools that are stepping up to protect their students. 

Read More

Topics: social media, texting, Mobile Phones/Apps, other social networks, most concerning for parents, social issues, Yik Yak

Mobile Game Developers Join The Fight Against Cyberbullying

Posted by Tim Woda

February 26, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Kids around the world are touched by cyberbullying every single day. Whether they are the victims, the witnesses, or the bullies themselves, children are constantly coming face to face with this epidemic. As school districts, lawmakers, and parents continue to search for ways to combat this increasingly dangerous issues, mobile developers have also decided to join the fight against cyberbullying.

According to Gamesbeat, the game developer, Pixelberry Studios, has added an episode to its High School Story game that centers around cyberbullying. Oliver Miao, the Chief Executive Officer of Pixelberry, explained that the studio created “Hope's Story,” to supply guidance to teens on the issue of cyberbullying, and to introduce them to tools, such as Cybersmile, which is a resource that helps victims of bullying.

Read More

Topics: cyberbullying, texting, Internet Safety, games, anti-cyberbullying, Mobile Phones/Apps

In Defense Of Texting, My Favorite Parenting Tool

Posted by Tim Woda

February 15, 2014 at 12:49 PM

This article is from the Huffington Post by Senior Columnist Lisa Belkin. Check out how one parent feels towards texting -- and why she loves it for her children so much. 

Yes, I know the dangers. That it affects the brain like an addictive drug. That it shortens our attention spans, and reduces our sleep, increases our stress and keeps us from interacting meaningfully with our kids. I have read all the studies and agree we should all back away from our screens, put down our phones and look each other in the eye when we talk.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, positive parenting practices, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps, Spying vs Engaging, texting rules & safety

Cyberbullying Versus Traditional Bullying

Posted by Tim Woda

January 24, 2014 at 4:54 PM

This article is from Psychology today and compares traditional bullying with cyberbullying.

Just how different is traditional bullying from cyberbullying? Studies are beginning to show that the way youth bully online is a lot different from traditional schoolyard bullying. Teens may think what they are posting or texting is just a joke, but if you're on the receiving end it may not be all that funny. In fact, if the "joking" is repetitive, it could cross the line into bullying, more specifically cyberbullying. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics cyberbullying is the "most common online risk for all teens and is a peer to peer risk."

Read More

Topics: bullying, cyberbullying, texting, Internet Safety, social media cyberbullying, bad behavior, Mobile Phones/Apps, social issues

Teens Who Sext Are More Likely to Engage in Other Sexual Behaviors

Posted by Steven Woda

January 6, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Think your 7th grader isn't sexting? Might be time to think again.

A new study was published online today by the American Academy of Pediatrics about the sexting habits of at-risk seventh graders.

Here are some of the most shocking statistics:

  • 22 percent of at-risk seventh graders participated in sexting.

  • 17 percent sending texts only.

  • 5 percent sending texts and photos.

  • Higher perceptions of approval for sexual behavior from parents, peers and the media, higher intentions to engage in sexual behavior, lower emotional awareness, and lower emotional self-efficacy.

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, sexting, texting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, Digital Parenting Tips, bad behavior, prevention, Mobile Phones/Apps

Parental Intelligence: Understanding Text Bombing

Posted by Tim Woda

January 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM

In 2011, a fifteen-year-old girl was released from the hospital following a failed suicide attempt. However, when she got out of the hospital, the girls who had been bullying her by using a text bombing website to send her multiple text messages, picked up right where they left off.

Her second suicide attempt was successful.

An important part of parental intelligence is understanding what text bombing is, and how kids are using it to cyberbully and harass each other. With new apps being developed every day, it doesn't matter that the Google App store has banned two of the apps responsible for allowing kids to demonstrate this type of behavior - SMSBomber and SMSBarrage. 

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, cyberbullying, texting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, text bombing, Digital Parenting Tips, prevention, Mobile Phones/Apps, Texting Trends

Tips for Teens: Why You Shouldn’t Text and Drive

Posted by Steven Woda

November 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM

If you are a teenager who likes to use your cell phone all day long, there are a few things that you should understand. First of all, you need to realize that sometimes you will be in a situation where you have to put down the phone for a while for your own safety and for the safety of those around you. For instance, when you get into a car and attempt to drive, you shouldn’t text. Doing so may endanger your own life and the lives of other people. Distracted driving of any sort comes with numerous repercussions that you don’t want to experience. In this guide, we will provide you with a few tips to consider before you choose to text and drive.

Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics

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Topics: digital parenting, texting, Parental Intelligence, texting while driving, texting and driving, Teens, Mobile Phones/Apps

The Latest Mobile Cyberbullying Tactic of Teens: Text Bombing

Posted by Steven Woda

November 23, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Earlier this month, a 15-year old from St. Petersburg, FL was arrested for sending “hundreds of threatening text messages” over the course of eight days to former friends. Some were even death threats. The suspect used a smartphone app called Kik Messenger, which happens to be the cyberbullying app du jour, also used in the Rebecca Ann Sedwick cyberbullying case that contributed to her suicide. Kik allows users to send text messages from an Internet Desk Top to cell phones.

The tactic is called “text bombing”

Read More

Topics: digital parenting, cyberbullying, texting, Parental Intelligence, Internet Safety, anti-cyberbullying, text bombing, Digital Parenting Tips, Mobile Phones/Apps

Why Every Parent Needs To Know About Text Bombs

Posted by Steven Woda

November 2, 2013 at 1:16 PM

This article was originally posted on the Huffington Post by Ann Brenoff.

At the end of last year, a mom pulled my son over and asked him to stop sending gibberish text messages to her kid. The two boys were fooling around, copying and pasting nonsensical messages and texting them back and forth. It was a dual of annoyance, something 12-year-old boys specialize in.

Read More

Topics: texting, Parental Intelligence, text bombing, dangerous games, Social Trends, Mobile Phones/Apps

How Teens' 'Sexting' Photos End Up On Pedophile Websites

Posted by Steven Woda

October 17, 2013 at 5:17 PM

This article was originally published in The Daily Mail by Daniel Martin.

Tens of thousands of explicit self-portraits taken by teenagers are ending up on websites viewed by pedophiles.

The naked or sexual pictures are often taken by girls at the request of boys in their classes and sent by mobile phone, in a practice known as ‘sexting’.

But unbeknown to the girls, these photographs may end up being passed around the school and even shared on social networking sites such as Facebook – then stolen and published on websites used by paedophiles.

Read More

Topics: sexting, texting, Internet Safety, online predators, child predator methods, prevention, Mobile Phones/Apps, texting rules & safety