As part of its Internet & American Life Project, in 2011 the Pew Research Center conducted a survey on teens’ experiences of online cruelty. The survey revealed some interesting information about how teens and parents are communicating about online experiences.
- 58% of teen Internet and cell phone users say their parents have been the biggest influence on what they think is appropriate or inappropriate when using the Internet or a cell phone.
- Of the teens that reported witnessing or experiencing online cruelty, only 36% sought advice from parents for how to handle it, whereas 53% reached out to a peer. Younger teen girls (ages 12-13) were more likely to rely on friends and peers for advice than older girls.
- While most parents do talk with their teens about safe and risky online behavior, only about half of parents utilize parental controls to manage their child’s online experiences, and only 34% use parental controls to restrict cell phone usage. (94% have talked with their teens about what should and should not be shared online; 93% have talked about internet and cell phone safety; 87% have talked with their child about what he or she does on the internet.)
So what can parents do to help keep their kids safe (and kind) online?