As the parent of three teens, I try to keep up with the latest trends. But they are developing at breakneck speeds that I sometimes miss out.
Take the latest one, KIK messenger, a way to send text messages that a parent might not know about. In fact, it was only because a friend of mine discovered it on her teen’s electronic devices that I did some investigating and found my two youngest were using it.
With their cell phones I can at least monitor the phone numbers through our cell phone provider’s account and ask questions. I can do spot checks at any time. But when you don’t know your teen is using a text messaging program, you don’t know to check it.
The scary thing is that my friend’s son was likely being groomed by a pedophile. I won’t go into details but let’s just say that teens don’t always know who they are “talking” to.
I don’t know that completely eliminating technology is the answer. The problem is once they are of age, if they haven’t learned to use it properly, there could be worse repercussions.
Like it or not, this is the way of the world and while there are some things you can choose to not embrace, it is how most of our society functions. So with that are coming some pretty big changes in our home.
There will definitely be a lot more monitoring and removal of some devices. Some of this will depend on earning trust, some on age and other factors.
But for now, I can tell you that if you are a parent of a teen, you need to investigate and see if your child is using KIK messenger. There is the ability to text and exchange pictures, not only with friends but with complete strangers…even those who claim to be something they aren’t.
Photo by gcbb on Flickr