The Giant social networking site, Facebook, has 70% of tween users in India. With the rapid growth of technology, Kids between the ages 8-12 years are adopting internet through multiple devices and varied number of social networking sites. Indian children are becoming easy targets for cyber bullies and are posing a great challenge to parenting, by revealing personal information on the web. Despite 13 being the accepted age for using Facebook, 70% of the Indian tweens (native girls and boys) are holding an account.
Browsing the informative websites is super cool! However, the tweens do not have the mental ability to differentiate between the good and bad. Children who live abroad, are encouraged to build their technical skills, although accessing the pop ups; Namely ‘bad sites’ will lay a deep impression in their minds. It is not just for the children, the public need to be educated about the proper use of the internet.
More than 53 per cent of the children say that their parents take away tablets, mobiles, laptops and other Internet devices from them an hour before bedtime. Approximately 49 per cent of these children found the time limitations frustrating. Correcting internet behavior without turning the children hostile is the essential part. In Australia, parents maintain a contract with their children stating rules that govern Internet access. Among the networking sites, after Facebook the sites which children access regularly are Skype and Twitter. Around 44 per cent of the children have Skype accounts, and 27 per cent are on Twitter.
Twenty-seven per cent of the tweens have been subjected to hurtful posts on social networking sites and only half of them have confided in their parents. Thirty-six per cent of the children have chatted with strangers. A survey conducted earlier this year showed a horrifying number of 700 teenagers who met strangers they came to know on the social media.
The Central Board of Secondary Education is said to be drafting a cyber safety policy for schools. Right now the schools are addressing this issue by blocking certain websites. The tweens do not have any account security as well! 25% of the children have their names as the password to their accounts, 27 per cent of them have their birthdays.
McAfee’s survey showed 572 male and 428 female respondents aged between 8 and 12 years who were residing in cities like, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Hyderabad. This survey conducted among the tweens reveals interesting evidence of internet usage from different gadgets. Around 90% of them play games regularly, 76% of them access the internet through PC or Laptop, 68% of the tweens use mobile devices to access the net, 63 % of them use the tablets for chatting with friends. How are they accessing it?
Should we celebrate when a company announces the launch of a new gadget? or worry about the new problems that would arise due to the invented technology? Catering to your child’s need is important; they will grow intelligent and smart by learning about technology. But, technology is posing new challenges for Indian Parents. Save your children from getting webbed!