Have you talked to your child recently about what they should or should not be sending on their cell phones or posting on Facebook? I have seen several cases over the last few months of kids hurt by inappropriate postings by other kids. Cell phones have become an integral part of teen’s lives. Many kids are sending thousands of messages a month. Your child needs to understand that these messages could potentially be retrieved years down the road. Do they want others reading what they said? They need to know that no message or post on the internet is private and/or secret – it takes only one person to hit “send or share” for the message or photo to be sent to thousands.
As the teens of today grow up, I wonder how this will affect their ability to talk to each other? Studies in the last few weeks have shown that some kids with anxiety or depression are actually benefited by the social contact that the cell phone texting provides. They can reach out from the privacy of their home to their friends. There is also a study showing that texting after a child is in bed may lead to focusing concerns the following day – maybe due to less sleep or less deep sleep. Just some thoughts to keep in mind as you talk to your kids about how they use the technology of today.
Katrina Hood, MD. FAAP
Pediatric & Adolescent Associates