Teenagers today rule the online world.  They are more tech savvy than you or I.  I was recently talking with a friend about how classrooms are changing across North America.  Teachers can’t keep up with the changing technological curve.  Teachers are behind the curve, and they have classes to keep them supposedly refreshed in the topic.  The problem is that students are digital natives.  This is their world.

How are you helping parents navigate the digital world?  

Below is an infographic called: The Youth Rule The Web. 

Here are a few things that stand out.

The average teenager gets a cell phone between 12-13.  I don’t know a teenager in High School without a cell phone.  They use it all day, and more students I work with have changing bricks to use at school.  Almost all teenagers have a phone, and they are on it all the time.

The biggest issue is that parents aren’t seeing the dangers of their kid’s access to a digital device.  50% of the students polled have hidden or cleared their browsing history.

Parents don’t know where kids are going online.  How can we help parents understand the dangers of the digital world?  This all starts with a conversation.  It’s a conversation about boundaries.  It’s a conversation about who is in control of whom.

When I talk with parents about their kids online behaviours, I am always amazed at how in the dark the parent is.  It’s not about just taking the phone away, it’s about helping their kid navigate a digital world.

We know that we are going to make mistakes.  That is why we need Jesus.  But, we can set up some boundaries that will help their teenager thrive instead of just survive in a digital world.

80% of colleges look at your social media profiles.  We are going to have more critical conversations in the future over posts online.  I know it’s coming.  We are going to be questioned on the things we retweet or like on Facebook.

A few years ago, I had a potential employer find out through one of my amazon reviews that I read a controversial book.  It led to conversations about certain beliefs, and eventually we ended up going our own ways.  What we post online isn’t just for a few people.  It’s for the whole world.

Teenagers live in a public world.  Their digital footprint will be around for generations.

How can we help students live out authentic lives that follow Jesus online?  I think this means becoming more transparent ourselves online.  It means helping parents understand that we don’t need to just project the best things, but we need to tell the true things about our lives.


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