Teens will always find ways to use technology to socialize. Once upon a time, it was party lines, then chat rooms, and now apps.
In this week’s #TechTuesday episode on WTAM 1100 Newsradio, Bill Wills and I discuss a recent New York Times article on the range of new social media apps teens are using, including video messaging and anonymous sharing networks.
For parents who are not sure where to start with online safe behavior, I recommend bookmarking SafeKids.com and ConnectSafely.org.
In particular, consider printing out family contracts for online safety as a way to discuss the topic with kids and teens and ensure everyone understands rules and boundaries for their online behavior.
Every parent will have different approaches to their kids, but it’s important that you have these discussions early so that you can keep an ongoing communication about topics like cyberbullying and other unsafe behavior or threads online.
Every family has that one person they count on to provide some level of tech support. Like many, I’m the go-to guy when my parents have an issue with their tablet, printer or TV.
I was happy to help provide tips to the The Wall Street Journal for their article Are You the Family Tech Support? My tips for those asked to help our their family with tech issues:
- Reassure your parents: Fear, not smarts, is the biggest hurdle.
- Find out what your parents were trying to do when the problem happened. Understanding the end goal can help diagnose what went wrong.
- When possible, have parents do the actual troublehsooting themselves. Knowledge is power – and comfort.
- Ditch technical terms. Talk in clear, everyday language. When explaining something, us an analogy.
- Try Skype or Facetime for problem solving from afar. Remote-access programs may also be helpful.
- Know your limits. If a problem is outside your comfort zone, call a professional.