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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Parents Underestimate Kids' Social Networking Usage and Behaviors

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
  • 2009 Aug 17
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Parents may be unsettled by what their kids are doing on social networking sites, according to a survey recently released by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco advocacy group.

The survey polled 1,013 teens and 1,002 parents. The bottom line: Parents consistently underestimate how much time their kids spend on social networks and how often they engage in risky behavior, such as posting revealing photos of themselves, bullying other kids or hacking into their friends' accounts.

Among the findings:

37% of teens said they used social networks to make fun of other students, but only 18% of parents believe their own angels do so.

13% of teens said they posted naked or semi-naked photos or videos of themselves. Only 2% of parents said their kids have done that.

24% of teens said they signed on to someone else's account without permission, while only 4% of parents said their kids have done that.

28% of teens posted personal information that they normally would not have revealed in public, but 16% of parents said their kids did that.

Source: Los Angeles Times

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2009/08/teens-on-social-networks.html

For more information on online safety, check out my Crosswalk.com parenting articles on the topic:

Sexting: A Parent's Guide to Keeping Your Teens Safe

Online Predators: Separating Fact and Fiction