Are Parents Adapting to the Internet?

It is said that we are now in a period in human history called the ‘Information Age’, a time wherein vast amounts of information are made available to us wherever we may be and in an instant. According to a study conducted last 2013, people who make up the second wave of millennial (the generation that started in the 1980s) and those younger than them are more proficient with technology and more adaptable to change than their older counterparts.

However this doesn’t stop the members of the older generation from learning to use this technology for themselves. The website Themes Pack released a survey that themes specifically for the older generation are resulting in higher engagement. The question rather, is whether they can use it properly and efficiently without assistance. Are parents adapting to the internet?

One of the most concrete evidence of parents using the internet properly is Facebook. I’m sure that most parents, who have a teenage son or daughter, are now using Facebook to connect with batch mates, friends or relatives abroad. The appeal of social media to parents is that it helps them to reconnect with past acquaintances.

With the lack of a fast and easily accessible way to keep in touch during their time, they are now taking advantage of the capabilities of Facebook to find friends that they have lost touch with over the years. The sharing and viewing of pictures also allows them to be updated on the events happening with their friends’ lives. This also lets them convey the events happening in their own and add topics of conversation for when they eventually meet.

Parents can also be updated on the recent activities of their children and ensure that they are not being bullied or uploading inappropriate content. Overall, Facebook is a utilization of the internet that is commonly used by parents. Most of them seem to have a pretty good understanding of how to use it properly.

Teenagers may perceive their parents’ understanding of social media as a problem because it makes it harder for them to hide pictures or activities from their parents. Social media changed the way people communicate, making it faster, easier and more mobile. The proficiency of teenagers in navigating through social networking sites doesn’t automatically mean that their age group are the only ones who can have a firm grasp on how to use this technology.

Parents are also slowly but surely adapting to the trend and are immersing themselves in the unique experience of using social media. It is not a matter of how many friends you have or how often you update your status and profile picture. The core function of social media is to connect people and the adults in society have certainly taken advantage of this technology with gusto.

The use of social media may be the most often seen indicator of how parents utilize the internet, but it is far from the only one. The easiest tool when using the internet is the search engine Google and adults, quite expectedly, don’t find it difficult to use at all. Once they figure out that Google is so accurate and extensive that they can find out almost everything about a certain query, they can utilize it easily. There are also plenty of parents who own and drive a car, so plenty of them use Waze to navigate through unfamiliar areas.

When a family decides to take a vacation somewhere remote, they are always in danger of getting lost and wasting time, which was supposed to be spent bonding and enjoying themselves. That’s why when Waze, a road navigation app, was released, most parents learned how to use it immediately due to the assistance it provides with traveling.

The app uses the internet to show you your current location within an up to date map. It can even determine a route from your current location to your destination. Parents were immediately hooked to the app because when used properly, going through unfamiliar streets or taking long rides becomes easier.

These are only few examples of how the older generation are making use of the internet, a technology in which the younger generation is all too familiar with due to their lengthy exposure to it. Younger generations sometimes take for granted how powerful and convenient life became due to the internet. However, we should always remember that during our parents’ time they weren’t given the same advantages we now have.

One area where teenagers are way ahead of parents on the internet is through dating apps. More parents have been in a marriage or a long term relationship so they have never needed to check out dating apps. If they’ve been divorced, they mostly tend to rely on old methods of meeting a significant other. Dating apps have been on the rise and teenagers are using them the most. There are all types of dating apps for anyone. You can find niches in religion or in employment. There are also dating apps that are just for finding a fuck buddy. An example of this is Meet N Fuck which is the #1 meet n fuck app for finding a fuck buddy through it’s fuckbook. Parents just haven’t been able to catch up to teens in this category.

Adults are rapidly catching up with their children in terms of making the internet a part of their daily lives. All it takes is the initiative to learn and the courage to face the changes in their worlds head-on.

How to Protect your Teenage from Online Porn?

With 25 million porn sites floating across the cyberspace, they accumulate around 5 billion dollars a year from a rate of 28,000 people viewing porn at the same time. The more shocking statistics is the rate of viewership among teenagers between 12 and 17 years old.

Data shows that 53% of boys and 28% of girls along the age bracket deliberately search and view pornographic contents online. Furthermore, kids are also accidentally exposed to pornographic content through click baits. As such, parents should learn to protect their children from the dangers of pornography.

Why is it important to protect teens from online porn?

Most parents are hesitant to talk with their children about sex. As a result, social media and pornography takes the role in shaping children’s views about sexuality.

Pornography is full of exaggerated obscenity regarding sex. Ironically, it is also a powerful sex educator for children. Without any prior understanding of relationships and sex, it is easy to corrupt the minds of children with this kind of material.

Fortunately, parents are still the greatest and best teachers of children on sex education. Studies show that teaching them about sex in an age-appropriate manner leads their curiosity away from pornography. As such, they are less likely to build tolerance on obscenity depicted in pornography. Hopefully, they will enter adulthood and relationships free from false, corrupted views and misconceptions about sex.

How to Protect Teens from Online Porn?

External monitoring system

Porn is readily available today across all gadgets that have the capability to connect to the internet. As such, computers, laptops, tablets and phones are all potential gateways for pornography. Parents must learn to establish an external monitoring system, which includes strategically placing computers in open spaces and creating house rules that prevent children from keeping their tablets in their rooms during bedtime. Once this system is established, parents can install a second line of defense: internal monitoring system.

Internal monitoring system

Parents should educate themselves on internet safety and how to properly use applications and software that prevent kids from accessing porn on the internet. There are sites like Dirty Usernames, which is the #1, site for Snapchat nudes and Kik usernames.  There’s lots of Kik nudes and Snapchat sexting so its important to monitor these social media username sharing sites.  There are several potent downloadable software and applications that can block 97% of porn sites from the Internet.

Here is a list of possible filtering software that parents can install to block porn sites:

K9 Web Protection

K9 filtering software automatically enables Safe Search feature in all of the browsers installed on the computer. It also enables parents to specify time restrictions that block internet connection in specific hours of the day. This software helps parents control and monitor internet usage of the children.

STOP P-O-R-N

STOP P-O-R-N specializes in blocking most of the porn sites on the internet, and even has several levels of protection, namely, minimal, moderate and extreme. This software is specifically made for blocking pornographic content from the internet including malicious software that children accidentally download from pop-up windows.

Safe Eyes

Safe Eyes actively guards the computer from pornography by alerting parents through email if the software recognizes keywords that pertain to pornography.

FamilyShield

FamilyShield expands filtering pornographic content to all the connected devices on the network. This software is ideal to common household setups today where there are several gadgets connected to the internet. Also, it saves time and effort for parents to monitor gadgets one by one.

After installing internet filtering software, parents can still go for a third layer of protection through accountability software. Although internet filtering software can do most of the work, soft pornography contents composed of partial nudity and indecent images can still get through in Google searches, ads, or pop-up windows. Accountability software enables parents to have a daily report on activated malicious links and websites, which can be manually blocked on the browser security section.

Building strong foundation

Two monitoring systems were discussed in the previous section. However, prevention still stands as the best means to deter the negative effects of porn to children, and it starts with being one step ahead of them.

Before children ever encounter pornography, parents must proactively engage them in conversations about relationship and sex. A strong foundation is the children’s best defense against the corruptive effects of pornography.

However, if they encounter pornography earlier than usual, parents must make sure to counter the bad messages. Showing them how real, loving relationships look like and providing immediate and relatable examples will lead their curiosity away from exploring pornography.