Technology and the internet provide kids with rich learning experiences and opportunities to practice skills they need to succeed. At the same time, young people’s use of the internet can expose them to enormous risks and potential pitfalls. And the No. 1 responsibility of parents is to protect their kids. That includes talking to them about good digital habits, helping them develop the skills they need to be responsible and cyber-savvy, setting ground rules for technology use, and sometimes monitoring them.
Young people today have grown up with cutting-edge technology and constant connectivity. To them, it seems normal to share intimate details of their lives online. But we know what they post can have a lasting impact, including on future education and career opportunities. For example, colleges are increasingly reviewing applicants’ social media profiles as part of their admissions process. This is why it’s essential for families to have open, ongoing conversations about potential pitfalls and appropriate online etiquette, as well as for parents to actively participate in their children’s digital life.