The longer I’m in student ministry, the more I’m convinced that parents absolutely need to be proactive when it comes to their kids’ use of technology. As children are growing into teenagers in an ever increasingly technological world, this is drastically shaping how they grow up. While technology itself is neither good nor bad, students are using technology for bad purposes. Every month, new apps are being released which are designed to help students keep their activity secret.
- It’s never been harder to keep up with technology.
- It’s never been more important for parents to keep up with technology.
As I think over just this past year, countless stories come to mind related directly to students involved with pornography, sexting, and hiding behavior from their parents, all using their phones.
Consider these national stories just from last week:
- Over 100 students in Colorado involved in a sexting ring
- In New York a 14 year old boy engaged in a sex act with a girl while another 14 year old boy filmed the incident. They then distributed the video to their friends who forwarded the video to others.
Today’s high schoolers barely remember a time before smart phones and high speed data plans. They’re more used to using a smart phone to access the internet than a laptop. They’re used to watching TV shows and movies on a portable device. All of this drastically changes the game for how to parent them through their teenage years. It’s even more challenging because app developers are fully aware of what teenagers want, and the newest generation of app developers are digital natives themselves.
Parenting requires understanding the technology your kids are using! Stay educated!
Here are 8 articles to help you have the sex talk you never had:
#1 | How Colorado teenagers hid a massive nude sexting ring from parents and teachers | A real world example of what is going on with high schoolers right now.
“How could a scandal involving at least 100 students and hundreds more nude photos go undetected for so long?
The answer: photo vaults.
Disguised to look and function like an innocent smartphone app, photo vaults — also known as “ghost apps” — allow people to conceal photos, video and information in plain view on their phone. They’ve been around since at least 2011, but have grown increasingly common as smartphones have gained popularity. The App Store and Google Play are littered with apps designed to help users hide their activity and camouflage sensitive information.”
#2 | The Secret Apps of Teenagers | The article describes four popular apps used to hide data and photographs.
#3 | What porn does to the teenage brain (infograph) | An infograph containing information on the consequences of repeated use of pornography.
#4 | The first “Porn in their pocket” generation turns 18 | An article on the consequences of teenagers accessing hardcore pornography at a younger age.
“At this moment around the world, tens of thousands of youth are looking at pornography.
- 25% of teens have been exposed to porn online when they weren’t even looking for it.
- 90% of boys and 70% of girls, ages 13 to 14, report accessing porn at least once the previous year
- 35% of boys report viewing porn online “too many times to count”’