Teenage life today is very different from what it was 10 or 20 years ago. Parents are trying to keep up with an increasingly changing digital world. And let’s not talk about the struggle to master digital parenting!
It’s hard to dispute the fact that teens today spend a significant proportion of their lives online – on smartphones, tablets, computers, as well as endless hours on social media and virtual classes. For many, real life and digital life are inextricably entwined. But often, this can prove to be too much of a good thing.
Read on for tips, and the opportunity to redeem a free Outclass course subscription on this very topic.
As digital natives, many teenagers enjoy the benefits of regular access to the Internet without much thought to its dangers. For some, their digital presence has become their primary source of social life and personal validation. This, in turn, could potentially expose them to online threats that range from cyberbullying to sexual predators.
So, what can parents do when their teen’s fingers are constantly tapping on Twitter, snapping selfies for Instagram and posting homemade videos on TikTok?
If your teen is glued to their devices and is obsessed with likes, shares and constantly being up-to-date with the latest trending hashtags, they could be experiencing FOMO – a Fear Of Missing Out.
Seemingly innocent at first, FOMO can have serious repercussions on teens. Social media has a tendency to set unrealistic expectations, feed insecurity and create a false sense of security, with many teens exposing their lives to strangers. In some instances, it can also be used as a tool to embarrass or intimidate, with devastating effects on a teenager’s fragile self-esteem.
If your teen is struggling with this, watch this video to learn how you can encourage a healthy balance and adopt some screen-free time.
Battling gaming addiction
Another worrying development that can lead to excessive screen time is online gaming addiction.
It’s only natural for us – teens and adults alike – to find ways of relieving the endless boredom of staying home to flatten the curve. What might begin as harmless entertainment, however, can gradually become the sole focus of a teenager’s day, causing them to neglect other activities in favour of gaming.
If this sounds like your teen, watch this video to recognise the warning signs of gaming addiction, its effect on teenagers, and tips from a cyberpsychologist on how you can intervene.
Social media safety
According to a recent UNICEF report in 2020, 92% of Malaysian teens aged 13 to 17 have social media accounts. The rise of social media is inevitable, and parents have to be prepared accordingly.
With this in mind, here’s a quick look at how you can help your teen use social media safely.
Teenagers also face an increasing risk of exposure to cyberbullying, predators and other online threats.
Learn how to protect your teen in the real world and the virtual one in this next video.
If all this feels overwhelming, don’t give up just yet – you are most certainly not alone in your quest to learn more about keeping your teen safe online. Plus, even if you’re new to the digital world, knowledge is a valuable tool.
Outclass course on digital safety
Outclass has developed an online course that’s specially created for parents who are trying to encourage digital safety in their households.
In this online course, you’ll learn about the most common apps and games, introduce you to digital tools to enhance online safety and security, and address issues like peer pressure.
You’ll also get expert advice on how to broach these difficult topics with your teen – hopefully, with a minimum of eye-rolling and exaggerated sighs – and important measures you can take as a family, such as setting boundaries and how to behave as a responsible digital citizen. These measures can help to protect your whole family so you can all enjoy the vast benefits of the digital world with peace of mind.
Are you a Maxis or Hotlink subscriber? If you enjoyed the sneak peeks above and would like to access the full course, please go to ‘Deals’ on the Maxis, or Hotlink postpaid and prepaid apps, and search for ‘Outclass’ to redeem a FREE ACCESS course voucher to a digital parenting course, valid until 31 January 2022.