The Greater Good

We have discussed several concerns associated with the onlife world that both teens and parents need to be aware of and alive to. However, we want to emphasize the fact that the majority of our teens are doing super uber cool things online, and using the internet in positive ways, and we adults need to start acknowledging this fact. Youth are using the power of digital media and technology to explore, connect, create, and learn in ways we only dreamed of. Here are some of the positives that we have seen the majority of teens engaging in:

  • They are pursuing their passions.
  • They are gaining knowledge and self-educating themselves on topics that they really enjoy.
  • They are exploring identity, self-expression and where do they fit in this big wonderful world that they live in.
  • They are writing blogs and getting involved in onlife community building.
  • They are playing games and getting involved in e-sports online.
  • They are learning how to write software code.
  • They are keeping in touch with friends and making new ones.
  • They are downloading, sharing, streaming, and producing music.
  • They are producing and editing videos.
  • They are discussing interests, daily activities, and opinions with groups of like-minded people.
  • They are getting involved in positive social and political activism, supporting causes, and promoting positive social change.
  • They are becoming digital-first responders, gatekeepers, and mentors helping peers online who may find themselves in an emotional, psychological, physical, or social crisis

The biggest change that we have witnessed with teens over the past several years, they have moved from just being consumers of social media, to spending most of their time becoming social media producers and creators.  Some really good example includes:

  • A BC First Nations teen who developed an app to revive and share her First Nations language with the world.
  • An 18yr old teen in Vancouver whose app helps to measure gait on seniors who are prone to falling to predict medical concerns.
  • Two teens in Alberta who started their own software company.
  • Three high school students in Nova Scotia who developed an app to overcome the problematic WIFI coverage in their school.
  • A group of four 11yr old girls who developed an app to help teens who experience social anxiety, and tied for third place in a world competition for its development.
  • A 14yr old teen girl who developed technology to help overcome blind spots in the vehicle, and was awarded a $20,000 scholarship for her invention.
  • A 15yr old girl in Ontario who developed a digital cane to help those who have a visual impairment to stay mobile.
  • A BC teen who developed an app to help other teens if a friend is overdosing on a drug.
  • A group of 6 high school girls in Ontario who created their own cybersecurity team, and competed in a national competition in which they placed third.
  • A grade 12 student who developed an app to help connect other teen girls with tech industry mentors. She was awarded a $10,000 scholarship for the creation of her app.
  • A teen boy in New Brunswick who developed an app that schools are using to announce school closures because of snow.
  • A 14yr old BC teen who developed an app to help students manage their homework.
  • A group of high school robotics students who built a fully robotic wheelchair for a young disabled boy.

We could go on and on, but we think we have made our point.  It is so encouraging to see how the majority of today’s teens are using the onlife world for good, rather than bad.


When to Be Concerned as A Parent

Knowing that the majority of our kids are doing super uber cool things online, when should parents become concerned about their child’s onlife activity? Here are some of our thoughts:

  • Does your child spend a large amount of time online at night, which teens call “Vamping”? If you allow your teen to have technology in their bedroom at night, it can have some undesirable effects on sleep patterns.
  • Does your child change or hide their screen, or turn their monitor off quickly when you enter the room? What are they trying to hide?
  • Is your child secretive about their internet activities not wanting to share what they are doing online?
  • Is your child always saying they are doing homework online, but yet teachers are advising you that they are getting behind in school?
  • Do you find unexplained pictures, pornography, or other questionable material on their computer or cell phone?
  • Does your child get calls, mail, email, or packages from people you don’t know? It is not uncommon for online predators to engage with teens using non-tech platforms, thus making it harder for police to track them online.
  • Is your child becoming withdrawn from your family or showing other behavioral changes?


Parent Tip:

As a parent, you should look for a cluster, two or more, of the above-noted concerns.  If you identify a cluster, raise your antenna and engage your child with your concerns and have a calm and healthy discussion with them.


Our Interview with Diana Graber CEO author and founder of Cyberwise and CyberCivics







Parenting In An Online World Copyright © 2020 by Personal Protection Systems Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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