Social media expert helps parents negotiate digital divide

No child of any age should have a digital device of any kind in his or her bedroom

RCMP Sgt. Kevin Podbisky (l) welcomes Sam Jingfors of Safer Schools Together to a workshop for parents on digital media at Clearwater Secondary School on Feb. 15.

Don’t be in a big rush to buy your child a cellphone. If you do have to get one for him or her (for example, for health reasons) remember that it is still possible to get one that is just a phone and not a multipurpose “smart” device

That was the advice from Sam Jingfors of Safer Schools Together during a talk for parent and guardians about social media awareness and management.

The talk was held Feb. 15 at Clearwater Secondary School with about 40 people in the audience.

Jingfors did not say what would be an appropriate age to allow a child to have a smart device, saying it varied from child to child.

He did say, however, that no child of any age should have a digital device of any kind in his or her bedroom, whether it’s a television set or a smartphone.

He suggested there be a family plug-in station in the kitchen where all smartphones, tablets and similar devices be plugged in overnight.

Parents should check their children’s smartphones and similar devices every evening to see if there is any inappropriate content.

Full use should be made of parental controls on devices to monitor such things as what apps (programs) are downloaded.

All such rules should be set up during a family meeting and should include rules for parents as well, Jingfors said.

“No one predicted 10 years ago how social media would take over the lives of our kids,” he said. “We’re playing catch-up when it comes to social media and education.”

Parents need to be balanced in their approach and not punitive.

“Kids today, particularly in the cities, are ‘raised in captivity,’ but risk-taking is a fundamental part of child development,”  Jingfors said. “That means that often the place they take risks  is with their smartphone.”

Teens today typically spend nine hours per day consulting media.

About 33 per cent of youth have sent sexually explicit messages or “sexting.”

All too often, such messages have resulted in extortion and bullying.

Employers today often check prospective employees’ “digital footprint” before hiring, he said.

Everyone should be concerned about what they might find.

Substitute teachers often find that the first thing their students do when at the start of class is Google their names.

Possibly the hardest hitting portion of the evening was a montage Jingfors presented taken from the most common video games.

The montage showed people being dismembered and tortured.

Some of the worst scenes came from Grand Theft Auto V, a video game that generated $800 million in revenue on its first day of sale.

Jingfors also gave presentations to students as well as teachers and law enforcement staff while he was in Clearwater.

 

His visit was sponsored by the Clearwater Local Action Team with funding from Doctors of BC plus the provincial government.

 

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing senior couple found

A senior couple from the Lower Mainland have been reported missing

Recycling workshop at Clearwater Library

TNRD to hold workshops at libraries across region

Clearwater RCMP weekly police report

Clearwater RCMP responded to 41 calls for service over this past week

Editor, The Times:

Proportional Representation could save our democracy

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read