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

Community of Vavenby: weekly news update

Railroad tracks being replaced from Clearwater to Blue River

Lambing in full swing at Aveley Sheep Ranch

Spring is here and this may be most obvious at Aveley Heritage… Continue reading

RCMP looking for grain haulers dumping grain on roadside pull-outs

Illegal practice happening on Highway 5 between Valemount and Avola

Personal Development Weekend Retreat coming up

By K.A. Pendergast Have you ever been stressed? I am sure most… Continue reading

MayDay Parade Theme is “Clearwater Life”

Parade takes place May 18 and starts at Capostinsky Park

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Vintage bottles, magic cards, a 1969 Playboy: Quirky items found in historic B.C. buildings

Crews set aside some of the funkier pieces emerging from the construction rubble

Most Read