You know… as the old Abraham Lincoln saying goes, “If it’s on the internet it must be true”
I know a lot is said about “fake news” on social media and on the internet, and it’s true. You can literally say anything on the internet and people might believe you.
I’m not actually here to discuss combatting fake news. There is SO much misinformation about technology out there. I’d love to try and put some of that misinformation to rest. These are some of the lies you are told, or that you tell yourself about technology.
I can completely protect my kids from the dangers of the internet
Unfortunately, we now live in a world where it is not a question of if my child will encounter pornography, it is a question of when. Many are even being accidentally exposed to it as early as 8 years old.
Whether they discover it accidentally, are shown it by a friend, or go searching for it on their own, they will come across it at some point. Likely it will happen before they turn 13.
Kids can be extremely tricky. Even if you refuse to give your child a device, some of their friends are giving them their old devices from their house to use. They will even just use their friend’s devices to sign into accounts.
The most important thing you can do is have frequent conversations with your child about what they will do when they happen to see pornography. Hopefully, the more you talk about it, the better prepared your child will be.
Apple products are better
Obviously, because I’m me, the main thing that drives me crazy is people saying Apple products are “better”. As I mentioned before, most people who say this, either A) don’t have experience with other platforms, or B) are not comparing like products (as I explained in another post).
Of course, there are the outliers of people who really do have experience with both and prefer Apple. I actually don’t mind those people or opinions. What frustrates me is when people just buy into the marketing or propaganda and don’t try things out for themselves.
This is especially true when it comes to smartphones for kids. Many will purchase their child an iPhone prior to doing any research, and then find out later that they are harder to monitor and manage. Sure Apple has made some strides in this area lately with their Screen Time features.
However, the company is still handicapping any 3rd party apps who want to give parents the features they need for their children’s devices. At the moment, parents need to ask themselves if they want detailed monitoring for social media apps or if they want to give their kids an iPhone. It’s not my place to judge either way. As long as parents know the limitations and make that choice on their own.
I can’t learn technology
I hear it every day, “I just will never understand technology”. It’s not true. Many people are scared to learn technology and so they avoid it. They hope that their kids will never get a smartphone, and they won’t have to figure out how to protect them.
My argument is that if your child is diagnosed with a major disease you would research that disease to death. If you did the same for the games, apps, and devices your children want to use, you would have all the information you need to try and help keep your family safe in this digital world.
My main point is anything you come across on the internet, do your own research! There is so much misinformation about technology. Don’t rely on someone else to tell you what is good and what is not. Find multiple sources, and figure out your opinions for yourself.
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com