Our teens, and tweens for that matter, are logged on. We as parents are often tuned out. We either don't understand the technology or don't fully realize the importance of it in our teens' lives. Logged On and Tuned Out by Vicki Courtney explains how and why teens use today's technology, as well as ways that we can help them use it appropriately, how we can monitor them, and safety precautions that they must understand and agree to as a condition of use. Ms. Courtney devotes chapters to
- Instant Messaging
- Cell Phones
- Social Networking Sites (myspace et al)
- Pictures and Videos.
One theme throughout the book is that things are different for kids today because we are in the digital age. With the ability to easily take and publicly share photos and videos, advising our kids about the need to be careful what they say, and even what they do, is more important than ever. That is one of the problems with the social networking sites, such as myspace. Ms. Courtney walks the reader through her criteria for determining when her children were mature enough to maintain these sites and even for using IM.
This is a great resource for parents of kids aged ten and up. Certainly the parent of every teen should be well-versed in all of these areas. The social networking chapter was eye-opening to me. As savvy as I am (I mean, I have a blog, don't I?), I have had negatively judged myspace out of ignorance. She calls these sites the "virtual malt shop" of this generation. This is the way that kids connect. They don't have to hang out at the malt shop. Their community exists 24-7 on the world wide web. It gives all new meaning to the old warning, "It's 10:00pm. Do you know where your children are?" They could be at the desk in the study, on the internet, engaging in good clean fun, or perhaps participating in some behavior that they might later regret. If we as parents are tuned in instead of tuned out, we can help them stay in the world, and yet not be of the world.
For more info, including a safety contract, software information, and a sample chapter, you can consult the book's website. For more new releases from the publisher, visit B&H Publishing Group.