Teaching Kids How to Navigate our Digital World

You hear a lot these days about Generation Z, the kids who were practically born with an iPhone in their hands, and those who can’t fathom why some computers or screens won’t swipe right or respond with the mere touch of their finger. It’s easy to assume that kids these days know technology better than most of us adults, but do they know about the dangers that can come with posting their pictures on Snapchat? Or what could happen if they click on a link in an email they got from a stranger?

Sadly, often times they don’t. To help fill in this gap, Cable Impacts has partnered with PopSugar Mom to spread the word about the importance of helping kids to better understand and navigate the digital world. With children out there connecting with their friends and playing games online, it’s more critical than ever that parents become involved in monitoring their TV-watching and educating their kids about how the Internet works.

When we joined up with PopSugar Mom, we looked to their expertise on how to spread this important message. They suggested an interview and we couldn’t have agreed more. We suggested a few subject matter experts who could detail the importance of early introduction and a warm, welcoming approach to Internet education. They went with a 6-year-old. It couldn’t have turned out better.

You can see the full interview here that, while meant to be a bit of a laugh, really does point out how complex daily Internet engagements can be for an adult, let alone a child. They may be good on an iPhone, but kids certainly don’t know what spyware is and how dangerous a computer virus can be.

That’s where FamFriendly.com, an initiative launched by Cable Impacts, comes in. On the website, parents can find tools and resources to help filter programming for kid audiences, as well as a TV ratings page that outlines a show’s suitability by age. The site also emphasizes security, encouraging parents to consider certain software to keep their kids safe online. Websites on social media privacy are listed to assist parents in teaching their children to be cautious of putting their private information and photos on open online forums. Tips for media literacy training are also provided on how to get kids questioning and thinking critically about the pieces of media they come across on the Internet or on TV, and on how to act ethically and responsibly while online.

Many cable companies offer options for parents to block out specific programming, as well as instructions on how to set up parental controls. Parents are encouraged to take the first step in shaping their children into smart and responsible digital citizens by checking out some of the offerings available.