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The kids ( who use tech) and turned out just fine

Social media is linked to depression- or not. Fortnite is good for learning teamwork- or they promote violence. Young people are either more connected- or more isolated.

There are many conflicting messages on the effect of screen time on children’s well-being. Plenty of negative articles that fuels panic among parents. These articles tend to get a lot of attention.

This has resulted in heated debate among scientists. There are some studies showing a significant negative effect of tech on children while there are others revealing the positive side of screen time.

Whatever the research may show, the real threat does not lie in screen time itself. Rather the way children spend time online.

While there is plenty of threat online such as cyberbullying, sextortion, pornography and many more, there are children who have used technology in a positive way.

Here are kids who are inspiring people to use tech for good:

1.Anonymous Insta

A student anonymously posts positive and kind words about his classmates on Instagram for a year.

 

View this post on Instagram

There’s a tad bit more than you thought there was, I apologize. There is one quote in particular from Maya Angelou that reads “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I find this such an inspiring quote because over the past year I saw a change occur in our high school, a positive one, it seemed as though we were more united than we had been in the past. During the summer, I made the decision to go in and try to make everyone here feel appreciated and recognized for simply being the amazing people they are. It is easy for people to be cruel over social media, so I decided to make an anonymous account on Instagram that would counteract the negativity seen today by posting a picture of each student and a paragraph of what makes them GREAT and how other people should see that too. So after 657 posts, over 11 months, and finishing each person in the Class of 2014, Class of 2016, and of course our Class of 2015, I would like to prove Jose Gutierrez right and admit that I am “thebenevolentone3” Benevolence being defined as “characterized or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings.” In the end, I realized that we are ALL the benevolent ones in our way and actions of how we treat others, it has been a wonderful year. I’ll miss East Valley. And although I part without finishing all of the class of 2017, I wish that the next generations take over and find bolder ways to express positivity and encouragement in the East Valley Community. Keep on keeping on.

A post shared by Its About You. You're Next.☯ (@thebenevolentone3) on

2.  Sherman Oaks, 14-year-old tackles loneliness during school lunch

For many children in school, lunch is the best time of the day. They get to chat and enjoy uninterrupted time with their friends.

But for some kids who do not have a group of friends to sit with, this can be dreadful. Whether it’s being the new kid in school or just finding it hard to adjust and make friends, lunch hours can be spent sitting alone.

Having experienced loneliness during lunch hours, Natalie designed the app Sit With Us to make cafes more inclusive and help kids get over the fear rejection.

 

 

3. Robby Novak, 12, is a Youtube personality who makes millions laugh — even though he suffers from a rare disease.

Novak’s first viral video titled “A Pep Talk from Kid President to You” have been viewed more than 38 million times.

His infectious laughter and positive attitude in life is remarkable especially when knowing that he suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare, genetic disorder that causes brittle bones. Novak has had more than 70 broken bones and 13 surgeries in his short life, ABC News reports.

Despite his disease, he continously makes new videos and urges everyone to be tolerant and compassionate to each other.

4. Rethink, Trisha Prabhu, 14-years-old tackles cyberbullies

When Trisha was 14 years old she read a story about the suicide of a 12-year-old girl due to cyberbullying. Shocked and heartbroken she thought about how she can stop such events from happening. Trisha created a software Rethink that can detect and stop online hate at the source.

 

5. Twitter account for the voice of 3rd graders @TopDogKids

@topdogkids is  Twitter account lead by 3rd grade students. The teacher monitors and post on behalf of her students.

 

6.  Olivia, 9-year-old spreads positivity online & encourage kids to read

9-year-old, Olivia,  encourages kids to read and uses social media to advocate for books.  Using videos she motivates kids her age to dream big and to love each other. She is a voice for kids online.

7. Rosie Ackland, 21-year-old founded Beach Knickers.

Beach Knickers is a vintage clothing brand that sells beach wear as well as nighties. She got an inspiration to create this brand when she spotted a gap in the market. She said that all the beachwear she found on high street were skimpy and she just wanted something cute. She uses Facebook and Instagram to connect with customers.

Here are other teens encouraging kids to use screen time to start a business:

How can parents encourage kids to use tech for good?

Those are just a few examples of kids who are using technology to spread positivity or create a business. There are thousands of Youtubers, bloggers and vloggers kids who are making a difference in this world and also earning a living utilizing the different available platforms.

This is how we can motivate kids to utilize tech in a positive manner:

1.Have an open conversation

Parents tend to head towards the negative mindset when they see their kids spending hours on their mobile devices. Instead of assuming the worst it is important to gain an understanding of what your kid is doing online.

Speak to your child what he/she uses screentime for. If you are aware that your child is passionate about a particular cause then find a way to help them grow that passion using online tools.

If your child is a blogger, vlogger or Youtuber then do encourage them to keep working hard towards their goals.

But while doing this constantly speak to them about online safety and the importance of safeguarding their privacy online.

If you know for sure your kid is a passive consumer of content and is not using tech for a positive reason then speak to them about what other children are doing online. This might encourage them to do something good for themselves.

2. Help them identify business opportunities on social media

Rather than looking at social media as a place to have fun, get them to start thinking of it as a place to start a business. You can support them by saying that you are willing to pay for a sponsored Facebook ad on a particular budget if they can spot a gap in the market.

If you know your child has a particular talent or interest in a subject matter then encourage them to share it online. For instance, if your teenager has a hobby in painting then encourage him/her to sell it on platforms such as Etsy. If your child is passionate about maths or any subject then encourage them to start a Youtube video.

The beauty of building a business online will give your teen the flexibility to work on the business at hours that are convenient to them. It does not have to come in between their school or college time. They can work on it on a part-time basis.

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3. Get school teachers involved

If your child is passionate about a particular cause, for instance tackling cyberbullying then speak to her teachers. School may provide her with the right support and tools to kickstart her passion.

They can help advocate your child’s cause and spread the message with other educators and students.

4. Follow the right people on social media

There are some social media influencers that can have a positive influence on your child. Following influences such as Simon SinekGary VaynerchukMari Smith can encourage your child to go after their goals.

There are plenty of technical and life skills you can learn by following the right people. Social media can be a powerful learning tool. You can learn so much business skills from your followers. They have gone through the challenges of starting a business and can help you find a better solution.

Encourage your child to use their online time to spread positivity in the digital world.

5. Moving from offline and online

As passionate your kids can be about what they are doing online, they still need to spend time outdoors and doing non-tech related activities. You are going to help your kids find a balance between the online and offline world.

You can set a timer next to your child so she gets reminded when to switch off from the online activities.

Here are more tips to help your child develop a positive relationship with screen time. 

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6. Be involved in their online activities

Do not leave your child to wonder the online world themselves. Sit and browse with them together. If your child is younger than 13 years old then let them know that they should not be on any social media platform.

If they are above 13 then inform them that you will be following their accounts and be monitoring their usage. Let your child know that the reason you are doing is not to spy on them but to keep them safe from harmful content.

7. Join the eParenting community on Facebook

If you are unsure how to expand your child’s passion then join us and we will help you figure it out.

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Conclusion

Parents need to understand that not all Gen Z are lazy, selfish and self-conscious. There are kids who are working hard and spending hours on tech to network and build relationships.

Many of them are using those platforms to achieve their goals. If your child is one of them then do not discourage them rather nurture their interests or business goals.

Older generation parents need to start realising that the future is digital and being a Youtuber or a blogger is a real career.

If you feel your teen is using those platforms only for entertainment purposes then have a conversation with them. Speak to them about the potential they may have on those platforms and how you as a parent are willing to support them.

psst, don’t forget to pin this 

Here are other tips to keep children safe in the digital age : 

Tips for Non-Tech Savy Mums: 4 tips to digital parenting for non-tech savy mums

List of online activities for your children: Fun online stuff your kids can do – Education + creative

3 dangerous places for children to be online : 3 places kids should have limited internet access

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2 Comments

  1. Mari Smith says:

    Thank you so much for the kind mention!! 🙂

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