Technology, especially smartphones, have become an integral part of the youth culture as it keeps them connected, informed, and entertained around the clock. You may have already taken notice of their growing infatuation with their digital devices and recognized it as a red flag, but what you may not have realized yet is that what you’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. The actual problem, one of paramount importance, lies in certain digital trends that are spreading like wildfire among teens in recent years. You can easily protect your youngsters from these trends through the help of top parental control software, but to do that, you must first recognize what you are up against. You might find yourself overwhelmed by the complete list of threats, which is why we are simply going to limit our discussion to three of the most dangerous digital trends that pose a grave threat to teens’ health, safety, reputation, and future.
The Trend of Sexting
Personal web-enabled devices, smartphones in particular and chat apps have given teens unprecedented freedom in their communications. Unfortunately, it has also removed their inhibitions and given them a false sense of privacy. This has led to the trend of sexting, which involves exchanging sexually explicit pictures and messages. This is particularly popular among teens in relationships as they try to please and excite each other by sending nude pictures or sharing sexual fantasies.
What the sender, especially girls, don’t realize is that once they tap the send button, they cannot control who sees their pictures. The person on the other end may or may not respect their trust. It is not uncommon to find people leaking personal pictures of their romantic interest on the internet, either for the viewing pleasure of others or to avenge a breakup.
This breach of interest can have dire consequences, especially for girls as it can impact their family, school, college, professional, and even married life.
The Trend of Texting while Driving
Technically speaking, this is more of a habit than a trend, but seeing how this is especially popular among youngsters, its inclusion in the discussion was crucial.
Teens’ obsession with staying connected with their peers or romantic interest on the go often makes them forget about something that is far more important: road safety. Stats pertaining to teens involved in road accidents are alarming to say the least, and in most cases, distracted driving has been discovered as the real culprit. Youngsters simply don’t realize the danger they are putting themselves and others in by staring at their smartphone screens instead of staring at the road ahead.
They must be made to realize that road is no place for multi-tasking and that once they are in the driving seat, they need to put their smartphone in their pocket and forget about it for as long as the car is in motion. If a call needs to be made or attended, or a message needs to be sent or received, then the correct thing to do it to park the car somewhere safe, get done with the call or message, put the smartphone back in the pocket, and resume driving. This may seem a bit tedious, but it is the safest and unarguably the smartest option.
The Trend of Seeking Online Appreciation
Teen years are perhaps the most crucial stage of life for any individual as this is where the foundation is to be laid for the rest of the life through strong academic performance, participation in learning experiences, and discovering oneself. Unfortunately, teens are becoming increasingly obsessed with gaining online popularity, a trend that has really picked up since the airing and success of reality shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians. As a result, they have reshuffled their priorities, with the things that should matter the most getting pushed down to make room for less important things like uploading attractive pictures, projecting life as happening and exciting, adopting intense diet plans to hit size zero, obsessing over looks and hair, and other such things.
The obsession with how others view or react to their pictures and statuses begins to consume them, causing them to live in a state of prolonged stress. They struggle to concentrate on anything else, including personal relationships and studies. Many teens begin suffering from severe depression upon failing to get the kind of response on their pictures, life events, or statuses that they hoped.
You must take these trends very seriously and understand what a huge risk they pose to your teens. Don’t just wait for signs of trouble to become obvious before taking an action. It’s always best to deploy protective and preventive measures preemptively so that your youngsters don’t suffer the consequences of unhealthy and inappropriate trends for even a second.