When Your Dad Is BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith Featuring Hugo Smith, age 14, grade 9.

Hugo Smith.

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How much time would you say he spends on his phone?

Well, a lot. He used to do this thing that would just drive me insane where, while I was talking to him, he would be doing work on his phone, and he’d just be like, “Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.” And eventually I’d be like, “OK, what do you think?” And he’d be like, “Uhhhhhhhh.”

So what we convinced him to do was, when he needs to do work stuff, but he wants to spend time with us, and we catch him working like that—he goes into another room, does the work he needs to do, and then he can come back and give us his full attention.

So how did you get him to do that? Did you have to stage an intervention?

No, he sort of came up with it a bit. But also I’ve found that when I’m playing tennis, even just ping-pong, it’s great because we’re both so focused on each other.

Does your dad use Twitter a lot on his phone?

Oh yeah, occasionally at family events and stuff.

How do you know when he’s tweeting?

I check his Twitter account. He is always on Twitter.

So you’ll be at a family event, and you’ll look at Twitter just to see if your dad is tweeting?

Definitely. I’ll be like, “Dad, you retweeted something 30 seconds ago.”

But usually at those family events I’m retweeting things too.

Would you say your parents have a healthy work-life balance?

I think my dad’s definitely gotten better about it. A couple years ago, he worked more, but he’s definitely figuring it out now, it’s good.

What do you think motivated him to figure it out?

Just a lot of “Dad, get off your phone. Daddy, we’re talking to you.”

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How to Teach Your Kids About Digital Privacy and Security

Digital security

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First, tell kids the reasons behind the boundaries you set. When you ask a child not to share passwords or not to send messages to strangers online, also take a few minutes to explain why such behaviors could pose a risk.

Analogies using situations from the physical world can help. For example, children probably know that while it might be OK to share their home address in person with a close friend, it’s not OK to give it to a stranger on the street. But sharing information online, regardless of whom you’re sharing it with, requires extra care. This is because it’s easier for someone online to pretend to be someone else, and for information online to be shared with more than the person you intended. Remind children to check with an adult if they’re ever in doubt about sharing something online. And when they do ask you, explain how you made your decision.

Second, parents can look for examples of good or bad privacy practices embedded in everyday tools that children use. The website for PBS Kids, for example, tells children not to use any personal information, such as their last name or address, in their username. And instead of asking kids to create security questions, which often involve personal information, the site has children select three pictures to create a “secret code.” As children interact with sites like PBS Kids, parents can ask whether they understand why the websites have been set up this way.

Third, parents can check out existing resources related to privacy and security online. Common Sense Media and the Family Online Safety Institute offer great guides about privacy challenges children may face online and how parents can teach kids about them. PBS Kids, too, has created a series of technology-focused cartoon videos and parent guides that include lessons related to privacy and security. The U.K.-based company Excite-ed even developed a series of kid-friendly apps that include privacy-related tips and quizzes.

The task of teaching children about digital privacy and security shouldn’t just fall on parents. Educators are well positioned to help teach kids about these issues, given the increasing use of computers and tablets in schools. Companies who design and market technology also have a responsibility to respect children’s privacy interests.

New Facebook App for Children Ignites Debate Among Families

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Few big technology companies have dared to create online products for boys and girls ages 13 and under.

But on Monday, Facebook introduced an app, called Messenger Kids, that is targeted at that age group and asks parents to give their approval so children can message, add filters and doodle on photos they send to one another. It is a bet that the app can introduce a new generation of users to the Silicon Valley giant’s ever-expanding social media universe.

In doing so, Facebook immediately reignited a furious debate about how young is too young for children to use mobile apps and how parents should deal with the steady creep of technology into family life, especially as some fight to reduce the amount of time their sons and daughters spend in front of screens. On one side are parents like Matt Quirion of Washington, who said Facebook’s snaking its way into his children’s lives at an early age would most likely do more harm than good.

Where Are All the Nannies on Instagram?

 

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But there is one thing Ms. Dekel, 36, filters out of her Instagram feed: photos of the part-time nanny who cares for her children.

“Posting your nanny is like posting your address or your kids’ school,” she said. “It’s too much information.”

Nannies are often lauded as indispensable to keeping modern families afloat, but even as the rise of Instagram Stories — the 15-second blips that self-destruct after 24 hours — encourages peak parental overshare (793,000 followers of Eva Chen, Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships, know she packed a whale-shaped sandwich for her daughter, Ren, this week), nannies are hardly ever included in the picture. Some appear only as floating hands, popping a blueberry into a toddler’s mouth.

“They’re the forgotten faces,” said Tammy Gold, a family therapist and author of “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer: A Practical Guide for Finding and Achieving the Gold Standard of Care for Your Child” (Perigee, 2015). “Nobody puts it out there.”

Does your kid have a ‘finsta’ account? Why it’s a big deal

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“On my finsta, it’s the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s a more multifaceted version of me,” said 17-year-old Esther Choi in an interview with Mic.

According to Brooke Erin Duffy, an assistant professor of communication at Cornell University, the main reason some of her students have a “finsta” account is fear of monitoring from employers.

“Such acts of digital self-surveillance make sense against the backdrop of widespread media coverage of social media gaffes,” wrote Duffy in a piece on Quartz. “We often hear about employees losing their jobs after publishing a distasteful image or a tactless tweet.”

A user’s real Instagram might have several thousand followers, but a “finsta” features a much smaller following, consisting mostly of friends and family.

Should parents worry? It’s social media, so any rules surrounding appropriate information to share is always good to remember.

But social media coach Laura Tierney tells Today parents shoudn’t fear the “finsta,” so long as they’re aware of what they post, even if it’s private.