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Cyber Safety at Home

29 November 2016 by

As we continue our parenting, mentoring, guiding, loving and teaching our young, we hope that the MacKillop community has a restful and safe holiday period. With most families having multiple connected devices such as tablets (iPads, Galaxy etc), now is a good time to remind our community of the benefits of healthy social media use.

 FOMO – ‘Fear of Missing Out’

The 2015 edition of the annual Stress and Wellbeing survey conducted by the Australian Psychological Society identified “keeping up with social media networks” as a stress factor for many Australians. Consumption of social media is a dominant force in teen lives: 53% of teens surveyed connect just before going to sleep and 37% immediately after waking or when in the company of others, and one in four teens reported using it while eating breakfast or lunch. Nearly 60% of the survey’s teen respondents indicated difficulty relaxing or falling asleep after spending time on social networks.

As reported in The Age (2015), leading child psychologist Andrew Fuller believes that the teens who spend excessive time online miss out on face-to-face connection with family and friends, conversation skills or considering other points of view. “People don’t have the same emotional response to you on line as they do face-to-face.” His advice to parents of teenagers spending too much time online is to gradually wind it back, setting time limits and introducing more face-to-face activities as replacement. He cautions against outright social media bans as a mistake that can leave teens feeling isolated and vulnerable.

Tips for healthy social media/online use this holidays:

  • Set time limits and encourage other activities.
  • Stay involved in your child’s online activities.
  • Don’t threaten to ban all access to the internet. The main reason teens don’t tell their parents when they are bullied online is fear of losing computer access.
  • Put devices, including smart phones, out of the room at night.
  • No technology for at least half an hour before sleeping.

For more information:

The Australian Psychological Society


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