The Secret Desire For Parental Controls
A near majority of American teenagers have expressed feeling addicted to their mobile devices. 50% “feel addicted” to their cellular devices with 59% of parents concurring, validating these feelings. 72% feel constantly compelled to reply and check notifications and messages as soon as they populate, with a staggering 78% checking their mobile phones hourly at minimum.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tampered with adolescents’ relationships with social media. Feeling more compelled to find connection and meaning through it, 63% of parents agree that “teens’ social media use has increased” since stay-at-home orders went into effect.
A number of parent-implemented controls can be added to devices and software to guard kids against unwelcome content. Smart filtering tools can be installed to add protections across all apps instead of requiring that parents adjust app protections individually. Internet providers offer router tools that create limits and restrictions on the types of content accessed and exchanged. Mechanisms unique to devices are also available, safeguarding Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android systems. Google Safe Search can be activated to add boundaries to what’s populated across any browser or device.
Surprising to most, 65% of adolescents between the ages of 11 and 16 years old report a desire for the implementation of parental controls on their devices. 20% of parents, unfortunately, don’t believe in the efficacy of these controls, perceiving that they can be tampered with and tricked.
With new tools and updates to old ones, solutions exist for each household, and with the detrimental effects of unwelcome content, these should be pursued undoubtedly.
Help teens by providing the watchful mechanisms they desire in secret and help curb the rising trend of unrestricted tech time that’s putting faces in screens more than reality.