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It used to be that all parents had to worry about when it came to their kids and the Internet was talking to strangers on chatrooms; but now there are so many more dangers that the the Internet, social media sites, and smartphones pose (like sexting and cyberbullying for starters), which parents have to consider when teaching their teens about smart online behavior. So it is not all that surprising that according to survey results from Pew’s recent study on teens and social media that an overwhelming majority of parents of online teens have spoken to them about their online activity and behavior. According to Pew, 98 percent of parents of online teens say they have discussed with their child ways to behave online. Also, 94 percent of parents of online teens say they have discussed what their kids should and should not share online. Interestingly Latino parents of online teens are less likely than whites or blacks to say they discussed these issues with their online teens; and those in households earning more than $50,000 annually are more likely than those in lower-income households to discuss these issues.
However, when it comes to parents of teens who have had bad experiences online, there are no demographic differences: 13 percent of parents of online teens responded that they know their child has had a bad online experience, and according to Pew, “parents of girls and boys, parents of younger and older teens, parents of different races and ethnic groups, parents in relatively well-off and relatively poor households, parents in all kinds of communities” are equally as likely to say their child has had a bad experience online. Given all of these concerns about teens online activity, it is not surprising, as the infographic below shows, that parents are very vocal when it comes to discussing their online teens’ Internet behavior.
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