Eventually, every kid starts to explore the world of the internet. It can become a serious problem for parents who don’t know what to expect from this development.
There are a lot of myths about the internet that scare diligent parents.
Let’s find out which of the popular myths about the internet are true.
MYTH 1: Computer Games Turn Kids Into Zoned Out Zombies
When you forbid your kids from playing computer games, they often find ways around your rule – by playing games elsewhere, where you have no control over the content.
As soon as kids find something exciting in real life, their interest in computer games decreases. They’ll spend less time on the computer, and more time living life offline.
MYTH 2: Using The Internet Will Ruin Their Mental Health
The Internet is an integral part of modern life.
When you try to ban internet use, you deprive your kids of the opportunity to learn how to use technology safely.
When they inevitably begin using the internet to complete school assignments and work, they will be ill-prepared for the modern day realities of having an online presence, which in turn could lead to mental health issues.
Additionally, with guided use at home, you will have the opportunity to teach your children how to find reputable sites, how to spot a scam, and how to keep their information private.
MYTH 3: Online Friends Will Replace Offline Friends
If your kids are shy and not particularly social, online communications may help them to find friends. They will more easily find others who share their interests, hobbies, and values, but won’t have the anxiety they might feel during in-person gatherings.
However, as they build these online relationships they’ll be learning that there are in fact people who like them, and who are fun to communicate with, which could bolster their confidence during offline social events.
And remember, internet friends are real people and friendship started online may sometime go offline. (So be sure to teach the safe use of internet, and how to meet people safely offline!)
It would be important to ensure your child has exposure to offline social occasions, and for you to teach them the social skills required to interact positively with others.
Sometimes, when a child experiences social anxiety with their same-aged peers, they can benefit from attending opportunities to meet a more diverse crowd.
Events, where they will have the possibility of interacting with older or younger children, can result in friendships that wouldn’t otherwise develop.
Nursing homes and retirement villages, and various playgroups can be ideal locations to expand social experiences. Call around and see what events are happening that your family could attend.
Teaching your child natural stress relief techniques can also be beneficial in boosting their confidence in social situations.
MYTH 4: Esports Are A Waste Of Time
The first Esports organization Cyberathlete Professional League was founded far back in 1997.
The prize pool in Esports competition can reach up to several million dollars. For example, the prize pool of Dota 2 “The International” tournament in 2016 was more than 20 million dollars.
Although it is clearly not the same skillset being developed as a child playing a sport offline, there are beneficial skills that can lead to similar opportunities online.
As with anything, it’s important for children to have an opportunity to try out different activities in their youth so they can decide where their interests and natural skills lie.
MYTH 5: Kids Who Use Computers Have A Poor Memory
Computers and the internet make life much easier.
When you were a kid, you had to go to the library to find the information you needed, whereas modern kids use computers for this purpose.
For example, it is more important to know how to use the formula than memorizing it without knowing what to do.
While it is true, as you can see, that children today aren’t required to memorize facts (or phone numbers) as we did in the past, their memories are used for a different variety of information.
Of course, you can always work on improving memory skills, too.
MYTH 6: There is a Prudent Adult Behind Every Successful Kid Blogger
Modern kids are often more familiar with social networks and gadgets than their parents.
There are many kids on YouTube who create content and make videos by themselves with parents only providing a bit of help. There are a few mentioned in this video:
Similarly, many youth have Instagram accounts run by children that are quite popular, and who receive opportunities to make money, with limited assistance from an adult.
MYTH 7: Blogging Isn’t A Real Job
Nowadays bloggers can be more successful than lawyers and doctors. Big corporations sometimes hire bloggers to promote their businesses.
If your kid wants to try blogging, give them a chance to try it. They can try blogging on Instagram, or posting videos on YouTube, or trying their hand at running a website.
Even if their attempts aren’t financially successful, they will be learning innumerable skills that will benefit them as adults in the workforce.
MYTH 8: Internet Use Provokes Suicidal Tendencies
Suicidal thoughts usually appear because of problems in real life, not solely because a child goes online.
If there is psychological abuse, bullying or a lack of mutual understanding in the real life of a kid, that can push them to suicide – online or not. Be prepared and know how to prevent bullying.
Remember that your child is looking for information on the internet. If they don’t have any suicidal thoughts to start with no online information can make them want to do it.
Please note, however, that cyberbullying is a real threat, typically preceded by offline bullying. Speak openly with your child, supervise their use of the internet, and take it seriously if they tell you they’re being bullied.
MYTH 9: Computer Games Make Kids Violent
According to an article published in SAGE journal, shooters and arcades can strengthen kid’s nervous system.
To say more, shooters can develop analytical abilities and creative thinking.
Beside shooters and arcades, there are a lot of logic games both for kids and adults, which have additional benefits (language, numeracy, logical thinking, etc), depending on the specific game type.
MYTH 10: The Internet is the source of potentially dangerous information
Obviously, you can find plenty of inappropriate and dangerous information on the internet.
However, the amount of useful information is far bigger.
To prevent your child from accessing dangerous information you will ideally be supervising your child while they’re online.
Locating the computer in a public area of the house, and restricting access to times while you’re home and likely to be nearby will go far in protecting your child while online.
Or, you can use special services that provide parental control. Because let’s be real… we can’t always be present all of the time.
Use The Internet Like Any Other Tool
The internet is an amazing tool that contains a huge base of knowledge about everything in the world.
As with any tool, children must learn how to use it safely.
And as parents, we need to ensure our kids are following the essential safety rules while preparing them to use the internet appropriately alone once they are older.
Don’t be afraid of the internet! Just teach your kids how to use it appropriately.