The Uncomfortable Truth – Our Children Need Us

 

We don’t want to face what is out there, it is scary and to be honest, most of us don’t fully understand the risks and dangers our children could face.

The digital world has exploded and while we try to keep up with the upgrades, updates, and innovations. Our children don’t know a world without technology.  From photo albums to cloud memories. From newspapers to daily feeds. Things are different and our parenting and boundaries need to move with the times too. 

Our children are being brought up in a world where we don’t understand the effects a screen will have on their emotional and physical development. Technology is not going anywhere, and we need to change how we engage with technology. Teaching healthy digital habits from a young age.

 

Why we do this:

SA Kids Online 2023, UNICEF study revealed that 95% of children in SA have access to the internet. An alarming 70% of those children will not share what they see or experience online. This is why Social Kids was created. If we teach our children how to be safe at the start of their digital journey, they are more likely to make the right choices and more importantly start talking about their digital world with loved ones.


Cyberbully Facts

A young child may not be cyberbullied tomorrow, but the statistics say it won’t be long till they are.  Cyberbullying can have serious consequences on a child’s mental and emotional well-being.


According to a global survey by YouGov, South Africa has the 4th highest cyberbullying rate in the world. The survey found that one out of every five teens fall prey to cyberbullying and 84% of classmates know of someone who has been victimized.

A survey of 200 South African parents found that 54% of their children had accessed inappropriate content via digital platforms, and 51.5% had been cyberbullied – Digimune, February 2021

Six thousand stages aged 10 to 18 years were surveyed. They found that 49% experienced one form of cyberbullying within their lifetime. Of those students, 44% said they’d noticed an increase in cyberbullying, since the COVID-19 Pandemic. European Commissions Join Research, 2020

 According to a 2018 survey by Ipsos, South Africa has the highest rate of cyberbullying in the world, with 51% of South African teens reporting that they have experienced cyberbullying.  This is significantly higher than the global average of 37%.

 

Online sexual predators

40% of children from grades four to eight experienced online chatting with strangers.

1 in 5 children reported that an online predator contacted them. 53% of offenders were family members. Over 80% of child sex crimes arise from social media

As children are more exposed online, online predators have taken over the Internet. In 2021, grooming cases against girls accounted for 82% of cases. 38% of offenses used Meta-owned platforms, with groomers preferring Snapchat for communication.

Online predators primarily target females. 31.1% are male, and 2.2% are transgender or gender fluid. Similarly, 77% of offenders target 14-year-olds or older, while 22% target 10–13-year-olds.

Parents were unaware that their kids received messages containing inappropriate photos or texts. 17% of tweens ages 8 to 12 also felt uncomfortable about this. A supervising adult at home and school can help parents, schools, and authorities identify threats.

Internet usage amongst 3- to 4-year-olds dramatically doubled within 5 years – Johnny Shannon

Children use mobile devices as early as three years old. Children aged 3 to 4 had a 39% increase in internet usage from 2010 to 2-15. Technology also changes so quickly, making it hard for parents to monitor their kid’s online behaviour.

Sexual exploitation affects 5% of children worldwide. – Jama Network.

Over the last decade, sexual exploitation has become the second-most profitable crime globally. Sexual exploitation was also more likely among traumatized and abused children.

 

Stolen Youth

Children encounter online predators in one way or another, but they might pass it off as a joke or rude comment. Online predator statistics showed that many unreported cases could increase reports.

The cases reported depend on educating kids about sexual offenses and providing a safe space to discuss them.

Children are more vulnerable to online predators as they rely more on the Internet for learning and socializing. 53% of kids gave strangers their phone numbers, while 11% met strangers.

Threats from strangers to kids online concern 58% of US parents. (GaurdChild, Child Crime Prevention & Safety Center)

Only 15% of parents know their children’s online habits. Most parents are so busy doing their own thing that they don’t mind what their children are up to online.

Parents can protect their kids from online predators by setting social media boundaries and creating a safe space for them to talk.

 

Damaged reputations

A young girl was forced to change her name at 21, after being rejected from job applications. She discovered that a private interaction with a high school boyfriend was posted on a very public pornographic site. – Shared by Emma Sadlier at a Screenager talk

Just like people research businesses, they are also checking out individuals. In fact, 55% of people are doing this—and what they find can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life.

For example, many hiring managers google a job applicant’s qualifications or personality as part of the vetting process.

Research shows that 21% of people have been harmed by their online reputation, whether it’s losing out on a new job or a promotion, damaging a friendship, or having difficulty finding a romantic partner.

Approximately 90% of employers look at the social media presence of prospective employees.

80% of employers have rejected a candidate based on what they found. If there are reasons your social media presence could harm your chances of being hired, consider making your personal profiles private.

23% of online daters have reverse-image-searched a profile photo

 

References:

https://legaljobs.io/blog/online-predators-statistics#:~:text=40%25%20of%20children%20from%20grades,crimes%20arise%20from%20social%20media.

https://www.reputationdefender.com/blog/uncategorized/7-new-eye-opening-statistics-about-online-reputation-for-2023-2#:~:text=Our%20research%20shows%20that%2055,they%20ever%20interact%20with%20you

https://statuslabs.com/blog/reputation-management-stats

European Commission’s Joint Research Centre