In today’s modern world the world is changing at a rapid rate. New inventions and innovations in fields of Science and Technology have made possible things which were not previously possible. The wide use of the Internet in our daily life has made it possible than ever to be in touch and communicate with anyone and everyone throughout the world. The Internet with its endless possibilities has opened new avenues for consumers of every kind. The consumption as a whole has increased many folds.
Children have emerged from a primary class of audience to a lot of content creators. Segregation of children based on their age group and content creation on that basis has resulted in a wide variety of content for the little ones. The ever-growing culture of nuclear families, especially in metro cities, has left the children in those areas exposed to the Internet more. Children are getting dependent on the Internet for their daily tasks such as homework, entertainment, leisure.
An estimated number of 80million children falling under the age group of 5-14 have access to Internet in the country according to a report by IAMAI. This 80 million constitutes to almost 15 percent of the total Internet users in the country. This further supports the fact that the internet very popular among the kids.
A recent survey by the Cartoon Network on the Digital Media habits of Indian Children has revealed some fascinating statistics. Their survey including 4000 kids showed that the Internet is rapidly going to dethrone the Television as the preferred method of digital entertainment with more than 60% of those surveyed have internet access at their homes. Smart Phone access has increased to almost 95 % in the top metro cities of the country.
With all the increased penetration and access of the Internet, it is very crucial for the children that they remain safe while surfing the internet. Cyber bullying and cyber exploitation are so common and affect a huge number of children. A news report on the Forbes website titled “ Cyberbullying is the most prevalent in India.” The report which discusses the adverse effects of cyberbullying reports that almost 37% of Indian parents accepting that their child was bullied online with 14 % saying that the bullying was regular. These figures are much more than of the US and other developed
Things to Keep in Mind before letting your Children get online on the Internet.
Setting Reasonable Limits- Anything done within limits is not harmful. Parents should indulge in open communication with their children and help in realizing the fact that spending too much time on digital devices or on the Internet is not good and should encourage the children to spend more time outside.
Notice Behavioral Changes- Children have a very sensitive mind especially early teenagers. They get affected by things very easily and may be hesitant in sharing them. Parents should look out for the changes in behavior even if something doesn’t seem anything serious but sometimes little things make a lot of difference.
Staying technically updated- In this ever-changing world technologies are being replaced in the blink of the eye. This raises a serious barrier to the parents who want to be updated with what they are consuming on the Internet. Parents should talk about the latest trends and technologies to make them feel comfortable.
Communication- Communication is the most important element of any relationship. The children should feel free to tell and talk about anything and everything. Before telling them what to do parents should listen and understand what the kids want to tell.
In conclusion, we cannot keep the kids away from the Internet or other technologies nor we should interfere in the way they use. It is very important that they should realize what is right and what is wrong and this can only be achieved with proper communication and a bit of trust.