I think one of the main reasons that cause the constant misunderstandings between parents are their children nowadays is the generation gap. As stated in the documentary “Growing Up Online,” the internet has greatly widened that gap. Today’s children have a crucial part of their daily lives online. However, the parents have never went through this phase during their childhood. Hence, they fear the technology and what harms it might possibly bring to their children.
An article published on the huffingtonpost says: The kids are fearless and parents are clueless.
The article is titled “Mind the Online Generation Gap” and was written by Stephen Balkam, the founding CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute. He launched a research to find out the differences between parents and teenagers regarding some aspects of the internet. As one would expect, there were a lot of misunderstandings and perception gaps.
For example, the study showed that 84% of the parents said they monitor their kid’s online activity while only 39% of the kids said that the parents do (that’s a 45% gap). Also, 91% of parents said they knew what their kids were doing online while 62% of the kids said that the parents somewhat know.
Nevertheless, the biggest gap in the study existed when it came to social media. 38% of the parents said they know what their kids do or post on social media websites such as twitter and Facebook. On the other hand, 14% of the teens said that their parents do.
“So we have a complex and challenging landscape of attitudes, behaviors and perceptions with parents and teens negotiating this constantly changing world of devices, apps, social media sites and services.”
As shown in the documentary we watched in class, it has become a challenge for some parents to keep on eye on what their kids do online, mainly because of the generation gap. However, I think, this sense of involvement is crucial in order to help protect the kids of this age.