Teens in India Prefer Chatting Online to Talking to Parents

Feb 26, 2013

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A recent survey in Mumbai revealed that seven out of eight children preferred expressing their feelings to a social networking site than to a parent. They all said that spending time on social networking sites was their favorite pastime. 96% of these teens had Facebook accounts, but only 72% of parents knew about them.

80% of respondents said that chatting online with strangers wasn’t bad as long as the strangers “made them feel good,” and 78% said it didn’t matter if they didn’t know the person they were chatting with. Nine out of ten said they didn’t believe it was wrong to give out personal information. While part of this might be typical teenage angst and defiance, the fact that these children are talking to complete strangers about their problems rather than their parents, or even people they know in general, is worrying.

The survey also revealed that while 13% of parents had discussed the dangers of chatting with strangers online, only 2% of teachers had discussed “responsible netizm” with them and no parents had. Parents, talk to your kids about chatting with strangers. It’s perfectly understandable that teenagers don’t want to talk to their parents about their feelings, but let them know that there are options other than talking to strangers and revealing personal information to potential identity thieves or sexual predators. Encourage them to talk to another trusted adult or their friends if they feel upset.

You can also use Internet protection software, such as Net Nanny, to be alerted if personal information is being shared in chats or if your child is being contacted by a person who may intend harm.

I work for NetNanny and all opinions are my own.