Parenting and Digital Challenges

by Theresa Powers, Program Director

 One thing that is clear about the digital landscape is that it changes rapidly, and often as parents, we are not up to date with the latest changes.  Not every parent is aware of how TikTok works, as it’s algorithm makes content recommendations personalized for each user by offering up videos based on past use and displaying them on the user’s For You page.  So if your child is looking at rollercoasters, more rollercoasters are being offered up.  But if your child is searching for viral internet stunts, they can range from silly and harmless to very dangerous.  And as more and more video/reels on social media clock in around 15 – 60 seconds, there’s a lot of content to see in a short time.

     One way to stay up to date about the changing digital landscape no matter what your child’s age is to visit   Since 2003, Common Sense Media has been a trusted guide for parents for media and technology, as you can vet games, apps, and movies and search by age, topic, and platform.  The site also has helpful FAQs such as “how much screen time is okay for my kid?” and “what’s the deal with Roblox?” as well as lots of digital literacy content for parents.  It has a free searchable engine, but also has reasonable subscription rates for expanded content that are well worth the money. If your children are younger, it’s a great place to start in order to prepare for the digital future, and if your children are older, you can check out their family media agreement that focuses on communication and wellness:  Every family has their unique media and technology needs, and can be a helpful tool for trustworthy information.

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