Busting the top 4 device parenting myths!

As parents, what do you actually NEED to know?

Although there are thousands of apps on the market, we are covering some of the most popular apps that vast numbers of kids are engaged with today. We cover the basics of what you need to know as a parent, avoiding the technical jargon and advanced technical lessons on the app itself!

Note: In the “Help! I’m a Parent of a deviceKid!” program you will receive a 32-page report on everything you need to know on devices during Session 6 of the total program. This is a hugely popular and highly informative session!

Now, let us debunk a few myths:

Myth 1: Apps are totally unique from one to the next.

Not quite true! Most of them allow you to share messages, pictures and videos; and, those that are socially integrated allow you to connect with people (either anonymously or with an identity). All either have friends, fans, followers or groups — all of which are connections in some way. What differentiates them is usually just something that children find marginally easier, better or more fun — for example one app may have superior photo editing tools than the next or the ability to attach comments to an image is quicker. As corporations, such as Facebook, acquire other businesses such as Instagram, these marginal differences are leveraged to make these apps more integrated with each other. Thus, you will find that children use a handful of apps together.

Myth 2: To understand apps, just sign up and use it yourself.

Whilst this may show you how to click a button — the experience of the app is not technical but in fact, social! This myth is flawed on 2 accounts:

=>Firstly, if you are not going to use the app yourself then with whom are you going to connect? You cannot get the experience of a social app by not being social (even if you are connected to your child, the chances of you being involved in their ‘conversation’ is about slim to none!)

=> If you do have people to connect with in the app, the second flaw of this myth is that your experience will equal that of your child’s. Just because you know how to ‘love’ an Instagram post doesn’t mean that you know your child’s experience of using Instagram and the culture to which they belong. This brings us onto the next myth.

Myth 3: Apps provide a technical experience.

No, not true, incorrect! Consider how people use these apps and whether it is the buttons or the sensations that they love. Apps are designed to be incredibly simple — because they target children and technically un-savvy audiences.

Children are exploratory at the best of times, so if your three-year-old child can easily swipe through an app or game, the chances are, so can many other three year olds! The experience of using devices is not technical,… on purpose. It’s experiential and is designed for the user experience.

Being able to press a ‘like’ button or swipe through screens does not make you a developer and being able to click ‘connect’ doesn’t make you a coder! The only way apps cater to a technical experience is if they are directly teaching coding and development language. The good news is, there is plenty of software that’s designed for this type of education.

As discussed in Session 6 of the “Help! I’m a Parent of a deviceKid!” program program — apps incite the senses and they entreat our emotions. Apps provide a psychological experience — not a technical enlightenment.

Myth 4: Schools are educating our kids about the experience of apps and social media and preparing them for the online world.

Although it would solve a lot of problems if this were the case, the truth is, there is only so much a school can teach and in only so much time.

Schools may hold classes or (scare) forums where they cover themes such as cyberbullying, sexting, predators and the digital footprint however they do not teach the psychology and behavioural impact that children are experiencing nor can they achieve this in a short time. Schools are teaching the broad dangers but they cannot be expected to resolving the problems.

Schools are not responsible for teaching the principles that may greatly assist young people with their general personal drivers. According to our cohort of deviceKids, the content is often ‘repetitive’ or contains incorrect details which discredit the speaker resulting in children tuning out or mocking the session!

Our cohort of deviceKids also reported that the sessions are taught too late, … in some cases not until they are 15 (they’ve already been watching p*rn for 4 years by that age!). The research is showing that children are finding themselves in more trouble, having more screen time, being more exposed with many behavioural consequences. Generally, kids are way ahead of speakers regarding what happens online however the foundation of their behaviours and attitudes always starts in the home, not the classroom.