Half of parents surveyed concerned over kids' Internet use

Parents are confident that their children can come to them for help regarding any problems they may have using social media.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
February 19, 2019 18:32
1 minute read.
A picture illustration shows a Facebook logo reflected in a person's eye

A picture illustration shows a Facebook logo reflected in a person's eye. (photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)

 
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Half of parents surveyed are concerned over their children's Internet use, a new study has indicated. Issues such as online shaming, bullying and social isolation have gained increased coverage, as the use of smartphones and social media networks such a Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have become part of daily life for kids. 

The Israeli Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities (Nitzan), in cooperation with the Smith Institute, conducted the study, which surveyed 400 parents of children aged 9-16. Nitzan announced the results at its annual fundraising event. About half of those surveyed (51%) expressed concern over their children's use of the Internet, regarding such issues as isolation and social alienation.
Among parents of adolescents aged 12 and over with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, close to one-third (29%) reported that their children were exposed to isolation and social alienation, compared with only one-fifth (20%) of parents of children without ADHD.


When asked where children can turn for help when exposed to a negative event on the Internet, most parents (about 70%) responded that they see themselves as the best source for moral support and direction. About 10% stated professionals and school staff could be of service to advise children in such matters. 

Nitzan chairwoman Ophra Elul noted that "in the past year, the association has been studying the impact of social networks on the emotional and social world of children and youth. Technology changes every day and helps us reach new horizons, but this is accompanied by the dangers that await our children online. The impact of 'virtual space' is no longer avoidable, but its character depends to a great extent on us – the parents. "

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