Digital divide distances kids, parents

Are most kids more internet savvy than their parents? A new Harris polls says the answer is yes. And some of those kids also do things online that would probably upset their mom and dad. Thirteen-year-old Sonia Kikeri uses shorthand to chat with her friends online. She said, "LOL, laughing out loud. BRB, be right back. BBL, be back later. LMHO, laughing my head off." She's so fast, it's hard for her mom to keep up. Sonia's mother Roopa Bhandari said, "They do it so fast. That lingo goes by so fast you don't know what they are saying. And, I mean, she's got three people on here right now. I couldn't tell you how she's keeping up those conversations." According to the latest Harris poll parents think their kids are online a total of six hours a week, but kids say they're on the web almost twice that long. And almost a quarter of the kids admit to behavior that would upset their parents: talking to strangers, looking at porn, cyber-bullying. There is a new kind of digital divide: kids on one side, inexperienced parents on the other. Savannah College of Art and Design Systems Administrator Jamey Brown said, "I think the naivety in a lot of senses is really unnecessary, because it's not as hard as it looks to a lot of these parents, they just have to take initiative and they have to go for it and make sure that their kids are safe." That means keep the computer in an open area, use internet filters annd learn as much you can. Brown said, "Education of the parents is absolutely essential, because the kids have a strong desire to do these kind of things, then they're going to find ways around even some of the best protections." A study by Cox Communications found over 50 percent of parents don't have or don't know if they have monitoring software on their computer.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.