Parents may be among the world’s best multitaskers, but they’re no match for the internet’s ability to churn out content designed to grab kids’ attention. From new apps to websites to social media platforms, it’s futile to keep track of every new product your child might encounter. At the same time, parents often approach internet safety with outdated ideas about the most worrisome threats. Those typically includes bullies and strangers, but research increasingly suggests we should be focused on how internet use affects their well-being.
Here’s our radical idea: If parents want to find the safest places online for their children, they should use a more expansive definition of safety. Ideally, that includes whether a child’s use of digital media leads to things like intellectual stimulation, meaningful human connections, creative expression, and rewarding IRL experiences.
This four-part series offers a comprehensive guide for how parents can redefine internet safety and navigate those conversations with their child; a list of 12 digital media products built with child safety and well-being in mind; guidance based on original survey results for new parents anxious about screen time; and insight from young people who’ve shared their highs and lows from spending time online.
Our hope is that this series provides you with fresh answers to complex questions about screen time, and that it gives you more freedom and confidence as a parent to help your child feel happy and fulfilled on — and off — the internet.