About internet and mobile use
Using the internet and mobile phones has many benefits for children and young people including:
- Listening to music and watching films
- Learning about the world around them
- Having fun
- Sharing interests with others
- Help with homework
- Keeping in touch with family and friends
- Staying safe when out and about.
However, many parents and carers are worried about the time their children spend online or on their phones. Parents may not understand what their children are doing online, and may feel their children are spending too much time on the computer but not know how to stop them or reduce their time.
Some of the problems associated with children's computer and phone use include the following:
- Wanting to spend all the time on the computer
- Getting addicted to online games or sites
- Seeing inappropriate content – violence, pornography or gambling sites
- Social networking with adults or other young people who might exploit or abuse them
- Giving away personal information to strangers
- Posting, sending or receiving inappropriate pictures
- Becoming victims of cyber-bullying
- Sleep problems
- Lack of involvement in family life.
It is natural for children to want to push limits, explore, and express themselves, but it is important for parents to set clear boundaries for their children and help them learn to keep safe.