The Internet was made for everyone to go through and connect to the world, eventually become attached to anything we want, the Internet of Things. There are websites and social media blogs and news to be found on what TV doesn’t have. With this broad audience of all ages comes a generational gap in terms of how we act with them. There has been a generational divide for many things, the Greatest Generation to the Baby Boomers, to Generation X, the Millennials, and now Generation Z. This generation was born with the Internet while their parents from X were the first ones to use these groundbreaking gadgets and have concerns with what their children are doing with them.
The focus on the Internet is where the line is split. Parents look at how much they use it and what website and seek to put their rules on the Internet use to their more addicted, tech-savvy youngsters. They bring up the pros and cons to them and look at what they see through their browsing history or block to what sites they can look up, or even get in their social media accounts. For children, it is an invasion of their privacy and resists it. They understand what is right and wrong with how people use their power, such as cyberbullying, which is typical. This includes Phishing, shaming, negative pictures, slander, and spamming.
Here are stats to note. 60% of children ages 3-17 use the Internet at home while the rise of internet use among four-year-olds doubled in five years. For those ages 12-18, to get onto a website, they’ve lied about their age, whether it’s an alcohol website, Twitter, and even pornography. Under half of them acknowledge they spend too much time, whereas 65% of parents will say they worry they have spent too much time online, even when 95% of them say they know what they are looking at.
Children are being trusted more these days to have their laptop or tablet, so they don’t always have to borrow their parents’ PC. This is where responsibility and safety erode because of how much children keep from their parents. When it comes to them texting, responding to spam, watching actual violence, or downloading a virus unknowingly, a large portion of children will say they are not responsible for that. They may take partial blame like clicking on something that had a Trojan horse or receiving an original image of someone they know (which is still child pornography). Not even a quarter of them will take full responsibility for something that is problematic or what they should not watch.
There are different viewpoints between every generation, which causes conflict between child and parent. Stats involving mental health and constant connection to their phones reflect the gap between them. Parents want to instill restrictions, but young people wish to self-responsibility to show they are behaving right with this privilege. It’s something that can create or destroy trust between the two. But both generations want a positive online experience that is safe and without the tight leash around a child’s computer use.