A new study shows that the average teenager will spend close to 31 hours a week surfing the web and not all of the sites they are visiting are social networking and gaming sites.
Many of the hours teens spend on the internet are spent in viewing sites they’d rather not let their parents know about. With so much information readily available on the web kids today are finding it easier to get answers to their intimate questions from anonymous web sites rather than from asking mom and dad.
Studies show that teens are spending upwards of one hour and forty minutes a week browsing soft porn web sites and as many as one hour and thirty-five minutes a week looking at web sites dealing with dieting and weight loss. In a modern day twist teens are now spending more than one hour and eight minutes a week exploring cosmetic surgery websites with the specific procedures of breast implants, nose jobs, and butt lifts being the most widely explored issues.
With most teenagers having unsupervised use of the computer for up to two hours a day, there is no way for parents to regulate the sites their children are visiting. Most teens confess to taking precautions to hide which sites they visit from their parents and are not eager to reveal the subject matter that interests them to the people who matter most in their lives.
Ellie Puddle, the marketing director for Cyber Sentinel stated: “The research shows that teenagers are exploring al sorts of topics as a result of modern day pressures.” In addition to viewing questionable websites, there is also an alarming rise in teens talking to strangers over the internet. Seeing it as a harmless way t make friends teenagers have no qualms with starting up a conversation with a person they don’t know. Experts say that since the internet is so widely available at school and on phone applications it is important for today’s young people to become proactive and stay in control of their own internet use.
A spokesperson for the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre encourages teenagers to report suspicious behaviors of people they meet on line, and be honest with their parents regarding the web sites they are visiting. So much of a teen’s perceptions of the world today are formed not by the family unit at home, but by the virtual strangers who publish web sites and online chat room experiences.