Dr. Laura
Dr. Laura, America's #1 Relationship Talk Radio Host
On: SiriusXM Triumph Channel 111
Call 1-800-DR LAURA (1-800-375-2872) 11am - 2pm PT
Social Networking
10/10/2011
Ten Ways to Keep Kids Safe Online One question I'm always asked is, "Is it really possible as a parent to keep up with technology and to make sure our kids are safe when they often know their way around technology better than we do?" And my answer is always an emphatic yes! More >>

Tags: Internet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingsocial networkingtechnology
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconI am very happy to tell you about my hero, Anthony Orsini, the principal at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, New Jersey.' He recently sent the following email to all parents of children attending his school: Dear BF Community:When I arrived in Ridgewood, Facebook did not exist, YouTube did not exist, and MySpace was barely in existence.' Formspring (one of the newest Internet scourges, a site meant simply to post cruel things about people anonymously) wasn't even in someone's mind. In 2010, social networking sites have now become commonplace, and technology use by students is beyond prevalent. It is time for every single member of the BF community to take a stand! There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! Let me repeat that - there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!' None. 5 of the last 8 parents who we have informed that their child was posting inappropriate things on Facebook said their child did not have an account.' Every single one of the students had an account. 3 students yesterday told a guidance counselor that their parents told them to close their accounts when the parents learned they had an account.' All three students told their parents it was closed.' All three students still had an account after telling their parents it was closed. Most students are part of more than one social networking site. Please do the following:' sit down with your child (and they are just children still) and tell them that they are not allowed to be a member of any social networking site.' Today! Let them know that you will at some point every week be checking their text messages online!'' You have the ability to do this through your cell phone provider. Let them know that you will be installing Parental Control software so you can tell every place they have visited online, and everything they have instant messaged or written to a friend.' Don't install it behind their back, but install it! Over 90% of homework does not require the Internet, or even a computer.' Do not allow them to have a computer in their room.' There is no need. Know that they can text others even if their phone doesn't have texting capability, either through the computer or through their iPod Touch. Have a central "docking system," preferably in your bedroom, where all electronics in the home get charged each night, especially anything with a cell or with wi-fi capability (remember when you were in high school and you would sneak the phone into your bedroom at Midnight to talk to your girlfriend or boyfriend all night - now imagine what they can do with the technology in their rooms). If your son or daughter is attacked through one of these sites or through texting, immediately go to the police!' Insist that they investigate every situation.' Also, contact the site and report the attack to the site - they have an obligation to suspend accounts, or they are liable for what is written. We as a school can offer guidance and try to build up any student who has been injured by the social networking scourge, but please insist the authorities get involved. For online gaming, do not allow them to have the interactive communication devices.' If they want to play Call of Duty online with someone from Seattle, fine.' They don't need to talk to the person. The threat to your son or daughter from online adult predators is insignificant compared to the damage that children at this age constantly and repeatedly do to one another through social networking sites or through text and picture messaging. It is not hyperbole for me to write that the pain caused by social networking sites is beyond significant.' It is psychologically detrimental and we will find out it will have significant long-term effects, as well as all the horrible social effects it already creates. I will be more than happy to take the blame off you as a parent if it is too difficult to have the students close their accounts, but it is time they all get closed and the texts always get checked. I want to be clear - this email is not anti-technology, and we will continue to teach responsible technology practices to students.' They are simply not psychologically ready for the damage that one mean person online can cause, and I don't want any of our students to go through the unnecessary pain that too many of them have already experienced. Some people advocate that the parents and the school should teach responsible social networking to students because these sites are part of the world in which we live. I disagree.' It is not worth the risk to your child to allow them the independence at this age to manage these sites on their own, not because they are not good kids or responsible, but because you cannot control the poor actions of anonymous others. Learn as a family about cyber safety together at www.wiredsafety.org for your own knowledge.' It is a great site.' But then do everything I asked in this email - because there really is no reason a child needs to have one of these accounts. Please take action in your own home today. Sincerely, Anthony OrsiniPrincipal, BFMS Now Principal Orsini is MY kind of principal, and my kind of leader in the community.' This should go nationwide.'The sites have become a tool for children to do psychological harm to each other; it has become a menace to children.' Much of what guidance counselors have to deal with these days regards social networking issues.' It is time for you parents to ACT. More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMySpaceParentingSchoolSocial NetworkingTwitter
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconIn a recent radio interview, I discussed the issue of "webtribution," a term coined by Elizabeth Bernstein in The Wall Street Journal to describe people who use the Internet to get revenge - i.e., publicly to hurt another human being with whom they are not happy.The Internet is anonymous, immediate, and gratifying in the moment.' In human history, vengeance is not unfamiliar - people haven't changed that much.' Their means of delivering pain has evolved from poison, duels, clever rumors, and Machiavellian manipulation to the world wide web.' In some ways, damaging someone's reputation is akin to murdering them, as their reputation is devastated world-wide and forever, making it difficult for them to function in private relationships as well as in the community and at work.To quote The Wall Street Journal: "Most of us have heard of someone posting naked photos of an 'ex' online.' Or writing nasty reviews for a restaurant or book, not because they dislike the product, but because they dislike the person who created it.' Or signing up an acquaintance for [unwanted] e-mail advertising lists." My opinion is that it should be illegal, as it is immoral, to post information or opinion about people without identifying yourself.' Obviously, it is also cowardly.' Google and all other such carriers should not permit anonymity.' That would immediately change the complexion of what is posted, and I don't think they'd lose business, except from those who use the Internet for evil (terrorists of the international and interpersonal kind). More >>

Tags: BehaviorCharacterCharacter, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceCivilityEthicsInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaJill CooperMoralsMorals, Ethics, ValuesSimple SavingsSocial IssuesSocial NetworkingStay-at-Home MomValues
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconFacebook and MySpace and other social networking sites have become a means of not only communicating with so-called "friends," but they also allow for showing off and "going wild" in ways that often come back to bite...even when you think your site is private.According to the Arizona Daily Star , Ashley Payne, a teacher in an Arizona school said that she was forced to resign after photos and a comment posted on her Facebook page were forwarded to the superintendent of schools in her county.' And she said she had the highest level of privacy controls on her site.' The photos in question showed her in pubs and beer gardens while on summer vacation.' In a comment on her Facebook page, she announced that she was headed to play a game called "Crazy Bitch Bingo."According to the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the bottom line is that "the state code addresses on and off-campus behavior, including inappropriate relationships with students and anything that violates the mores of the community."I'm good with that, because teachers have a profound influence on young minds, and being role models seems an obvious obligation.' Not enough teachers think about the consequences of their conduct, not just in terms of their own employment, but in terms of the well-being of the children for whom they are responsible.' Posting extremely inappropriate sexual content and nudity on the web as well as posting photos of teachers yucking it up with booze is a breach of professional conduct.For teachers, this is obvious.' However, each and every one of you must understand that anybody with knowledge can hack into your private site and edit as well as download and reproduce material elsewhere.' Don't write or post pictures you would not want to see on the front page of The New York Times , unless, of course, you're into being infamous.' The word "friend" is simply a term for someone with access to your site.' Don't imagine that they necessarily have the honor of a real-life friend.' Anything you write or post might be used against you.Now that this is all said, how about your just inviting real friends over for dinner and meaningful conversation? More >>

Tags: Character, Courage, ConscienceCharacter-Courage-ConscienceChildrenCommon SenseInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMorals, Ethics, ValuesMySpaceParentingSocial IssuesSocial NetworkingValues
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSocial Networking
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
Icon"Technology is the Evil Empire, Bent On Destroying Family Intimacy!" That's the headline I'd like to put on this post, but guns don't shoot people - people shoot people - so technology is not destroying families. People are destroying their own families.The technology I'm talking about is texting, video gaming, Facebook, email, Twitter, MySpace and more. Remember when the only complaint about lack of communication in families was when family members were all in separate rooms watching different television programs? Well, now, family members can all be in the same room, totally ignoring each other for the sake of fake friends and useless information, instead of for family conversations. Some family members even text each other from different parts of the same home, rather than walk the 15 feet, hug, and talk to each other.I remember the not-so-recent TV ads that promoted a family eating dinner together. Now, if you showed an ad with a family at the dinner table, there'd have to be a sign nearby that said "No Wireless Zone." I wonder what depth of interaction is being missed because one is getting superficial "quickies" from texting or emailing or Facebooking?' On the other hand, I already know that we're less able to engage in reasoned, significant discourse and profound intimacies these days, because, from the age of 4 or 5, we're geared toward the superficial, faceless exchange of comments on each other's web pages.Parents, you must get yourselves into gear and limit the amount of time per day donated to the wireless world outside of work. Otherwise, over time, there'll be no need for lips and vocal cords and eye contact, and we'll evolve into "thumbs only" beings who just peck away with a false sense of actually participating in the real world. More >>

Tags: DivorceFamilyFamily/Relationships - FamilyInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMySpaceRelationshipsRelativesSocial IssuesSocial NetworkingTwitter
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconEither directly (e.g., sadness about not having a relationship with a parent or sibling) or indirectly (e.g., having trouble being intimate), more and more callers to my radio program report a sad sort of alienation from close, loving relationships. Yet the numbers of people deeply invested in "virtual" relationships via Internet "friending" social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, is growing exponentially. We are involved more in frivolous levels of intimacy and less invested in warm, caring, loving, involved relationships.The pseudo meaningfulness we imagine as we add our names and faces to someone's Internet site is addictive, yet ultimately vacuous. There isn't really anyone out there who cares enough to hold your hand when you are in pain. The Annenberg Center for the Digital Future at the University of California reported last week that 28% of Americans interviewed last year said they have been spending less time with family members. That's nearly triple from the numbers in 2006. In the old days when television was young, families watched together in one room. Now there are TVs in every room of the home, with 500 or more channels, and the family is dispersed, with each "doing their own thing." The Internet is a one-on-one, non-family experience also - breaking down the cohesiveness of family dynamics, parenting, sharing, and plain old caring. The problem is that people are, by nature, gregarious. That means we need company. When we spend our time with the technology that minimizes the intimacy of company, we forever alter the ability of individuals to actually experience pure intimacy in a positive, ultimately satisfying manner. And the experience of having lots of so-called "friends" on the Internet is beguiling, but empty -- -in effect, a distorted form of solitude. There is no wonder that so many people have a deep problem with being able to love - they mostly want to be satisfied by flattery, freedom from reciprocal responsibility and the reality of obligations and responsibilities, much less sacrifice for the general good or the benefit of another. Technological advances in "communication" have actually increased the number of people you can interact with, but have more importantly diluted out the meaningfulness of those same interactions.Think of families together at dinner, and a whole town helping rebuild your barn. Compare that to what you have now in your life. Which is better for quality of life? More >>

Tags: Internet-MediaInternet/MediaMySpaceSocial NetworkingTwitter
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconIf I were any more disgusted with modern parenting my head would explode.' I just about screamed so loudly that they could hear me in Dallas, where the Dallas Morning News published a piece with the headline:' "Social Networking Sites Cater to Moms and Babies."' What?' What?' What?' Internet social networking for babies?' What the heck does that even mean?I'll tell you what it means: it's another self-centered, insensitive, lazy, neglectful way for most mothers to pretend they actually care about their children and are making the sacrifices and efforts to give kids what the kids NEED.Here's a great comment from the article: "The messages, of course, are from parents, usually moms, who say sites such as TotSpot provide them with TIME-SAVING ALTERNATIVES to PLAY DATES and FACE-TO-FACE RELATIONSHIPS..." [Note:' The capitalization is mine].So let me understand this...these so-called mothers spend time on the computer posting pictures and descriptions of their kids to virtual strangers (which we now call virtual "friends") and get texted back with the saying, "You've been tickled," and they assume that this in any way serves any need for any baby or toddler?Other equally ridiculous mothers (and all these women actually gave their real names...is there no shame?) are quoted as saying that they don't have time (what happened to MAKING time) for actual play dates...this way they can connect with moms and kids without leaving the house or the office.Since when were play-dates only about the moms?' I always thought play-dates were about introducing children - FACE TO FACE - to other children, adults, environments, pets, experiences, and so forth.' I didn't realize play-dates were just "jabber jabber" time for busy busy women who seem to wish to live in a virtual world rather than the concrete one their children will have to deal with eventually.' These are probably the kind of women who get crazed when their husbands choose to do the same with naked women on the internet.Aside from the oh so obvious problems with parents putting information about children on the internet (a pedophile's play land), it directs children (from the time they're infants and toddlers) toward a life on the computer instead of in the park, the back yard, the street, a friend's home, etc.Many of the parents spoke about being "proud" of their babies and wanted to show them off and have them - even before they can burp on their own - have their very own social web page.' This is so utterly pathetic.This is all about three things:1. FEELING, versus' BEING connected.2. FAKING being a parent who nurtures, protects, teaches, and loves by a web page''''3. SHOWING off your child and text-gossipingLet me go back to that one most damning statement in the Dallas Morning News piece: "The messages, of course, are from parents, usually moms, who say sites such as TotSpot provide them with time-saving alternatives to play dates and face-to-face relationships, while helping them connect with parents and children in nontraditional ways." We've come a long way, baby...we've become women...mothers...who are too busy to introduce our kids to life.' Great. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingSocial Networking
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconTurns out that the latter leads to the former!' Recent research by the University of Buffalo Department of Communication and the University of Hawaii reveals that the people who watch reality television visit social networking websites to engage in behaviors like the celebrities they see on shows like American Idol or Survivor .When people on reality TV are rewarded for their behavior, it communicates to the (usually) young audience that these behaviors are good things.' These so-called "reality" TV shows depict people being exploitive, deceitful, hyper-emotional, vengeful, conspiratorial, sexually promiscuous, generally undignified, immodest, self-centered, and basically exhibitionistic.According to the university research, "heavy reality TV viewers may adapt personality traits association with celebrities....Reality TV even may be to blame for the erosion of the distinction between the everyday world and the celebrity world." This phenomenon is encouraging young folks to make personal information about themselves publicly available online.' We've all heard about the proliferation of youngsters sending photos to each other and through the Internet, revealing their genitals and showing themselves engaged in various sexual acts.' Instead of this being "shameful," it's trendy.' Parents are becoming way too lax in allowing their children access to electronic equipment, from cell phones to the Internet, without any supervision.' So, with a little "push" and little "pull" back, kids are getting themselves into situations which will impact them for a lifetime.When children behave like out-of-control celebrities, including drug use, sex, having out-of-wedlock babies, "shacking up," and testing their parents' limits as well as the limits of the law, they are less likely to be studying, participating in sports, or contributing charitably in their neighborhoods. More >>

Tags: divorceFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyFamily/Relationships - TeensInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingRelationshipsRelativesSexSexualitySocial NetworkingTeens
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
05/13/2010
IconReuters' Julie Steenhuysen wrote a news essay recently which was a real shocker.' She quoted Janis Wolak of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in Durham: A lot of the characterizations that you see in Internet safety information suggest that sex offenders are targeting very young children and using violence and deception against their victims.... Especially since social networking sites became popular, people are suggesting that these offenders are using information to stalk and abduct their victims.' We are not seeing those types of cases.' The great majority of cases we have seen involved young teenagers, mostly 13, 14, 15 year old girls who are targeted by adults on the Internet who are straightforward about being interested in sex. From the perspective of the victim, these are romances. Among the study's other findings:* Internet offenders pretended to be teenagers in only 5% of the crimes studied.* Nearly 75% of victims who met offenders did so more than once.* Youths at risk have "buddy lists" including strangers, and they discuss sex online with strangers.* Boys who are gay or questioning their sexuality are more susceptible to Internet-initiated sex crimes than other populations, resulting in 15% of criminal cases.Other than religious institutions, there is virtually nothing in our society that elevates sexuality to a spiritual status.' This is the result of a society which takes kids out of school (without parental notification) for abortions; which has peer sex classes showing how to put condoms on bananas; which has "sex fairs" at major colleges and universities; which has porn as mainstream, primetime television and advertising; which has practically naked models in store windows for Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret; which has families repeatedly torn apart by busy, "two parent career" homes, divorce, re-marriage, shack-ups, and other adult misbehaviors that emotionally devastate children who look elsewhere for love and comfort.'What is normalized is yearned for by children who want to be "adults." More >>

Tags: BudgetEconomyFamily/Relationships - TeensInternet-MediaInternet/MediaSexSocial NetworkingTeens
PERMALINK | EMAIL | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
<< Back12Next >>
Make an Appointment
Stay Connected
or connect at a place below
Normal Gear
Latest Poll
Did you and your spouse want to know your baby's sex before giving birth?
Archives  |  Results
Programs
About Dr. Laura
Letters
E-mail of the Day
From Listeners
Audio & Video
YouTube Videos
Stay at Home
Parenting
Relationships
Simple Savings
Work at Home
Tip of the Week
Subscription
Membership
Help & Support
Family Premium Help Center
Podcast Help
Contact Us
Legal
Terms of Use
© 2019 DrLaura.com. Take on the Day, LLC
Dr. Laura is a registered trademark of Take On The Day, LLC.
Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy
Powered By Nox Solutions