44% of Teens Know More About Tech Than Their Parents

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) has their annual conference last week, and as usual they published a large research study regarding families and technology.

FOSI-logoThis year’s flagship report, titled “Parenting in the Digital Age”, has a number of interesting facts, figures and observations, and parents would be well served to check out the full report. We thought we would focus on an element that is of keen interest to us – how parents think about their ability to manage their kids’ online activity.

On the topic of “who knows more”, the study asked parents whether they know more about technology than their kids. Among parents with kids 14 – 17 years old, the results were as follows:

  • 36% of parents claim to know more about technology than their teens
  • 44% admit that their teens know more about technology than they do

If you’re the parent of a teen, that is an interesting starting point for framing the issue, and one that we believe to be all too true – parents are charged with digital parenting and their children are in many circumstances more expert on the subject matter than they are. According to the survey responses, the older the parent, the more likely this is to be true.

When asked how confident parents are in managing teen online activity, around half of parents feel confident in the following areas – activities/risks are ranked from most difficult to easiest:

  • Who my teen interacts with online
  • How much personal information my teen discloses online
  • Websites visited
  • Online games played
  • Apps used and mobile games played
  • Amount of time spent online

The most difficult things to monitor and manage – who your teen is talking to online and the amount of personal information he is divulging – are perhaps the most critical in him staying safe.

There is no shame in admitting that you are behind your teens in terms of tech savvy. That’s where ThirdParent comes in. After enrolling with us, you’ll have an easy to use roadmap of where your teen has established public identities online, and what behaviors may be unsafe or inappropriate. We do the work of getting you up to speed. You can sign up today.


Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

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