AT & T MOBILE SAFETY
I was really looking forward to attending the AT & T Mobile Safety webinar, as my daughter is 16 and I worry constantly about about her safety – both with her mobile phone and with life in general. I learned so much at the webinar, and I’m embarrassed to say that there were things brought up that I hadn’t even thought of previously.
My daughter recently started driver’s training (and will soon be getting her license), and of course I am worried about things like texting while driving. We have talked about this in the past, and I trust that she will not do this, but I will be reminding her at least weekly, how dangerous it is. The same goes for answering the phone while she is driving. I have expressed to her that there is NO text or phone call that is so important that she has to answer it while she is behind the wheel. It can wait. I also make it a point (not that I would do it anyway) to not play with my phone while I am driving. This includes answering it, or texting. When she is with me, I keep my phone in the center console, and if it rings, we either ignore it or she answers it for me. One thing I have suggested to her is that when she is driving, she should not leave her phone out. Any urges to text, call or answer will be ignored if she simply keeps the phone in her purse, or out of her reach.
AT & T has partnered with Common Sense Media to help parents and kids practice safe mobile phone usage. For AT & T’s Mobile Safety campaign, they talked to 1,000 adults and kids to get their honest thoughts on mobile phone usage. I am so glad that AT & T is involved, as this is such an important safety matter. What they discovered is that:
- 53% of kids have been in a motor vehicle with someone who was texting and driving
- Over 1 in 5 have received a mean or bullying text message from another kid on their mobile phone
- Almost half (46%) have a friend who has received a message or picture that their parents would not have liked because it was too sexual
- 69% have answered a call from an unknown number
This is downright frightening! We may remind our kids not to text and drive, but how many of us have told our kids not to be in a car where someone else is driving and texting? Please, please, remind your kids that it is okay to tell another driver to put the phone down when driving.
Kids are okay with rules! I was surprised to learn that only 66% of kids have rules on their cell phone usage, but 90% said they are fine with their parents setting rules. Now is a good time to write down the rules and have a family meeting. Give each person a copy of the rules!
Do you monitor your kids’ cell phone usage? Kids/teens get very comfortable with our digital world, and this could carry over to real life. A good question to pose to your child is “Would you be comfortable if I, a teacher, or your friends saw you doing this in real life?”. If they answer “no”, remind them that they shouldn’t be doing it in digital space either.
Two other big fears for parents is bullying and sexting/receiving sexual content. These days both of these things can happen over mobile phones. This is a scary thought, and another good reason to monitor your child’s mobile phone and also to inquire with them if anything is happening that they want to talk about. Keep the lines of communication open, so they always feel safe and comfortable telling you what is going on that might be disturbing to them.
One thing I am so happy about is that AT&T has a product called “Drive Mode” – any time you get a text message, it sends an auto-response that says, “I’m busy right now driving and will get back to you.”
You can learn more about AT & T Mobile Safety by visiting http://www.att.com/familysafety.
Don’t miss the AT & T Mobile Safety Twitter Party!
There will be an AT&T Mobile Safety Twitter party on October 30 at 2pm ET, and not only will you learn about mobile safety, but you can win some FANTASTIC prizes. During the party there will be Two (2) Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 8.9 devices and three (3) $50 Target gift cards given away! The hashtag is #ATTMobileSafety, so make sure you are following! You can check out Twtvite for more information on the party: http://twtvite.com/attmobilesafety
*I will be compensated for participating in the AT & T Mobile Safety program, with the Motherhood. All opinions are my own.