Smartphone App Addiction of Tweens & Teens

How much time are your tweens and teens spending online?

 

 

Do you wonder if your tween or teen is so closely connected to his or her smartphone that they are addicted to the apps?

Remember when cellphones were used to make phone calls?

The addiction to social media and mobile apps is no secret among today’s tweens and teens but are they so addicted that they cannot function normally and do you even know what apps they are using?

I was talking to a friend the other day and we wondered if the population rate would drop as the younger generation no longer communicates face to face, let alone has a relationship that is not online.

According to Pew Research Center, the availability of smartphones has resulted in 92% of teens (ages 13-17) saying they go online every day, and 24% of teens stating that they are online “almost constantly.” With this many teens online at such a high level of frequency, what exactly are they doing?

Did you know that more people own smartphones than they do toothbrushes?

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA APPS ARE TWEENS & TEENS USING?

Social media is a major part in the lives of tweens and teens and there are a number of social media apps that rise above the rest in popularity. Research reports that Facebook is still the most popular and frequently used social media app among teens, although most won’t admit to it, as a matter of fact, less than 71% will.  Instagram is second at 52%, followed by Snapchat at 41% then Twitter at 33%.

 

According to Common Sense Media, tweens (ages 8-12) and teens (ages 13-18) use their media differently. Teens are more likely to multi-task, using their device or computer to listen to music (76%), text (60%), watch TV (51%), or use social media (50%) while they are doing their homework.

With all of this time online, how do tweens and teens use social media? In today’s high tech world, social media acts as a place tweens and teens can go hang out and socialize outside of home and school.

When on these apps, teens and tweens are chatting, playing games, and snapping, sharing video, photos and other images that they find online.   In most cases, tweens and teens prefer to interact with others they already know, however, with the vast amount of social media apps available, it becomes increasingly easier for your child to interact with strangers as well.

The key is to know which apps your child is using. Once you have that information, you can familiarize yourself with these platforms and how they are used. Sign up for an account, discover firsthand how these platforms are being used by kids.

When you have this information, you can open a line of communication with your child and educate them on best practices when using the app. You can also discuss the possibility of not using certain apps if you feel they aren’t appropriate.

Ultimately, social media is here to stay, it’s not a fad nor the future and it has become a significant part of the social development of tweens and teens.

Is your teen or tween spending too much time on their mobile device? 

How can you tell if your child’s reliance on smartphones and other mobile devices is normal when you have no frame of reference for childhood smartphone use, and when society has completely surrounded itself around mobile devices?

Here’s some important information about children and smartphone use, and some tips on how to deal with potential smartphone addiction in your tweens and teens.

How Tweens & Teens Are Using Smartphones

It’s important not to approach the idea of smartphones and mobile devices as automatically bad. After all, they are an integral part of your tween’s and teen’s social life and an important communication device. And, if current trends continue, they’ll also be an important part of your child’s adult life. It’s likely they’ll be expected to have and use a smartphone or other mobile device in their professional life later on. Learning to handle these devices now can be a helpful thing for their future.

On the other hand, too much of a good thing can always be dangerous. Some experts believe that smartphone use may be replacing drug and alcohol experimentation and addiction in teens due to a correlation between falling rates of tweens and teens who report drug use and rising rates of internet use. And while that may sound positive, experts also caution that it affects the brain in a similar way to using drugs.

How Much is Too Much?

Smartphones may be relatively new but the signs of addiction are consistent whether the addict is using drugs or apps. According the studies, your tween may be experiencing smartphone addiction if they exhibit some of these signs:

  • Using the smartphone to alleviate anxiety, depression, or other negative feelings;
  • Preoccupation with the smartphone to the detriment of grades, friendships, and other activities;
  • Withdrawal symptoms like anger, depression, irritability, and restlessness when the phone is taken away.

Smartphone use may also cause physical symptoms of addiction:

  • Eyestrain from too much digital viewing;
  • Neck pain from hunching over the phone;
  • Sleep disturbances and fatigue thought to be caused by the light from cell phone viewing after dark.

What Should Parents Do?

Iphone parental controls

If you suspect your child is addicted to their smartphone, your first instinct may be to remove the device entirely. That is an option, and it may be appropriate for some, however, smartphones are part of modern life, and it’s unrealistic to expect your child will never use one again. Therefore, it may be advisable to treat smartphone addiction less like a chemical addiction and more like a food addiction. That means teaching your tween to moderate themselves.

Set boundaries for smartphone use. You may want to limit your child to a certain amount of time on their smartphone each day, or to designated times of the day, or both. It’s also important to keep an eye on what they’re doing and limit online activities that your kids spend an unhealthy amount of time on, like social media sites or games.

Let’s Chat > How do you control the smartphone usage of your tween or teen?

Back to Bowie, Maryland in a Mitsubishi

I can’t believe how quickly time flies, it seems as though it was just yesterday when we drove Malik and his belongings down to Bowie State University to start his senior year.  Now, here we are again, heading back down to pick it all up for the summer break…yes, he’s on that 4 ½ year plan so he has another semester to complete.

 

Mitsubishi-Outlander-Sport

 

Thankfully, this time we didn’t have to rent a minivan and we were able to ride down in style thanks to my friends over at *Mitsubishi Motors.

Mitsubishi-Outlander-Sport

 

Bowie State University is only 88 miles one way from the house and it’s straight highway, however, crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge can be an uneasy experience especially in a smaller vehicle.  Driving the Mitsubishi made it a comfortable and pleasant ride as it was smooth and steady however, I did set off the lane departure alert a few times.

 

Mitsubishi-Outlander-Sport

 

Malik was attending a campus event that ended later in the day, so hubby and I took our time and stopped at the Bowie Town Center for tea at Starbucks then picked up his aunt to take her to lunch at Panera Bread.  Aunt Alda, though the Mitsubishi was very comfortable and she looked quite happy sitting up front.

 

Mitsubishi-Outlander-Sport

 

Aunt Alda loved the Panoramic Glass Sunroof which allowed the sun to shine down keeping her toasty warm.  I felt safe knowing it had a 7-Airbag Safety System, which covers the front, side curtains and the seventh airbag is underneath the driver’s side dashboard.  

 

2018-Miraubishi-Outlander-Sport

 

2018-Miraubishi-Outlander-Sport

 

I didn’t get under the hood, however, click here to read the specs if you are interested in the engine.  I was more interested in the cargo space and as you can see, we were able to fit in all of Malik’s belongings and still have a little room in the back seat to take him out to eat before we left to return home.

 

Mitsubishi-Outlander-Sport

 

Omega-Psi-Phi-Fraternity-brothers

 

Mitsubishi-Outlander-Sport

 

The week that I had the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport I zipped up and down the state from Wilmington and down to Dover to teach my Building Your Blog Workshop and only had to stop for gas once which was great as the prices have been rising steadily leading up to the holiday weekend.

 

Mitsubishi-Outlander-Sport

 

I loved listening to Watercolors on the Sirius XM Satellite Radio and the four Boise Speakers were bumping, oh, and the folding side mirrors was also a great feature which is perfect for city parking.  The Bluetooth Wireless technology and steering wheel controls make it easy to conduct conference calls as I headed to my virtual office at the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Mitsubishi-Outlander-Sport-Review

 

This particular model has an MSRP of $29,310.00 which is a bit pricey for us now especially with that extra semester of tuition, but the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport AWD would be perfect for a soon-to-be retired couple such as hubby and myself.

 

Mitsubishi-Outlander-Sport

 

Let’s Chat > What do you think, would this be a good vehicle for you and your family? 

 

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* Disclosure: Mitsubishi loaned me the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport in order to facilitate this review.  However, all opinions are 100% my own. No form of compensation was received in exchange for this post.

#DriveMitsubishi #spon

Why You Should Turn Your Passion into a Profit At Any Age

Follow-Your-Dreams-Banner

 

Wow, April and May were two very busy months and had I known just how much fun and enjoyable it would be working for myself I would have done so years ago!  

 

Two months of steady teaching and conducting Social Media Marketing and Blogging workshops has added fuel to the fire!  I am finally turning my passion into a profit and loving every minute of it.

 

Presentation-at-Womens-Business-Center-Delaware

 

Teaching along with doing some amazing product reviews for Verizon Wireless and Mitsubishi has really motivated me to continue building and growing ABlake Enterprises and I encourage anyone, regardless of their age to pursue their passion.

Mitsubishi-Outlander-Sport-Review

 

Do you have a skill or an passion project that you wish to share, then I encourage you to start out volunteering to promote and brand yourself.  The experience of volunteering at local libraries, community centers, churches and other local venues has enabled me to turn my talents of teaching into a second career as an Encore Entrepreneur.

 

Build-Your-Blog-Workshops

 

Turning a “Passion into Profit” is more than a catch phrase because in today’s world it has become less of a pipe dream and more of a reality for many.  The days of working for someone else for 30-40 years is no longer the norm, leaving that company with a Gold Watch and a pension is no longer a reality for most.  Resource actions, layoffs and company closures are much more common and it’s never “personal” it’s alway “just business”.

 

Blogging-Classes-Colleges

 

As an Encore Entrepreneur who recently left the corporate world to become a full time business owner, I must admit that is has been exhilarating, exciting and enjoyable and thanks to the motivation of family, friends and even listening to motivational speakers such as Les Brown, Gary Vaynerchuk and Jim Rohn, makes my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

 

Others such as Chrissy Weems also understands the importance of listening to and reading motivational materials to stay focused and strong in the pursuit of turning a passion into a profit.

 

So if you to have been thinking about turning your passion into a profit, I suggest you find a mentor at SBA, SCORE or some other small business association or simply start out by attending  the many free offerings at your local library, community centers or sign up for a Continuing Education course at your local Community Colleges or Universities.

 

Delaware-Blogger-YouTube

 

Don’t let age, location or any other external factor stop you from pursuing your passion because life it too short and you know what, you are good at what you do, so why not share your experience or expertise with others?

 

To learn more about ABlake Enterprises, please head over to my website and if you are looking to learn how to Build Your Brand with a blog, sign up for the next workshops at DelTech Community College starting up again in the fall.

 

Rack-Card-ABlakeEnterprises

 

Let’s Chat > Have you turned your passion into a profit and if so, what advice can you give to others who may be wanting to do the same?

 

become-an-encore-entrepreneur

GDPR & Small Business Bloggers

Disclaimer: This post is not legal advice. For full information and guidance please see the GDPR site and seek professional legal advice. This is an  interpretation of what I have read but I am not an expert or a lawyer and as such I can not be held liable for any advice taken from this article.

Is your blog a small business?

Are you earning money with your blog?

Are you a Brand Ambassador for other companies?

 

Are you ready for GDPR?

 

GDPR – General Data Protection Register is a new privacy law approved by the EU Parliament that will go into effect on the 25th May 2018

To be honest, at first I thought GDPR was only going to affect big business  because of the Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica debacle, but nope,  turns out it is going to affect business bloggers and other entrepreneurs.

 

GDPR logo

 

As a matter of fact, any individual or organization that receives or processes data is affected. It is important because there are fines for any data processor, big or small that is not in compliance.  If you are earning money from your blog, not only does the brand you represent need to be in compliance, but you too need to be in compliance.

Below are just a few of the many steps that need to be taken and I thought these would be the easiest to tackle before the deadline on Thursday.

Newsletters/Email Lists & Google Analytics

Do you use an email list to send out Newsletters?  If so, you will need to decide whether or not you want to keep a subscriber list (Mail Chimp/Constant Contact, etc).   Even if you don’t use it to market to your subscribers you might email them once a month to give them updates on your blog.   So if you do want to keep the subscribers, you will need to email them all (again) and get them to positively agree to allow you to keep emailing them. If you don’t get positive confirmation, then you will need to delete them.

If you use Google Analytics or a similar traffic tracking system, it applies.   If you have advertisers on your blog, it applies. If you have a Contact Me form, it applies, if you use a third party widget like Bloglovin, it applies.

Comments & Cookies

When people leave comments on your blog, using a standard WordPress Plugin, they leave their name, email address, or website and their IP address is also captured. That information is stored on the blog website.  So you will need to either get a widget that will make this data anonymous, turn off comments, (NO) or put in a disclaimer to explain what will happen when they leave a comment.

If you don’t already have a cookie banner at the top or bottom of your site or as a pop up when someone visits your site you need to have one in place.  Websites have always been required to alert visitors to the fact they have cookies in use but it didn’t have as heavy an influence as it does under GDPR.

It is now imperative that you let your blog viewers know that cookies are in use and, as with everything under GDPR, it needs to be in their face.

Privacy Policy/Statement

You will need to update your Privacy Policy to include a statement on what data is saved, how it is kept, and what you do with it.  If you do decide to keep any personal data connected with your blog, i.e. after running a Giveaway, you will need to register it with the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) as a Data processor. 

Please note that there is an annual fee involved and you will also need to register your business address (in most cases it’s your home address).

SSL Certificate

Secure sites are all the more important under GDPR so it’s worth checking if yours is or not. The easiest check is to type https:/ before your website address and see if it sends you to that site, not http.

Advertising:

Lots of blogs have clients who pay to advertise on their sidebar and then be promoted by the blogger. These advertisers collect a large amount of personal data including names, email addresses, blog URLs, social media handles and sometimes even payment information.

If you do have advertisers you need to get in contact with them and outline exactly what information you hold and how you use and secure it. You will need consent from them for you to store their data or request for it’s removal.

For any future advertisers you will need to have a form that outlines what information you require, how and why you store it and get their explicit consent allowing you to do so. 

There is a lot more information and I will try to update this post next week, however, if you are saying to yourself,  “I don’t market to the EU” remember that you may have readers in the EU so this new privacy law does affect you and your blogging business.

  • Update your cookies banner.
  • Check your SSL certificate.
  • Write your privacy policy.
  • Research your third party providers.
  • Update your mailing list.
  • Contact your advertisers.
  • Put in place GDPR compliant sign ups for future advertisers/collaborators/mailing list subscribers.

 

The EU countries are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands,Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Let’s Chat > Will you be in GDPR compliance on May 25th?

A Room With A View – Another Advantage of Working From Home

Here it is, almost the end of May and working from home is flying by quicker than when I was working in an office.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t miss the commute up and down 95 and Route 202, getting stuck in rush hour traffic…watching the same buildings, road signs and markers.

Another advantage of working from home is that now the view is much better.  Now when I head into the kitchen for a second cup of coffee this is what I see…

view-from-kitchen-window

Middletown, Delaware April 2018

barn-with-horses

 

No more tops of buildings, parking lots, streets and cars, just Mother Nature at it’s finest and my neighbor’s horses across the road.

 

horses-on-a-farm

 

Let’s Chat > What is your favorite “room with a view”?

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