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The Digital Divide

The Digital Divide



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Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Text messages. Chat rooms. There are more ways to communicate via web and phone than ever before. And how kids and their parents view the proper use of the internet and social media -- and the potential dangers hiding there -- may be very different.

A new survey from the Family Online Safety Institute found 91 percent of parents say they are well informed when it comes to what their kids do on their cell phones -- including texts and photo sharing. However, just 62 percent of teens say their parents are either "very" or "somewhat" well informed about what they do on their phones. That's a gap of 29 percentage points.

The gap gets even wider when it comes to time spent online. 84 percent of parents say they know what their kids are doing on the web. However, just 39 percent of teens said their parents monitor their online activities "very" or "somewhat" closely. That's a 45 point difference in perceptions.

Why the big differences? Are parents not having conversations with kids about the pitfalls of social media and online interaction? Again, the survey shows a gap. More than half -- 61 percent -- of teens say their parents have talked to them about online safety. But almost all -- 91 percent -- of parents say they have had that conversation with their kids.

So, are parents watching kids more than they know? Or are kids getting away with things their parents have no idea about?

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