After Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie revealed last month that they hire a professional internet monitoring service to protect their six kids from stumbling upon inappropriate or dangerous websites, it sparked a valuable conversation about why internet monitoring software isn’t such a crazy thing for parents to buy.
If two of the most high-profile American celebrities are willing to admit that social media websites are “so beyond what we understand,” the average American parent can’t be expected to know the ins and outs of the digital world, either.
The problem with many older strategies for monitoring internet activity is that they are too easy to work around, and as many parents have found, these strategies don’t really teach kids about safe internet practices. Instead of showing kids how and why certain practices are dangerous online — along with how to respond if they see something inappropriate online, and how to know whether or not something is appropriate to say or share — these older strategies utilize the conventional and largely unsuccessful “Because I Said So” argument, and they leave little room for meaningful dialogue between parents and children.
This is precisely why the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), a prominent British organization, recently released a campaign called “Be Share Aware.” The NSPCC created two ads in the campaign, one about sharing inappropriate pictures and the other about the dangers of online predators, both intended for TV and online advertising.
The campaign is aimed to educate parents and kids alike — the colorful cartoon video ads and simple stories appeal to kids, while the ultimate storyline gives parents insight into why children might display online behavior that seems obviously dangerous to adults.
Ultimately, the NSPCC has stated that it hopes these two videos will play a small role in a larger campaign, teaching children to use the internet safely and also giving parents the resources to have these difficult online safety discussions with their children.