Staying safe Online and on Social Media: Paul Davis

Paul Davis

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Sep 25, 2020

Amount of screen time, establishing ground rules around smartphone and mobile device usage, what children in various age groups could be exposed to online, staying safe online — these topics are among those addressed by Paul Davis, online and social networking safety educator, during an interview with Lianne Castelino of WhereParentsTalk TV.

Davis, a father of two teenagers is a self-described ‘techie’. He has worked in IT for more than 25 years. Since 2011, he has added the role of social networking safety educator, regularly addressing students, teachers and educators and parents in school settings across Canada and the United States, as well as speaking to corporate clients about topics including: online safety, cyberbullying, digital trails, sexting, online security, social media, platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc.).

He is a regularly interviewed by various media outlets across North America on these topics, providing his keen understanding in-depth knowledge and multiple perspectives as a parent and an IT professional.

“The internet never forgets” — a key message in Davis’ presentations is a stark reminder to parents and children that decisions made when it comes to online behaviour and what individuals choose to post could have a lasting impact — both negative and positive.

In his interview with WhereParentsTalk, Davis, founder of shares how the COVID-19 global pandemic has impacted his work, and offers important food for thought, along with tips and advice for parents and students about how to navigate safely an increasing digital world.

Other topics covered include:

The appropriate age for a child to have a smartphone
Smartphone contracts — understanding terms and conditions, what is legal and illegal
Establishing rules for smartphone usage
Regulating and monitoring screen time and mobile device usage
His personal experience with internet and social media safety, as a father of two teenagers
Research on screen time and its affect on sleep patterns

Watch the full interview with Paul Davis, social networking safety educator:

Click for video transcription

Staying safe Online and on Social Media: An interview with Paul Davis

Hello, and welcome to Where Parents Talk TV. My name is Lianne Castelino.
Our guest today is a father of two, a 16 year old and a 19 year old, he spent almost 30 years working in it. And the last nine years, he’s been focused on social networking safety. Paul Davis is an online and social media safety educator. Welcome, Paul.

Thank you for having me. Great to be here today.

Well, and I wanted to start with, you know, the current climate, here we are, we’re into seven months of being in a pandemic. What has that been like for somebody who spends their time in this space?

Are you asking about me speaking or about the child online?

You speaking.

It has been, it’s been a journey I never ever expected. As an individual who has multiple screens, who bleeds technology, I have never been in front of a screen more than I have. Since the past seven months. I’ve been getting a ton of tension headaches, I find myself doing a lot more in terms of screen breaks, walking the dog just taking drives to get fresh air because between all the zoom presentations, now in classrooms, to students or and to parents, it takes its toll on you. And I grew up with tech, again, screens everywhere in my home. But I never allow a screen to dominate my life. But of course, when it comes to business, and I have to get onto a zoom call, I have to get onto a zoom call, and of course educate. But I was always used to Monday to Friday, walking into a school, speaking once maybe twice the students taking a long afternoon break coming back in the evening speaking 90 minutes of parents and then that afternoon break is where I would open up a laptop. And I will do my homework, catch up on emails, do some research, glance at my phone occasionally. So if I were on my screen, maximum two hours a day, that was a lot with all the screens I have. Now I’m finding among screens, probably five ish hours per day. And it’s taking its toll on me. But I do take my breaks. I’m glad that I am able to communicate. But I certainly miss being in front of humanity, because nothing replaces me being in front of an audience, right engaged, their body language, I can see their facial expressions, as I stated earlier, but as we were talking, I just flew back from Calgary where I delivered seven presentations in like 72 hours, to be in front of an audience and to see their expressions was amazing. Because that helps me understand the flow of the presentation. When I deliver knowledge on a screen, I’m still communicating, I can gauge the audience. And that is a key component to making your presentation a success. So I find all of that very interesting, right? The fact that you’re so candid about saying that, you know what, even for me as an IT person, this is what I love to do is my passion. Right? It’s a lot.

So what can you say to parents in terms of like, what are you seeing happening during this pandemic, as it relates to children and the time that they are spending on social media and and you know, smartphones and other devices.

So I have a rule about screen time, which is we need to obviously restrict it and manage it during the day. And it depends, it’s dependent on the age of your child. Now, of course, every study on screen time is inconclusive. My message has always been one hour before bed, no screens. That’s a study I read, which has to do with sleep patterns, which I subscribe to. And I’m a guy who needs sleep. Number two breakfast, lunch and dinner, no screens at the table, we will respect each other, we will talk to each other, we will engage each other because our kids are begging us for that attention. I then tell parents when your child is done, or they’re home from school, and they’ve done their chores or homework, give them a screen. If your child is on their screen eight, nine hours a day, you don’t need an expert to tell you, you know we’re going down a path where we’re going to need some help later on. If your child’s on their device, and they break up their day, and they manage it between education for school, what I call mindless, which is allow them to use their screen to chat with their friends, watch your favorite show, play a game. And then the third component of my strategy is use a screen to build something to create something meaning build your own website, get into computer programming, otherwise known as coding, create the next great game, create the next great app, get into robotics. So now you’re taking something from your head and you make them happen on the screen. So I divide a screen day into three, education mindless, and then creation. Between all those screen time. A lot of times, take breaks, walk the dog, play with your friends, help a family make dinner, clean up, engage, play, do something away from a screen.
Those rules are important. But now what we’re doing is we’re kind of bending the rules because they’re at home. And if they’re going to bend the rules we need to manage it meaning if we’re going to allow a lot three, four hours a day, hour and a half for one hour and a half for the second, third hour and a half for the third, third, excellent. Make sure it’s broken up with a lot of physical activity, hydration, good sleep. And of course, respect. If the child must in the golden rule of technology is for kids anyways, no screens in a bedroom like that is my golden rule. If they need their screen because of lack of space in the house, and they’re going to use the computer in their bedroom, the screen for this exception, while we are getting through COVID will be facing the door, the door will be completely open the child’s back will be to the door, when they are done their work, they close the laptop, they take it out. And now the screen is out of the room again. But that is the only time we’ll bend the rule to allow the screen is. So what’s happening with COVID is we’re allowing a little bit more screen time. We’re kind of making excuses to get to your bedroom and have quiet, we still have to maintain the rules. Because remember, nothing has changed with a child and curiosity and the internet connection. But the time that they’re online has increased.

So tons to drill down into and what you just said there, let’s sort of piecemeal it out. First of all, what you described is very strategic in terms of you know, the way that you can divide up the screen exposure in the day. What age should that start at? And what advice can you give to parents on on their approach in that area?

For okay for a child to have a screen, we really don’t have a defined age parents are putting iPads in front of children as young as six months of age just to occupy them at the mall, at a food court, I’ve seen it, it’s embarrassing. When they are old enough to use a screen for the purposes of education, we need to really implement the screen time right away. So a screen can be used as a television in terms of watching a cartoon, but not for five hours a day just to keep the child quiet. These as soon as we put a screen in front of a child is when we start implementing that amount of time. Now, again, all the studies are inconclusive, which is about how much time that should be. But I would suggest an old study from the Canadian pediatric society stated, if your child’s upwards of 10 years of age, approximately two and a half hours, I’ll agree with that. Because if you look at the two and a half hours, that has to do with a television, a phone, a computer monitor, so depending on the age of your child, you know, think about what the appropriate time is, but also remember that their child, so should someone in grade one, two, or three being in front of a screen all day will absolutely not. Now because of virtual learning distance learning, they’re getting more of that screen time because they’re connecting with their teachers. At the end of the day, that should be limited as well. Because most of these kids don’t even know how to write their name at that age. But now we’re asking to get online, look at a keyboard, look at a screen, their minds aren’t kind of ready for that yet. So I would limit the screen time for that age group. And obviously more physical activity, more building, more writing, that’s me as a tech guy saying, that’s because I know they’re not quite ready for the keyboard yet and the interaction with a, you know, a little camera on a screen and then looking at people on the screen in their classroom. So I would reduce that screen time tremendously.

What in your mind is an appropriate age for a child to have a smartphone?

If I had $1, for every time I was asked that question there that this is going to be an opinion. And I’m a guy who likes to deliver a lot of facts in my presentations. But my opinion on this has always been right around middle to the end of grade eight.
And the reason is this. There’s absolutely zero need for a smartphone upwards of grade six. grade seven parents like to push the envelope. When they’re in the middle of grade eight, leaving grade eight now they’ve got the summer off because we are going to high school grade nine. I believe there are tremendous benefits to having a smartphone in high school, of course with discipline, not allowing it to distract you.
But the fact is, in children in elementary school, they lacked discipline. So now you put a smartphone in a child’s hand. And by the way, I’ve educated children as young as grade three, they have smartphones, parents have told me to younger. My stats will tell you because of what I’ve educated with whom I’ve educated because I get stats, grade three, it’s a distraction. It’s a pacifier. And its parents way of saying I need to be in touch with you whenever I want to text you. So the phone has clearly been proven to be a distraction in a classroom. It’s not a debate. Now there was a theory five years ago, 21st century education. They’re going to need this later on when they grow up. All those theories have been thrown out the window. It has been proven to be a distraction. Am I against a technological tool in a classroom to educate a child? Of course not. So you know, ideal situation. Chromebook Not that I promote Google or Chromebooks, but it’s cost effective plus a lot of schools have Google Classroom. Bring the Chromebook into the class.
There are no apps on the Chromebook because it’s going to be educational only. There it’ll be used for education, they’ll put it away, they’ll follow instruction, but they won’t be distracted by the device that has this blinking blue light going off every five seconds because of a text message, or a social media notification, or call from mommy and daddy saying, Are you okay? Are you having a good day. So, in school, they need the foundation of education. The phone is a distraction. Now parents say well, I need to communicate with my child.
They walk to and from school, okay, go and buy them a flip phone. They’re available Amazon, there’s $70 dual SIM unlock delivered to your door. And it costs you $15 a month on Pay As You Go plan now you’re talking walk to and from school, they’re ready to dial 911 in case of an emergency, or they can text you it’s a bit painstaking, but they actually can text you. Now the child has the communication tool you so one of them to have, but they’re not gonna be distracted during the day. Now, the only argument against that is that if your child has a medical condition where there are apps that will benefit them, and that I will never argue against. But if we’re going to argue, you know, grade six smartphone in case of emergency, no, it’s a distraction tool. So around grade eight, but definitely high school with discipline, of course, I think is a good time.

What do you say to parents who, okay, let me backtrack a bit. When a parent decides that this is the age that my child is going to have a smartphone, what ideally, should that handing of the smartphone to that child be accompanied with and by?

A lot of parents subscribe to cell phone agreements, cell phone contracts. I’ve never had one with my daughters, I’ll be honest with you. I stated to them very clearly what my objectives were. And I told them very clearly, if you violate the terms of service of my rules, have you using my phone which is on loan to you, you will lose it. I’m just old school like that. The phone is a privilege. It’s not a right. I remind every student I speak to every day, your parents made the financial transaction for that device. They pay the bill every month, they signed the contract again, a solid network. Now I will also say oh, by the way, if you give your parents money for the phone, their responsibility, if you pay them every month for the phone, very responsible you accept your parents are making a transaction. So during a police investigation, the police investigate the owner of the phone before we investigate the user, the phone, so I tell them, that phone is a privilege, it’s not a right, it’s owned by your parents and how you use that device not only impacts you, it impacts them. So parents, if you feel comfortable in putting a contract together, hit me up on Facebook, I will send you a Word file created by a lawyer who’s a mother in Toronto, who had a contract made up for her child. Excellent. If you subscribe to that and here’s the best part, you make them acknowledge it. So then if they violate the rules that you and your child will put in place together, let them contribute to it, then they know what the consequences are. It’s a brilliant strategy. That is one strategy. Or you go the old school strategy, which was mine, which is you lay out the rules and expect them to listen to it. But it should be noted that there are expectations to using that device, because it is on loan to them. And it’s a legal entity of the parents.

Let me ask you, how have you gone about enforcing managing all of these things in your own household with your own daughters?

At the beginning, because they were children at eight, and we got phones, like my strategy was, which was until the end of grade eight. In the beginning, when they had devices connected to the internet, because they were learning they were growing up. I had some software in place where I could protect in terms of which websites they could not visit, when they can get disconnected from the internet, like all that was in place. But my message was primarily conversational, meaning look, you all know who I am my daughter saying, you know what I’ve dedicated my life to and by the way, you know what I do, not professionally. And so what I’m instilling in you is because I care about you. But you need to know that I share this with other kids. And so if you go and violate what I know to be factually effective in terms of protecting you, now kind of makes me look so they had this unfair pressure on them to make sure they obviously utilize the technology properly. And they respected the rules. Having said that, as a cyber Dad, I have the power to turn off devices and kill everything at a click of a button. I don’t do that. It’s about conversation. So it was about a lot of dinner conversation. Respect, not only for me, for mom, and understanding that the rules in place was because we love them not because we were to take away their fun. So when to say enforce. I’ve never honestly had to enforce it. Have they had their devices taken away, of course their kids. Everybody’s gonna make some poor choices. I don’t call them mistakes because everything you do online is a choice. We’re going to make some poor choices, and there are consequences of that. And then we had conversation but there was also consequences of no technology and then we understood

Well, listen, that sounds like the ideal state. But a lot of parents obviously don’t have the expertise you do.

And I think, you know, a lot of parents and I put myself in that category as well. It’s exhausting to enforce.

It is that we are parents, and that is our job. And I look back at my grandmother, who was partially responsible for bringing me up, when we moved to Canada. Old school, worked her butt off. She never complained about being tired, about this is exhausting, about you’re too much work for me, go away, leave me alone. She went to bed tired. Knowing that I was fed, I was close, I got to school, I came back, took care of me until mom got home. Like, there was no complaining. And if you look back now, and if we had to have a conversation with her, it was a pleasure for them. We need to do look, we don’t, we empower these kids with this technology. So it is our responsibility to make sure they’re safe in that technology. You’re not going to give your child the keys to the car and say, See you later I trust you know, you’re going to invest time. In fact, last night, I invested almost 30 minutes last evening with my now 16 year old daughter to make sure she has the mechanics, right for driving a car. And I invested that time could have been doing something else, of course, but it was my pleasure to get them to watch her drive the car and see her facial expressions and see how she responded. That’s our job. But it’s a pleasure. And it is work parenting is work. And some of us have it more difficult and others I completely respect that. But at the end of the day, our kids are number one, right? So this technology, which we empower them with it is partially we need to take care of them with that technology. And that means following the rules. And so you know, social media, for example,
a lot of safe, a lot of parents say I don’t understand it. Well, let me help you out. You have an 11 year old on Tech Talk, here’s an idea. Get rid of it. They’re not 13. You know, parents violate these rules, and put their kids on social media much younger than they’re allowed to be on there. And now they’re asking for help. So if you want to talk about added burden on the household, a kid goes online at a young age on a platform, they’re not to be on, they get bullied, harassed, and assaulted or exposed to sexual content. Now there’s drama, now more investment of time, helping the child versus that child could have been a child playing outside with their friends or online chatting with their friends on a text messaging system, you know, permitted by parents, and no drama, and then the parent wouldn’t have to invest at 567 hours to try and resolve that one little problem that occurred in a platform they weren’t allowed to be on. So we can manage this time, if we follow some simple rules of technology.

Let me ask you this. And I want to get a little deeper into what you just described. Let’s talk about eight to 12 year olds, that age group of children. What are things in terms of online behaviors that that age group of children could find themselves involved in and that parents need to be aware of?

They only will find themselves involved in anything troublesome. If they are on platforms, they’re not allowed to be on if your child is playing an age appropriate game, Minecraft, for example. And they have a private minecraft server. They’re playing with real human friends, they’re going to build together, they’re going to chat with each other because they’re friends. They’re going to accomplish projects and say, Look what we did as a team, you’re gonna feel amazing. If they play an age, inappropriate game, something rated m 17. Violence, blood, gore and a proper language. They play online with complete strangers, there’s going to be trouble. If your child is on social media and they’re under 13 years of age. You’ve not put them in a position to experience cyber bullying the number one way it occurs. sexuality, racism, violence, vulgarity. So if you want peace of mind, under the age of 13, make sure that the time online is doing things like creating their own websites, coding, app development, robotics,
playing educational games, for example, like Minecraft, sometimes even Roblox and removing themselves from platforms and all have to be on. And then I’ve solved the massive problem, in fact my directive to students in my grade four or five, six presentation is make sure you talk to your parents about removing yourself off the platforms they’re not allowed to be on. Why would, why do parents not knowingly, well knowingly allow their child on a platform that they parents aren’t very well understand. Without understanding the terms of service, which state 13 years of age, read how the product is being used and how it manipulates individuals
and then once it happens. They begged for help with parents, the parents need to ask for help. But if they would have read the Terms of Service, they would have done their homework on the platform, they would have realized, Oh, yeah, you know what? Not a good idea. How about you wait till you’re 13. And by the way, if you actually saw Paul Davis, there’s 1000 other things you can do online, safe, educational, fun, entertaining. So those kids upwards of 13 years of age, there’s so much they can do without falling into the trap of getting hurt.

Okay, let’s talk about that age group next 12 to 15, or 13? To 15? What, what are some of the red flags to watch out for if you’re a parent?

Well, number one, they’re definitely gonna be on social media. So the first rule is make sure that account is private online privacy is a myth, it’s never existed, it never will. can you protect your account to the best of your ability 1,000%. Rule number one, strong password. Rule number two, make sure everyone you accept as a follower slash friend, you actually know not people you think you know, you kind of know you met at the park, or you played soccer against just once and you think you know them, real human contacts. Number three, post a picture.

With the knowledge that everyone in the world has access to it, post a picture that your grandmother would have been proud of. I have no issues. Why because if that picture does get leaked out, it’s screen captured and shared, be proud of it. When people have private accounts, with a select group of followers or quote, friends, they believe they can say and do anything, yet they don’t know, especially in 12, to sorry, 13 to 15 years of age, that the likelihood that half those people that are following them won’t be in touch with them and 10 years from now, but they do have access to what they posted. What they chatted about. It could be screenshots, it could be videos, which could be circulated later on. So we always go in there with a knowledge of what we post can be leaked out in some capacity and other when you use it wisely, appropriately. I’m all for social media, when they are the right age, with those parameters in place, which is privacy, real human contacts, and be respectful of what you post.

Moving on to the age group 15 to 18 years old, now we’re talking about obviously established on social, many of them. You know, cyber bullying could be a thing. What else in that age group should we be aware of as parents?

Well, cyber bullying starts. The second you have an online platform. So to say it starts at that age, it starts way younger, if an eight year old is on Instagram, I can’t tell you how many issues I’ve dealt with eight 910 years of age, social media, cyber bullying, cyber bullying starts the moment you have the ability to be online, and someone has the ability to connect with you. So we don’t know what the age of dominance of bullying is. We know when it starts 15 plus in height, obviously, high school, obviously were subjected to a lot more quote unquote, drama. Number two, bullying has always been there. Number three, we get a lot more courageous in what we say because we believe we understand the technology better. The one thing I love speaking about the great sevens to 12. In my presentation, fact versus fiction is I love to break down how technology works. And so my audience doesn’t hear me threatening them or scaring them. They hear me delivering nothing but facts. And so when I do a presentation, for example, to a corporate client, I always say to them, the words no and do not have the most positive things you will hear. Because if you go against that, you will understand that you made a poor choice. You were told no, based on evidence and facts. You went against that now you’re begging for help. Well, kids love facts, because a lot of them will sit there and say, all right, I thought that was no wait a minute, Snapchat images don’t delete anymore. He showed me why. Okay, you know what, I got to rethink my strategy in terms of how I use this. So they respect that. Well, I get through everyone. Of course not. Some are in complete denial. But so long as I can get through them, I will prevent the pain of sending inappropriate images, of bullying, of threatening of making poor choices at two o’clock in the morning because their device shouldn’t be on and saying something that they will regret the next day. So I believe in instilling the facts, they will make wiser choices because, again, they become more Cavalier that age. But then there’s also a maturity thing. I’ve seen this tons of time, where some of them say, Well, I really messed up as a kid. But now it’s 16,17. I know better. I’m going to start changing my way. So positivity. And it’s also time for branding. You know, if they’re going to be an athlete, a musician, an artist. Now I talked about having a private account, but also having a public account that expresses their artistic nature, or them as an athlete or anything they love to do, because they want the world to see that about them. But I always maintain your private life is private, and I really focus between 13 and 18. maintain as much privacy as you can online.

Many parents who watch this are going to be stunned by some of the things that you’ve said. Maybe they haven’t done most of the things you’ve said in terms of laying that solid
foundation for their children with social media and with smartphones, is there a way for them to reel it back in? if let’s say they’re down this road, because a lot of parents struggle, we haven’t even talked about mental wellness issues, either. But what advice could you give to parents in that category?

I would suggest to you that upwards of 15 years of age, you can roll it back, you can correct it, be a parent, put your foot down, it’s in your delivery. I will suggest to you that 1617 you’re gonna have a hard time rolling it back. Can you still enforce rules? Of course you can. You’re a parent. Some parents are afraid when they’re 1617, I believe. And this is weird for me. Because when I present, it’s always about facts. And here, I’m giving a lot of my beliefs. But I believe it’s all about conversation. So a 16 year old, I learned a lot today, I saw this guy for an hour and a half and a presentation. I kind of messed up on a few things. I need to talk to you. And now the child will immediately say, Oh, Mom, he was exaggerating. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Don’t worry about it. I got it all. No, no, no, we’re going to have a conversation. And I want you to continue having the conversation. So number one new rule, get that phone away from the dinner table. It’s disrespectful. Start off with some simple, simple rules. But more importantly, conversation about self respect, about being amazing online. Remember that everything you post, someone can have access to, they can search it, and it can resurface and 10 years from now have these conversations where they will, it’ll just you’ll implant a bug in their head. But to go to a 17 year old and take away their phone and locked down. It’s not going to happen. There’ll be a revolt and it can be devastating. And I tell parents, when I leave my presentation, apply the 24 hour rule, do nothing when you get home tonight, you’re too emotional right now, I need you to process, I need you to write down your new rules and strategies moving forward. And if your child is 13, 14, 15, of course, you can reverse it. And yeah, they’ll be an A, there’ll be an adjustment period, meaning they’re not gonna be happy for a while. That’s okay, there’s still a kid, it’s still your phone that’s unknown to them. It’s your home internet access. shut that down. If you have to, you can do all this. But I like the approach of conversation with the knowledge you have, because remember, they’re going to tell you that everything that they heard was a lie. And that person has no idea what he’s speaking about, because it challenges their comfort level, their comfort zone, right. And so my objective is to make sure they understand, you know, a lot, probably as much as your child does. And now you’re going to challenge them, have it conversational, the most important advice I can give to someone, and there’ll be pushback, be prepared for that. So now you need to have your parenting skills kick in.

As we sort of close this out, I do want to ask you because you’ve talked about facts, and the fact that you use facts and evidence based information in your talks, which incidentally, you criss-cross North America, and certainly digitally, you’re criss crossing the internet with all of your talks and things. But what would you say are the top three facts in your mind about online social media safety that you would want parents to keep in mind?

You can never keep a person safe on social media, you can only reduce the ability for anything bad to happen online. Can you prevent a lot of what is happening out there? Absolutely. So Golden Rule number one, respect the rules. If it states, you must be 13. Stop breaking that rule. Because your child made you feel guilty that everyone in their class has something that they don’t stay firm. Keep to the rules, and understand that they’re in there, they’re there to keep you safe not to take away your fun. So Fact number one, respect the rules, you have reduced the ability for a child to be bullied, hurt, offended, insulted, or sexually approached. That’s a fact: remove them off the platform can be effective.
Number two, make sure you do not use technology as a pacifier for your child, make sure you understand what you put in their hands. So before you download the next app, research it, understand it. Do your homework on it. If you don’t like it, have a conversation. If you still don’t get it, reach out to people like me and say, Paul, what’s your opinion on this app, I gave you the positives and negatives. And you’ll understand how the app is used. And when you are proven app, what we spoke about earlier, privacy, private account, real human contacts, respectful content that is posted on there. It is incredibly incredibly important because they need to know that online privacy is a myth.

And that the word delete is a myth. Most importantly, if you can see behind me, the internet never forgets. And because the internet never forgets, it’s not very forgiving. It doesn’t care that you’re hurt, upset, crying that you’re angry, it will always remind you, we know what you did, we remind you when you’re least expecting. So when you have it, understand the facts of technology deletes a myth, the internet never forgets. The third thing, and this will be a difficult conversation for some parents. But it’s something that I pride myself on. And I’ve helped many parents with it. And I’ve saved many, many kids with. Remember that as a kid, you and I, depending on our ages, we start exploring sexuality, a natural part of humanity. And I’ve never, ever challenged a child’s sexuality ever. But I give them a very clear directive in high school, sexuality, social media, and smartphones do not mix.

The amount of individuals that I’ve had to assist because of pain as a result of images out there, revenge, pornography, images being used against them. A cyber guy. I was never, I never got into education, to sit down at a Starbucks. And watch a mother cry in front of me, as I’m helping her because of what her child is.

Sitting next to a father clenching his fist because he wants to hurt someone because of what happened to their child. Or being in a phone call and listening because a parent is explaining what happened. I will always, always be there. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been there.

I don’t want to, I want to make sure that child never gets hurt. The fact state when an image is out there, you will never get it back. You will never know who will see it, you will never know when it will resurface later on your life to impact.

I do not challenge a child’s sexuality. But I make it very clear. Sexuality is a human quality. You take it online, it’s part of the world’s business and you can’t stop it. So the conversation with these teens is very simple. Simply this sexuality, social media smartphones, do not mix substantiated on how technology works. Not on my values, and my morals, or my beliefs. They have no business, my presentations. But when I speak to kids, it’s interesting that we’re talking about three facts. The first 40 minutes of my presentation, to grade seven to 12 is all facts. And when a lead into the slide about sexuality, social media smartphones, that directive is based on those facts. And now it becomes an emotional thing. And that is where sometimes you can see some responses of people being uncomfortable because they didn’t understand how tech work it took me to come in to explain it. So now that phrase of sexuality, social media, smartphones don’t mix really, really resonates. So if we can follow those three things. Honestly, technology’s wonderful. It’s amazing. It’s empowering. You and I are here today. Because, well, first, we met each other at a presentation. But then we connected through the power of social media, you connected through social media. For the interview, you sent me a link for the interview, zoom is connecting us. technology’s wonderful when you understand it, and use it appropriately.

I don’t even know how to thank you for all the information you just provided. It is just an encyclopedia of important information that parents are going to want to hear.

Paul Davis online and social media safety expert. Thank you so much for your time. It’s been my pleasure. And you know if we want to do part two of this, there’s so much more we can talk about.

It’s my pleasure, reach out anytime.

Thank you.

Related links:
Porn is Too Serious for Kids of Any Age
Policing the Internet
Tips for Parents to Protect their Kids online with Noah Kindler of SocialShield


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