How Parents And Children Confront The Dangers of The Digital World

 

Jennifer Wong, author of No Bullies Allowed noted "bullying behavior can assume a wide range of actions;" Wong went on to point out, "Unfortunately, the advent of new forms of communication technology has added to the list of ways in which children and youths can be victimized by others." In terms of cyber-bullying alone, statistics estimate, 42 percent of children have been bullied while online and one in four report it happening more than once. Further, 58 percent of school age kids report not revealing online harassment to their parents, or other adults.

Dr. Uma Gupta, in an article Can Internet Babies Coo? pointed out the devastating impact of cyber-bullying. Gupta pointed out," Cyber-bullying is the use of any and all forms of digital media such as instant messaging, blogs, websites, emails, chat rooms, and cell phones with the sole intent to cause harm. This may include intent to humiliate, threaten, embarrass, cause emotional distress, reputation loss, demand submission, perpetuate hate, and distort the identities and motives of others."

Gupta explained that the anonymity inherent in the process of cyber-stalking makes the experience even more insidious."In an unsupervised digital world, with few laws and no boundaries, where identities are fluid and fiction becomes fact overnight, cyber-bullying is an exciting game for digital predators. While in face-to-face bullying the identity of the bully is known, in cyber-bullying the identity of the bully is often masked or anonymous. Bullying is restricted to a geographic location whereas cyber-bullying is a drama played out on a world-wide stage with free and ready access to anyone, anywhere, at any time to watch or participate in the process. In an unsupervised digital world, with few laws and no boundaries, where identities are fluid and fiction becomes fact overnight, cyber-harassment is an exciting game for digital predators."

In terms of Internet pornography, more than 11 million teens report viewing pornography online. According to the Pew Research Center, "most Americans say parents are primarily to blame when children are exposed to explicit sex or graphic violence."

The Pew survey reported, fully 79% say inadequate parental supervision ­ rather than inadequate laws ­ is mostly responsible for children being exposed to that sort of offensive material; there are no significant political or religious differences on this point. And by more than ten-to-one (86%-8%), the public believes that parents, rather than the entertainment industry, bear the most responsibility for keeping children from seeing sex and violence in TV and movies."

The research conducted by Pew also revealed that parents are fraught with worries over what their own children are being exposed to in the media, but they praised the tools that help them "make entertainment choices for their families." Further, the research conducted by Pew demonstrated "roughly six-in-ten parents (62%) say there is enough information available to help them decide whether movies, TV, video games and music lyrics are appropriate. Majorities of parents also say they have at least a fair amount of trust in ratings for TV, movies and video games, as well as advisory labels for music. In addition, roughly half of parents who go online (51%) say they have a filtering system to prevent access to pornography over the web."

Danielle Tiano, author of Temptation of A Generation recognizes the dangers of, as Dr. Uma Gupta put it, "an unsupervised digital world." Her book series, she said offers empowerment for both parents and children to keep the channels of communication open.The book series, focuses on the potential dangers of today’s most popular technologies; Cyber Bullying, Social Networking, Cell Phone/Texting, and Internet Pornography. Based in Southern California, Tiano has been involved in charitable endeavors, most recently including Miller’s Children’s Hospital, The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and The Karen Child Family Foundation.

In the following interview, Tiano discusses her book series and approach to the creative process.

1.What led you to write your book(s) and was there a pivotal event you can share?

There are many circumstances that bring children to use technology in the wrong ways. This has lead to children going down the wrong path in this technological age. I wanted to give back and help in an area that needed to be brought to light. Every parent, and every person that I have talked to about the series has been affected by technology and it’s dangers in one way or another. Parents and teens need to be educated of the potential dangers of today’s popular technologies.

2.How do you approach the creative process when you decide to write?

I sit outside, usually by the ocean as it inspires me. I like to be surrounded by nature. I also enjoy writing at night when the rest of the world is sleeping, as my creative energy flows better with no interruptions. I have to birth the characters first, create a hero, and then I let it flow. It is like a puzzle that continues to grow into a completed piece of work. I absolutely love the process, and watching it unfold into a magic page that jumps out at you.

3.Are there any influentials in your life that have encouraged you to stay the course as an author?

Yes, there are hundreds of authors I have read and respected, presently and in my youth, that have helped me in my journey. I love stories, the ones you hear, read and watch. Everyone has a story to be told. Children also inspire me as their constant curiosity swallows my every need to write.

4. Can you explain the premise of your book?

I wrote the Temptation Series to give parents a tool to open communication with their children, and to empower children to realize they are not alone in the obstacles of this technology driven world. The series focuses on the potential dangers of today’s most popular technologies; Cyber Bullying, Social Networking, Cell Phone/Texting, and Internet Pornography.

5.What have been some of your high and low points in being a writer, and in the process of promoting your book?

The low points are driving sales, and making parents understand that the books and their subject matter are a necessity, an investment in their children’s socially healthy development.

The high points are everything else! Having a parent hug me and tell me how much I helped their entire family. A letter or thank you card I get from a child or a school on how I impacted their life. Hearing myself on the radio or seeing myself on television, being interviewed, helping others. Seeing a child sit on a parents lap while they are being read my words, that is the best!!!! Having a child relate to one of the characters so they no longer feel alone.

6. Apart from writing, what other endeavors, or hobbies are you involved in?

Building a solid marriage. Working with charities. Volunteering myself for children’s story times. Staying active outdoors as I love all sports. I have to do something active every day to keep a balance. I used to race (snow ski professionally). I love to learn and grow most of all. Every day I try to pick up a new skill or learn something new. Mental stimulation is very important to me!

7. What would you say to someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Do your research, read as many books as you can, and take writing classes. Pick a subject and run with it, and take criticism lightly. Be sure to learn patience because being a writer is a lot more work than you think!

8. Do you have any plans for the future-work related and/or personal?

My future endeavors will continue to focus on a child’s growth and their continued success in life. I hope to author many more books in my future, to let kids know they are not alone.

9. Describe a typical day in you’re writing life.

Absolute focused alone time. You need space and quiet time with no interruptions. As a writer you have to find or create an environment that works for you. A typical day is a lot of coffee and none stop writing with no distractions. Everything else needs to go on the side lines or you will not get anywhere with your story.

10.Tell us something about yourself outside of the job of writing. For example, your interests, an experience you want to
share, something you are proud of.

I am a solution based woman. I am most proud of all the people I have helped and brought together throughout the years. I have impacted many different lives. This is definitely my biggest accomplishment!