#SavetheKids Parent in Carson City
On Thursday night, concerned parents held the first in a series of meetings designed to help parents start a conversation with their kids about cell phones, social media, and the potential danger that comes with too much time online.
On Thursday night, concerned parents held the first in a series of meetings designed to help parents start a conversation with their kids about cell phones, social media, and the potential danger that comes with too much time online. The keynote speaker has started a movement called #SaveTheKids.
"A report came out that says parents fear their kids' technology use more than they fear alcohol and drugs," said Youth Activist Collin Kartchner. "They fear tech and we have to stop doing that; we have to get on the same page and use this tech to help our kids succeed."
Kartchner says it's no secret today's kids are being overstimulated by technology and it's taking a toll.
"The average American teen spends more than nine and a half hours a day on a screen," Kartchner said. "And a lot is school stuff, which is good, but a lot of that is them on Snapchat, Instagram at 1 a.m. and we're starting to see the signs to show how it's affecting their mental health. We've seen spikes in teen depression, anxiety and suicide since all this tech became an everyday occurrence."
For parents, it can be overwhelming
"We live in an age of cell phones and tech and so much of this is new," said parent Kimberly Ponczoch. "We're the first generation dealing with this as far as helping our children navigate all of this."
That's why concerned parents are holding a series of meetings. The first, on Thursday night, was for parents only - focusing on how to start a conversation.
"This is about getting that conversation going," Kartchner said. "The technology comes out so fast and as soon as a parent thinks they've caught up on an app, another three are out and kids are always ten years ahead on tech. So this is about opening the door, opening the communication so parents can get back on the same page."
On Friday the Carson City school district is holding three assemblies for students to encourage rising above the negatives of social media.
"One of the biggest mistakes we've made is thinking it'd be okay to give our kids access to say anything they want to over a phone or let anyone say anything they want to these kids," Kartchner said. "Many times kids are being cyberbullied by someone they don't even know and a lot of times they are scared to tell anyone because they don't want Mom to take their phone away."
The goal is to start a face to face conversation between generations.
"If parents can get excited about helping their kids make better choices online I think we will all be in a better place," said parent Michelle Dudley.
Judging by Thursday's turnout, it's a conversation a lot of parents are interested in.