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Teen Chat Rooms Peer Pressure Statistics

Feb 2, 2008
If you've seen the recent Frontline special on PBS, as a parent you understand the frustrations many parents go through when trying to raise a child who is growing up online.

Many of the shocking statics regarding teens and online chat reveal some very disturbing trends that parents should take to hart.

A parent's internet monitoring study done in Canada found that:

* Over half (51%) of parents either do not have or do not know if they have software on their computer(s) that monitors where their teenager(s) go online and with whom they interact.

* 42% of parents do not review the content of what their teenager(s) read and/or type in chat rooms or via instant messaging.

* Teenagers who Instant Message use chat lingo to communicate and parents don't know the meanings of some of the most commonly used phrases. 57% don't know LOL (Laughing Out Loud), 68% don't know BRB (Be Right Back), and 92% don't know A/S/L (Age/Sex/Location).

* 95% of parents couldn't identify common chat room lingo that teenagers use to warn people they're chatting with that their parents are watching. Those phrases are POS (Parent Over Shoulder) and P911 (Parent Alert).

* Nearly three out of 10 (28%) of parents don't know or are not sure if their teens talk to strangers online.

* 30% of parents allow their teenagers to use the computer in private areas of the house such as a bedroom or a home office. Parents say they are more vigilant about where their teen(s) go online if the computer is in a public area of the household.

* 58% of parents surveyed say they review the content of what their teenager(s) read and/or type in chat rooms or via Instant Messaging; 42% do not.

And more statistics on teen peer pressure, cyber bullying, and sexually explicit internet use:

* Approximately one in five received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet in the last year.

* One in thirty-three received an aggressive sexual solicitation -- a solicitor who asked to meet them somewhere; called them on the telephone; sent them regular mail, money, or gifts.

* One in four had an unwanted exposure to pictures of naked people or people having sex in the last year.

* One in seventeen was threatened or harassed.

* Approximately one quarter of young people who reported these incidents were distressed by them.

* Less than 10 percent of sexual solicitations and only 3 percent of unwanted exposure episodes were reported to authorities such as a law-enforcement agency, an Internet Service Provider, or a hotline.

* About one quarter of the youth who encountered a sexual solicitation or approach told a parent. Almost 40 percent of those reporting an unwanted exposure to sexual material told a parent.

* Only 17 percent of youth and approximately 10 percent of parents could name a specific authority, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, CyberTipline, or an Internet Service Provider, to which they could make a report, although more said they had "heard of" such places.

* In households with home Internet access, one third of parents said they had filtering or blocking software on their computer at the time they were interviewed.

We hope that after taking a minute to read these statistics that you will re evaluate your teens use of the internet and chat rooms, and discuss these statistics with your teen.
About the Author
Amy Cainfield is Technology Director for software for parents , such as the Teen Chat Decoder online acronym decoder , and PC Tattletale Internet Monitoring Software .
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