A tool of the trade, your cell phone. A cell phone is something that we have grown to depend on not only in an emergency but for catching up with friends, entertainment, and photo-taking. Phones today, store our contacts, call history, calendars, texts, web history, photos, social networking history, and much much more. Many of us couldn’t live without the ease and convenience our phones. For a teen, they are a lifeline to their social lives and school culture. Most teens wouldn’t think of living without their phones. If one of the teens that love their phone is also a victim of Teen Dating Violence their phone can become their worst enemy.
In the hands of their abuser, their cell phone becomes the most powerful electronic leash. The abuser can see who they talked to, how long they talked, who the texted and what they said, where they went (if social networking or GPS is active), who they are talking to via social media, what pictures they have, and what is on their schedule. Smart phones track so much information that an abuser would be silly to not utilize it. If you have a teen that came home with a phone that their partner purchased for them, it might have been jus t a sweet gift. But to be on the safe side, sit down with your teen and discuss the pros and cons of that phone. Better yet, learn about what boundaries and safety efforts they can take to keep themselves safe and keep their private life private.
I am not advocating that smart phones are evil and no one should have them. On the contrary, I think everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits and fun that smart phones can provide. But like anything else, they should come with education and guidelines to maintain the user’s safety. Teens and well as parents should be able to understand how the phones work, how to keep privacy and safety measures intact, and how to maintain boundaries so that the phone doesn’t become a tool for an abuser to track their victim, use the information against them, and/or commit violent acts based upon what they see in a phone log.
Knowing your technology is one of the best ways to keep your teen and even yourself safe!
I am happy to answer questions from teens or adults.
Feel free to submit a question; email to: [email protected] and put “HWT Question” in the subject line. You may remain anonymous.
“It’s About Your Teen”
Susie Kroll specializes in speaking about Teen Dating Violence and Healthy & Safe Dating. She conducts workshops, keynotes, trainings, and seminars on issues specifically related to teens and their relationships. To schedule Susie for your next event, contactImaginePublicity, Phone: 843.808.0859, Email: [email protected]