Amy Lindsey | GC News-Gazette Cyber Safety expert Frederick Lane visited Clarkson Elementary School Monday night to explain the dangers of children using technology.

Amy Lindsey | GC News-Gazette

Cyber Safety expert Frederick Lane visited Clarkson Elementary School Monday night to explain the dangers of children using technology.

Nationally renowned cybersafety expert Frederick Lane visited Clarkson Elementary School Monday night to spread cybersafety awareness to the citizens of Grayson County.

He discussed how much technology we use in our lives everyday and how it is starting to effect us, including teenagers and small children. He also gave recommendations for how parents can keep their children safe with regard to the use of technology.

According to Lane, The American Pediatric Academy said that children ages 0-2 should have no screen time at all and children ages 3-5 should have less than one hour of screen time per day. He said that most children use a device before they are one-year-old and 92 percent of children have an online presence before age two, with most of the children using a device daily and splitting their time equally between TV and mobile devices.

He said that most of this online presence is from parents posting photos and creating a public persona for their children.

According to Lane, by age three, children are using a device without help and one-third are able to engage in media multi-tasking and make in-game purchases. He said that 50 percent of four-year-olds have their own TV and up to 75 percent have their own mobile device.

"Parents are responsible for what their kids do with these mobile devices, including parental negligence, cyber-bullying and sexting."

According to pacer.org, "The percentages of individuals who have experienced cyberbullying at some point in their lifetimes have nearly doubled 18 percent to 34 percent from 2007-2016."

Sexting is when sexual language is used in texts.

Lane said that kids are exposed to online adult content as early as age six and the exposure to the internet and devices at such an early age makes it difficult for parents and teachers to keep kids safe.

According to Lane, the Millennial generation came of age as the internet did, and nearly half of them spend more than 10 hours per day on the internet.

He said that there are 306 million cellphone users in the United States, including 92 percent of teenagers and 75 percent of those cellphones are smartphones. Lane said teenagers have the technical skills to use these devices but lack the wisdom to be safe while using them.

According to Lane, smartphones can reach more people than MSNBC due to the internet and social media, and the cameras have been made so small that voyeurism has been increasing because people don't see them.

Lane said that devices can affect the development of children. They cause less parent-child interaction, less interaction with the real world, less use of imagination and less empathy.

"Narcissism is going up and showing empathy for others is going down," Lane said.

With children having more screentime, they have less experience seeing people showing empathy to others and empathy is learned, not an inherit trait.

According to Lane, there also physical injuries that children can sustain from devices. Sometimes parents drop devices on a baby's head; cancer risks due to long-term exposure; sleep deprivation; bone deformation; risk of overheating to cause a fire; vehicle accidents due to texting while driving and an increased incidence of obesity.

He said that the increased use of devices is also leading to delayed mental and emotional development, stunted socialization skills, overstimulization, attention deficits, aggression, lack of empathy and oversexualization.

According to Lane, there are things parents can do to lessen the impact technology has on their children:

*Learn about technology and what it does

*Communicate values and talk to the kids about things before the internet does

*Use the least amount of technology for your needs (just need a phone, buy a flip phone instead of a smart phone)

*Put phones up at night

*Have family charging stations

*Have device-free meals

*Model good digital behavior (don't text and drive, don't stay on the device constantly)

For more information contact Frederick Lane FSLane3@gmail.com, (802) 318-4604, www.fredericklane.com, www.slideshare.net/FSL3.