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Geek Parents: What Are Your Biggest Concerns with Technology?


Parenting is hard. We’re trying to do research on the biggest concerns parents have when it comes to kids and technology. So if you can spare a minute, please give us some feedback, which we will use to write better content for you, our readers.

We’ve put together a quick poll that you can answer, but you are more than welcome (and encouraged) to also leave an answer in the Other slot, or even as an anonymous comment to this article. (Note that comments might not show up on the site right away, but rest assured that we’ll see them).

Note: whether your kids are babies, teenagers, or in the oven, you are welcome to participate.

[polldaddy poll="6869843"]

Update: the poll is not working at the moment. You can leave a comment with your feedback.

Thanks for helping!

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 02/2/13

Comments (18)

  1. Hisa

    Honestly, I am not afraid of my kids breaking technology – if they can’t take care of it, they can’t have it.

    But cyberbullying and online predators is a huge issue for me. Even with the best parental controls on your devices, you can’t stop it.

    Add to it that many kids think everything on the internet is true or fact plus many kids believing they are safe because they are behind a screen, and you have a disaster just waiting to happen as they think they are unfindable, unreachable, untouchable – damn near godly online (and will divulge almost anything to anyone because they think they are so smart and invincible…). THAT is what is really scary to me as a mom.

  2. imanoldgoat

    I have to lock down my computers- every time I go out, my cat goes right to the animalporn sites.

  3. Jer

    Dang. I am still trying to nail down an age when I’ll let my kids online. I have family that all have their own online problems/addictions, etc. I don’t want my kids to have those issues, but I don’t want to shelter them too much. So, I think I’ll have to limit online activity to the ‘kitchen’ computer. And have a great router that gives me unseen control, paired with OpenDNS. One of my boy’s friends (he’s 10) just got a laptop and is now asking for my wireless key. Oh Boy.

  4. Sleepy71

    You really needed and all of the above. As a parent to a teenager, at least for me currently any of these issues have real bearing on my childs day to day life.

  5. Emac

    No sure if Geek Parents mean 2 geeks have children or 2 parents having geek children. In my household I am the father and a geek and my daughter is also a geek. She is a teenager and has been taught from an early age about the dangers of the Internet. Most of the time she is responsible, sometimes I have to make her delete something or some friend on Facebook she has no business associating with.

  6. Cori

    These are all valid concerns for parents, however, for me personally I find that limiting time on electronics, making sure my son is responsible about not texting while driving, and keeping web browsing “clean” are my biggest challenges. I also use OpenDNS on my router so our internet is porn free! Gaming time always comes after homework and chores. For the most part it works quite nicely.

  7. bart

    I’m just worried that I won’t be able to have enough are rf chips 2 invisibly track my kids and their friends

  8. williambaugh

    I buy the first one (computer, cell, whatever), if they lose, break or otherwise damage it, they get to replace or fix it, which if they don’t have a job or use their allowance for other needs, it may be a while before they have their “toy” back in operational condition.
    If school work or grades fall, “toys” get put up until they bring things back up to expected levels.
    they lose the use of their “toys” if any of the following happens.
    math less than “A”
    english less than “B”
    history less than “B”
    there are other studies, but unless they want a job in those areas, those grades are not requirements.

  9. John

    Kids today spend more time texting each other rather than face to face social interaction. I remember seeing three teens at the mall and all were texting their friends (I assume) and completely ignoring each other. Electronic gadgets and game machines are also limiting their time outside. I remember seeing a T-shirt design that said, “I went outside once. The graphics were superb but the game play sucked!” ;-) They isolate so much their only interaction is with the game(s) they play. In my generation we didn’t have these toys and games and actually had to go outside to socialize, have fun and talk to each other face to face. The highest tech game we had was “battleship” and we used two pieces of paper (one for each player) to play that. LOL

  10. Tracie

    I am concerned about 2 main things.

    1.) With continuous connectivity to the “hive”, there is almost no true alone time. Time for thinking, exploring thoughts & ideas, considering situations, growing your own inner personality, etc. without the constant flood of other voices, opinions, judgements, misinformation, herd mentality, nonsense in general, and peer pressure. This alone time is absolutely necessary in order to form a fully realized independent personality as they mature; and they’re not getting it.

    There is never a minute when the outside social world isn’t invading, interrupting, interjecting, redirecting, judging, distracting, and on and on… They seem to be, instead, being trained to be Borg; that every thought, every second of the day, must meet with hive approval in order to have personal social standing and for the thought to be able to be even considered, much less valid. And if you shut it down, all they do is jones for access back to it.

    The digital hive also removes their ability to re-invent themselves (if they choose) if and when they go away to college or move to a different town and want to start fresh or try something different this time; which, for some, can be a very important part of becoming who they want to be eventually. Now, no matter where you go, there everyone you ever knew is.

    2.) They are constantly encouraged to share everything out into a permanent public record that can never be erased or modified, in an age when schools, employers, and the government feel they have the right to invade every inch of your personal life and history in order to decide whether you might be worthy of competing for an education, crappy paycheck, or even basic freedoms. It’s twisted and has the overly abundant opportunity to become detrimental to an age group that hasn’t even remotely mastered common sense and good judgement yet, much less the skill of adeptly calculating future possible ramifications.

    I understand that privacy is something that’s disappearing from the American vocabulary, but that doesn’t make it any less important for a giant laundry list of reasons; in truth, now more than ever.

  11. Anonymous

    Dosent anyone realize that most children are victims of cyber bullying and don’t say anything to anyone beacuse there to scared to? I really can’t belive that that is the lowest thing you parents are worried about.

  12. Paul

    @tracie, pull the plug out. They only get constant connection to ‘the hive’ if they are allowed it. Good parenting is built on a solid foundation of saying no. Ppl tend to be forgetting that.

  13. Robyn

    The strongest safeguard for your children is you: and communicating with your children is the key. Whatever happened to the dinner-table as a round-table for discussions on things? We had this sort of discussion with both our girls for years – btw, no computers in the bedroom, it’s a place for peace and privacy, this was before tablets and smart-phones – so they had a clue. They had an opinion – and the right to have an opinion as well, most importantly… and they felt safe and respected to be able to share and discuss things.
    The dinner-table discussion forum is where you safe-guard your children best by giving them the tools to make wise decisions: this isn’t only essential for their cyber-life, but their real one as well.

  14. fsdf0d89f

    Children who are cyberbullied and cannot take it should get off the internet. Children must learn early on that the world is not a nice place. They will be better off later in life if they do indeed learn this important information early on

  15. Jester

    As a recent graduate from college, the craziest things I’ve seen is that people rely too much on electronics and technology that it diminishes their overall intelligence when those electronics fail. For example, I’ve seen someone not know what to do when their cash register fails (it wouldn’t display the change required after the total and cash were exchanged). Everyone should know how to find out how much change is required when the total is $26.37 and someone hands them $30.

  16. Old Gnome

    I have been in IT since 1979. The element I am least worried about is physical damage. It only takes one major experience with that and you become more careful, and yes, I speak from experience (apologies to my then 2-week old HTC phone back in 2009).

    I reserve my greatest concern for cyberbullying because I think that it covers a lot of the other items, too. I was bullied as a kid – I still carry the scars and remember the names (I couldn’t tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday, though….).

    The anonymity of the Internet leads all of us to say things – or say them in a less-kind way – than we would if our names were permanently attached to our comments. Yes, I recognize the irony of posting with an alias. The e-mail address is real.

  17. "gunner"

    @ “tinahiggs22″,
    spamming much?

  18. Jim

    I’m afraid that my kids will ignore everything I teach them, and in turn be technologically challenged.

    My son is on the right path. My daughter, well not so much.

    She must take after her mom.

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