It’s been a slow Family Tech News week but here are a few tidbits that you should know were making headlines.
1. Fake News
Fake News on social media is finally getting labeled for what it is. It’s dangerous and stupid. Our kids buy into these things as easily as anyone so we should be glad that something is being done. We, as parents, also have to be careful not to just post anything that comes across our social media timelines. These messages are spread by those of us who don’t check our sources and just share things because what’s written agrees with our opinion. Nothing is more important than truth. If our children are going to be using social media, and they are, we need to do what we can to keep it the kind of place that can be as safe as possible.
I have shared about UGC (User Generated Content) before and how it is hard to control. The only thing you can control is what you post on your feeds and what social media you allow you children to be involved in. Let’s share responsibly.
2. Data Storing Toys
Did you see that movie where the toys your kids play with are listening to them and saving the information they share in some big company’s database? Remember the part where the toy asks the children questions and uses the answers to store data about the child and their likes and dislikes? That was crazy, how they used it to market to the kids and even let the police and government use the voice data to develop voice recognition software. Man, that was a scary movie. Except it wasn’t a movie, it was what happened in THE ACTUAL NEWS THIS WEEK!
Parents have to pay close attention to the toys our kids are playing with. Being more connected isn’t always good. Be careful to protect your kids by paying close attention to terms and agreements about what companies do with the information you and your kids put on apps, software, and toys that they use. You can’t be too careful when your family’s personal information and privacy is at stake.
3. Facebook Messenger Games
Here’s a fun one. You can now play games (Even some old school classics) within Facebook Messenger. Facebook is trying to get you to spend more and more time using their service so they can spend more and more time putting ads in front of your face. Right now these games are free and fun but there will soon be ads and most likely in-game purchases available too. Be aware that the more time your children spend online with other people the more time they have to be influenced by those people as well as whatever advertisers pay to put their content in front of your child’s face.
Here’s my advice. Hold your family close this weekend. Put away the tech toys, and the news, and the games and just enjoy being together. We can get so carried away with the next big thing or what’s happening in the news and all over our huge world that we forget what’s happening in our little world at home. Spend some time in that world this weekend. That’s what I’ll be doing. Have a good weekend, see you Monday.