Sexting, parental monitoring, laissez-faire content approach: Aussie teens sound off

A panel of Australian teens at the World Congress on Family Law & Children's Rights sunk their teeth into the meatiest of Internet and mobile use topics — sexting, how they (don't) interact with inappropriate content, and how parents should go about monitoring their kids' digital activities. 

By , Guest Blogger

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    A group of Australian teens on sexting — laws seem unfair; inappropriate content — ignore it; parental monitoring — announce it.; a minimum age for social networks — 13. Here, a 19-year-old snaps a photo of her friend's puppy in Texas, Feb. 27.
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My visit to Australia for the World Congress on Family Law & Children’s Rights has been rich in hospitality and insight — I’ve had the privilege of talking with people in government, online-safety advocacy, industry, school (students!), primary and secondary education, research, of course many parents and grandparents, and even “Australia’s Dr. Phil,” as Michael Carr-Gregg has sometimes referred to himself (but the latter is still a clinical psychologist as well as media personality). I can’t possibly fit all that I’ve learned into one blog post, so I’ll be breaking it out into several posts). First anecdotal, next published research….

A panel of smart, candid high school students, moderated by Dr. Carr-Gregg, lasted for a mere 30 minutes. I could’ve listened to them for a couple of hours, so I sought them out afterwards, and they kindly shared more of their thinking. [Here they are, in uniform because most Australian students seem to wear school uniforms and they came right from school, thoughtfully formulating their answers to a question I'm asking. Between us is Dr. Carr-Gregg in yellow tie. The photo was taken and posted by Jeremy Blackman of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, my gracious hosts.]

Here are some highlights from the panel (Ethan, Jon, Claire, Filip, Cameron, and Ashley):

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