Titania Jordan and Chris McKenna
“What if we cared as much about the safety of our young people in digital spaces as much as we did in physical spaces.” – Chris McKenna. The internet world in relatively new realm in which prying eyes can weave their way into our children’s lives even more so than in the physical world. We care so much about who our children hang out with, where they’re at on the playground, what time they say they’ll be home. Yet, when it comes to technology, there are very little rules put into place that will protect them from online predators who have nothing but evil intentions.
Chris McKenna, former middle school youth pastor turned business owner, noticed this trend of outdated internet laws for protecting kids and decided to take matters into his own hands. He started the company, Protect Young Eyes, as an online program where parents could ask questions about technology and Chris would educate them on the dangers of the internet. Protect Young Eyes came up with an app as a “pandemic proof” way of presenting this information virtually instead of holding live presentations.
Titania Jordan is the Chief Parenting Officer for a tech company called Bark, which is a company that alerts parents when there are signs of any malicious content on a child’s phone or device. The app protects against cyberbullying, thoughts of suicide, sexual content, potential drug use, online predation, and more. Bark does this by using artificial intelligence and machine learning to alert you of an issue instead of mirroring everything on your child’s phone.
What You’ll Learn:
Protecting Young Eyes
Chris talks about his company Protecting Young Eyes and how the laws that are meant to protect young children from malicious content on the internet are older than social media platforms themselves.
Titania talks about Bark and how it screens out any malicious content from your child’s phone without mirroring every single thing your child is doing order to protect their privacy.
Chris recalls a movie that came out in 2020 called Childhood 2.0 in which kids share about their everyday experiences with cyberbullying, nudes, pressure, anxiety, pornography, etc. Chris says to use this movie as a conversation piece for your children so they can understand the dangers of technology from a child’s point of view.
Social media is not a surrogate for relationships. Chris recalls in the Childhood 2.0 a testimony from parents who lost their son to suicide. They later found on his phone the thoughts and emotions he was going through, yet their son didn’t tell them.
Titania recalls a 9.5 minute video put out by Bark where the company went undercover as multiple personas. One of the personas was an 11 year old girl and adult men began to contact this persona within 90 seconds of posting the profile. These men wanted to meet up with her, solicit photos, and live chat with her.
Bark’s alerts around online predation went up 23% during the pandemic.
Protecting Young Eyes for the Future
Chris talks about protecting young eyes for the future and how the term “parental controls” and how it puts parents in a controlling position. Parental controls are put in place to protect, not control. Be honest with your kids about the dangers of technology so that your kids trust you more.
Too many parents want to control their kids into digital submission.
Tech is a we activity not a me activity.
Titania encourages listeners to watch the movie Childhood 2.0 on Amazon Prime.
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Chris McKenna & Titania Jordan Links
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