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Balance Online and Offline Activities the Digital Nomad Way

Kids & Online Security: A new generation of digital nomads?

A digital nomad lifestyle enables people who can work online to balance remote work with travel. Does this now extend to children and distance learning? And how are parents keeping kids safe online and managing their snowballing screen time? 

Millions of people are still navigating Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, and using digital channels for most of their daily activities. A group of people who were ahead of this trend, however, are those with a digital nomad lifestyle – leveraging technology to work remotely while traveling the world.

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I have experienced this lifestyle firsthand as I have been working remote since the beginning of 2019— before the pandemic struck. I have worked from several spots in Europe in the last year, and before that, I was freelancing and logged hours from cafes in the Canadian Rockies, the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, and lodges in Mozambique. 

The digital nomad lifestyle was typically popular among young professionals and child-free couples as it allows them to work from anywhere they can find a decent internet connection while living a location-independent life. However, due to the ongoing pandemic children are taking classes virtually and many people have temporarily relocated out of state and away from the cities they normally have their schools in.

Children are spending over four hours online, everyday

Around 93% of school-going children in the US were doing some form of distance learning while in the UK, children missed out on nearly six months of in-person schooling since the pandemic began. This extended stay away from school has resulted in a majority of children spending more than four hours a day online.

Attending virtual classes for school remains the top activity with 91% of the children we polled for our study, Navigating Internet Safety When Screen Time Becomes Full Time, saying so. Restrictions to stay indoors forced parents to relax the rules in screen time in order to let children connect with their peers and do school work. This meant fun activities, sports, entertainment, and socializing were replaced by online gaming, social media, streaming, and virtual meetings—further increasing the screen time.

Digital euphoria has worn out

Spending too much time on the internet without supervision—as parents engage in their own professional activities—can be harmful for children. With the time spent on online activities increasing, children run a greater risk of exposure to online abuse in many forms.

Although 65% of children reported having never felt unsafe online, it is highly likely that they did not identify the threats. This may be because children, today, are digital natives—getting internet access at five years of age—that possibly makes them oblivious of the dangers lurking around. However, parents (71%) are worried about the personal information of their children being captured online and would like more resources that can help protect their children.

Digital life is taking a toll on both children and their parents, as they seem to have reached the tipping point. They are experiencing burnout and yearning to ‘disconnect’ and live an offline life. Parents worrying about their children spending too much time online is normal; kids getting disenchanted with online activities comes as a bit of a surprise! Our survey finds that 53% of the children polled are past the initial excitement of being online and now want to reduce their screen time.

Strike a balance the digital nomad way

In the new normal, reliance on digital channels will stay for good—and increase. This may make it difficult for parents to manage the screen time of their children. However, it will be imperative to strike a balance between offline and online lives—as people living the digital nomad lifestyle with kids are doing—for the overall well-being. In addition, parents and guardians will need to counsel children on proper online behavior and cybersecurity practices that can help prevent unwanted cyber exposure.

Our survey takes a deep dive into the online activities children engage in, the threats they face, and how parents and businesses can help protect them online. To read more insights, please download your copy of the eBook Navigating Internet Safety When Screen Time Becomes Full Time.

 

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Arkose Labs authored by Lizzie Clitheroe. Read the original post at: https://www.arkoselabs.com/blog/balance-online-and-offline-activities-the-digital-nomad-way/