Smart Phone Responsibility Seminar Given to Foster Care Youth
Smart phone technology isn’t bad. The abuse of the powerful little wireless device is. That’s the message participants of a Youth Empowerment Seminar heard during a presentation at Georgian Court University in Lakewood Thursday.
So how important are smart phones to today’s youth? 20-year-old Kasie from Camden County says she’s been using a Smart Phone since she was 17. She admits “I don’t think I could live without it. Like the other day, I left my phone at work and I’m like, I need to go get my phone! I get e-mails sent to my phone, text messages, important calls, everything. My phone is unfortunately part of my life”.
20-year-old Skyla from Gloucester County like Kasie, didn’t get any instruction when she started using a Smart Phone when she was 18 but she has a good grasp on the steps everyone should take to protect their personal information. “I say don’t ever enter your real address on anything or your real full name. If they ever want your real social security number ‘don’t do it’. Keep your I-Phone or Smart Phone locked at all times and always log out of everything.”
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However, Keynote Speaker Richard Guerry, Executive Director of Verizon Foundation’s Institute for Responsible Online and Cell-Phone Communication, also known as IROC2 , says their main goal is to teach audiences how to never, in their whole lives’, face a self-inflicted challenge in the wireless communication world. He says he wants everyone to understand “If you’re going to turn on a digital tool that was designed for instant sharing, then you should be prepared for what you put on that tool or the web to be both public and permanent.”
Guerry gave a multi-media presentation to nearly 100 members of the State Department of Children and Families’ Youth Advisory Board. The group of 16 to 21 year old’s are members of the State’s Foster Care system and belong to the D.C.F’s Office of Adolescent Services and meet to offer suggestions on how to improve the agency’s services. They also learn life skills as they transition into adult life.
D.C.F Commissioner Allison Blake says they put on the seminar because “it’s really important to them to understand about privacy and how once something goes up on the internet it really becomes permanent and a very public document.” She says Smart Devices play a critical role in how youth communicate with them and admits in many ways they’re catching up.