Wow! Its 2013 already! We got through 2012 unscathed and the world did not end, again, as predicted.

2012 was a busy year in the technology space. The use of tablet devices increased dramatically, and that will continue into 2013. New models were seen on shelves that included the iPad Mini. Tablet devices also became more popular in schools.

Internet issues arising in 2012 were mostly the same as the previous year. Cyber bullying being the biggest issue, followed by sexting.

Many schools are spending considerable time sorting out issues arising from what students were saying to each other on Facebook.

Will we see the same issues arising again in 2013? Most likely. Until we build a ground swell for change, from students themselves, issues such as cyber bullying will continue.

After doing some research online, I came across an informal survey carried out by and investor Garry Tan. He asked 1,000 teens what social networking site they liked to use.

Teens love photos but hate text. This is quite evident in the results. Please note that this survey was conducted in the US.


‘What is Tumblr’ you may ask? Tumblr is a micro blogging platform and social networking site. It allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. Users are able to follow other users’ blogs as well as make their blogs private.

Like many social networking sites used by teens, Tumblr also suffers from cyber bullying at times. Tumblr can be found at

Others you may not be familiar with are Instagram and SnapChat. These are explained below.



An online photo sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take a picture, apply a digital filter to it and share it on a variety of social networking sites, including its own.



Snapchat is a photo messaging application. Users can take photos, record video, add text and drawings and send them to a controlled list of recipients. Users then set a time limit for how long recipients can view their photos, up to 10 seconds. Once the time limit set has expired, the item sent will be deleted from the recipient’s device and the company servers.

SnapChat was only released in 2012. When it came out, there was a lot of negative commentary from internet safety advocates in the US. They claimed that it would encourage promiscuity and lead to an increase in sexting.

However, that is still yet to be proven. We believe it important for parents to be aware of this new technology and have appropriate conversations with their children about it.





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Dean Stewart is the owner of WebSafety NZ and has over 27 years of experience in the IT industry. His career has taken him to Australia, UK and South Africa, before returning home after a 14 year overseas stint. Outside of work, Dean has two teenage children, is a keen tramper in the outdoors and enjoys growing his own produce.

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