Protect Young Eyes with Chris McKenna
Killian Smith: Hey, everyone, Killian here with Worksighted. We’re here with a special in the field version of Tech Riffs. We are at our Worksighted NXT speaker series event, where we just got done listening to a talk from a brilliant person named Chris McKenna. He is the founder of something called Protect Young Eyes, which is a really awesome organization that’s dedicated to preparing parents and working with kids to help the kids be protected in an increasingly digital age against all the dangers that they may run into online.
So, we’re going to have a quick interview with him really quick. Let’s go ahead and get that started.
As stated previously, I do have Chris McKenna here. We’re very excited to get started with him.
So Chris, if you can give me like the quick 60 second elevator speech on what you would tell a parent that is starting to explore like, “I’ve got this young child coming up on being a teen. What do I have to know?”
Chris McKenna: Right, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed. I think I’ve got all these things to do. I tell parents that. You don’t need to be an expert. You just have to be a parent who is willing to look your kids in the eye, and have persistent consistent conversations about all of the awkward things that nobody ever talked to you about.
Killian Smith: Right.
Chris McKenna: Right, and so we have to parent today differently than how we were parented, which is really hard. So I grew up analog, but I need to teach my kids digitally. Right? That’s a different way of parenting, and so we exist to give parents those tools to know how to parent well in the digital age. But it starts with the right conversations.
Killian Smith: Yeah, that’s fascinating. That’s really, really good advice. What would you say are some of the biggest challenges or some of the biggest dangers that you see immediately that these kids are facing?
Chris McKenna: Sure. Believe it or not, the internet as we kind of know it today, ignoring its military roots, is about 27 years old. And we’re starting to see some of its impacts long term on young people. So it’s important to ask questions like, “Why?” As a first world country, that is blessed in abundance with so many things. Why are our kids more anxious, and more medicated and depressed than ever?
Killian Smith: Yeah.
Chris McKenna: What’s happened over the last 10 years? Right. Iphones, social media, all of these things, now we can’t prove it with certainty but these are interesting coincidences that we’re finding that kids these days are getting pulled in to things like the snap streak, where they have to do it, they have to do check it. This anxiety that they constantly feel.
Killian Smith: Right.
Chris McKenna: Or, Instagram that would give me this false sene of beauty or significance through the number of likes or comments. And when my picture doesn’t these things, I feel depressed and bad about myself. So I’ve been fed this lie that who I am comes from who I am digitally.
Killian Smith: Ah hah
Chris McKenna: And it’s causing kids to be depressed, and to be anxious. So they’ve started to transfer my digital identity to my real identity, and it’s just crushing our kids.
Killian Smith: Yeah. Okay finally, you mentioned your website at the beginning. Can you just let us know what that is and what that’s about a little bit?
Chris McKenna: So ProtectYoungEyes.com, was built as a website that tries to solve two problems that a lot of parents have. I don’t have time and I don’t know where to go. This is a website that takes care of both of those things, so that they can read about all the latest apps. We blog about the latest trends, and they can see parental controls on all the devices that kids use.
Don’t forget gaming devices. So we talk about the XBOX, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, you know the DS, all of those too. They’re internet ready, right?
Killian Smith: Yep.
Chris McKenna: So we go through all of those parental controls so that parents can make sure their kids are protected.
Killian Smith: Great. Awesome Chris, thank you so much for joining us.
Chris McKenna: You’re welcome.
Killian Smith: And that’s a rap for us out in the field. If you want to learn more about this and other cool IT tips and tricks, you can go to worksighted.com/tech-riffs