Real Talk Podcast: The Current Digital Landscape

October 25, 2023

In this episode of Real Talk, KJK Student Defense Attorneys Susan Stone and Kristina Supler discuss the digital landscape, what parents should be aware of and how to promote healthy offline connections.

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Show Notes:

  • Discussing the digital landscape, what’s new and what parents should be aware of (00:45)
  • What platforms are commonly used? (1:20)
  • Description and explanation of Snapchat (2:15)
  • What can parents do at home (3:20)
  • Cell phones and driving (4:35)
  • How phones effect sleep (5:20)
  • How to help promote healthy offline connections (6:10)
  • How the pandemic effected digital habits (7:15)
  • Offline activities (8:30)
  • Being aware of online bullying (9:20)
  • Social media and FOMO (9:50)


Susan Stone: Welcome back to Real Talk with Susan Stone and Christina Soupler. We are full-time moms and attorneys, bringing our student defense legal practice to life with real, candid conversation. After school time is happening, and I think you and I need to explore what we saw last year to helpfully give our listeners some food for thoughts this school year for younger kids, the middle school and high school crowd.

Kristina Supler: Today we’re going to talk about the digital landscape and what parents need to know and what’s going on out here.

Susan Stone: Now what’s new? And what’s new today will not be new, it changes every day. So I think our first piece of advice to parents is stay on it.

Kristina Supler: And don’t give up hope. I mean so often we hear, I don’t know, I’m not good with tech these kids in their phones, who knows. But I mean at the end of the day, you don’t have to know the intricacies of how to post the most perfect video. You just have to understand the platforms that kids are using and generally what’s going on and what are the dangers of those platforms really.

Susan Stone: So to prepare, I called my rising senior and said, “What is everyone on your grade on?” I thought I’d start there and I wasn’t surprised. We knew the answers.

Kristina Supler: TikTok and Snapchat.

Susan Stone: TikTok and Snapchat. Everybody is both viewing and making videos on TikTok, TikTok, is trending really well. And that B-roll, B-real, right, Kristina?

Kristina Supler: B-real.

Susan Stone: B-real. Real film. Got it. Where they would send a notification and then you have to take a quick picture. What was the purpose of that? That was a new one.

Kristina Supler: I guess to be spontaneous and be your authentic self versus having these perfectly choreographed videos. And anyway, it’s always changing. But there’s ways for parents to find out what’s going on out there.

Susan Stone: Word of advice on snapchat. So the whole idea of parents for those of you who don’t know is that you send a snap, I guess that’s what it’s called, and then it disappears. Does it?

Kristina Supler: I would say yes and no or sometimes. I mean, it seems like every case that we have there’s an issue with snapchat and sometimes messages are recoverable, believe it or not, through backup files and other means and forensic analysis. But often they’re not. And, you know, again, sometimes it’s a blessing that messages can’t be recovered. And then you know, sometimes you’re like, oh, I would do anything if we could track down these messages. So, you know, I think snapchat it’s just one of those things where the bottom line should be, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Just be thoughtful about what you put out into the universe.

Susan Stone: And don’t assume just because you send a snap to somebody that it is going to disappear before someone has had a time, a chance to take a screenshot. Show and reproduce and send off that snap. Careful what you snap in a snap.

Kristina Supler: Amen, there you go. What about, I mean, what can parents do at home to educate their children about online safety and then model healthy behaviors?

Susan Stone: Well, I don’t like lecturing. It never works. I think modeling healthy behaviors,

Kristina Supler: I totally agree.

Susan Stone: And I just share one pet peeve that I see all the time. I hate phones at the dinner table.

Kristina Supler: I agree. And in my house, we’re actually very strict about that because if we weren’t, there absolutely be a cell phone and then iPad at the dinner table. There’d be a YouTube video playing in the background and my husband and I was like, turn it off, turn it off. And it’s just sort of like, eyeroll, okay, mom, fine. But if we didn’t make them do it, they wouldn’t do it.

Susan Stone: Well, let’s be clear. Adults are just as bad about looking at their phone.

Kristina Supler:  Absolutely. Oh my gosh. Absolutely. It’s how often do I know I catch myself all the time. I’m in a conversation, I’m listening and then I pull out my phone and I’m still kind of listening, but I’m also like totally engrossed in my Instagram feed and it’s just you don’t even realize how splintered your attention is.

Susan Stone: Do not look at your phone while you’re driving that is in no bueno distracted driving is a huge problem.

Kristina Supler:  And I don’t have data. I wish I had some study to say I’m sure there’s good research out there, but you know, I would say the reality is regardless of your age, texting and driving, bad, dangerous because if you’re looking at your phone, by definition, you’re not looking at the road.

Susan Stone: I’m very mindful that my children have always seen a pile of books. Very messily next to on my bed, stand next to my bed.

Kristina Supler: Same with me.

Susan Stone: I mean, I always have five books going, but the other night I caught myself looking at my phone and you know, it’s not good for healthy sleep.

Kristina Supler:  No, and actually that that was something. I guess you could say I had the good fortune of learning back in college. I had tremendous trouble with sleeping. Insomnia, I would dread going to bed because I was just later for hours and hours and hours. Yeah, and you know, through that though, I learned the importance of having really good boundaries with electronics and the bedroom. And so not laying in bed on your phone or not looking at your laptop, shooting off some emails before you try to go to bed because you can’t wind down.

Susan Stone: Well, and again, it’s that modeling. If you want your kids not to be addicted to their devices, we have to establish healthy boundary with our own devices.

Kristina Supler: Absolutely. So what do your thoughts, Susan, on how to help promote really healthy offline connections?

Susan Stone: By doing.

Kristina Supler: Yeah. 

Susan Stone: Again, it’s that modeling. And so, I think it’s important to, when I know when I go out and walk the dog to just say, “Hey, you want to come with me to walk the dog?”

Kristina Supler: Yeah, and I think this is one of those things that it’s ironic that we’re talking about this in the context of healthy tech habits because I think the practical advice is rooted in just old fashioned behaviors. And by that, I mean, just do stuff, try sports, try other clubs, maybe it’s theater, just find stuff that’s interesting. And it’s through trial and error, you know, some kids are going to find stuff easier than others that they like. Some kids like everything they do. Others don’t. Others, it’s a more difficult journey to find stuff that’s interesting and exciting. But you just have to keep encouraging them. And I think as parents, it’s so easy, we come home from work, we’re exhausted. Our children just want to be left alone in their bedrooms, but we still have to encourage them to do stuff. We still have to make the effort to have conversations, right?

Susan Stone: It was really challenging during the pandemic. Everybody lived virtually. For me, the conversation is how lucky we are that we’re not living that pandemic life, even though, of course, people still get COVID. And it’s here to stay. We’re not locked in our homes. We can interact. There are people out and about into really show gratitude for things that were taken away from us.

Kristina Supler: That’s such a great point about, you know, essentially perspective, because if you think about it in 2021, 2020, when we were locked in our houses and couldn’t go anywhere, it was just like, “Oh, you do anything. You’d be exciting to go to Target, right?” And now it’s interesting to see how sometimes we lose perspective on having the ability to go out and do things and socialize and interact with people.

Susan Stone: I love going to the movies again. I don’t care what anybody says. To me, there is nothing better than getting a big box of junior mints and sitting and watching a flick in a theater. I love it.

Kristina Supler: I still want to be with you on this one. But I know like movie theaters. I actually, I am one of those people. I’d rather watch a movie in the comfort of my own home. But I hear you, though. I agree with your point generally speaking. Let’s just getting out and doing things.

Susan Stone: And live theater in summer concerts.

Kristina Supler: Yeah. Yeah.

Susan Stone: Musical theater. I have my tickets for Six.

Kristina Supler: Oh, yes. I was looking at that over the weekend.

Susan Stone: The best. It’ll be the second time I saw it. So I’m a repeat offender for sometimes seeing the same musicals. But everybody out there needs to stay informed on what’s happening online. And be cautious about online bullying too.

Kristina Supler: Oh, that’s that’s such an important topic. And I actually think particularly with younger children now, little school, it’s something that they’re very aware of because they’re taught so much about it in school. Which is a good thing that they know about it because let’s face it, it does happen. And I mean, they don’t want to be a total Debbie Downer, but let’s face it, the internet is full of dangerous stuff. And people with bad intentions.

Susan Stone: The last topic I want to bring up is FOMO.

Kristina Supler: Hmm. Tell me more.

Susan Stone: Let’s talk about this because I think here again, modeling can come through. Just because you see people smiling on that Instagram picture. It’s a picture. It’s a moment in time. It’s okay if you’re not included in that event.

Kristina Supler: Oh, this is so interesting you bring this up because in my household, the issue with FOMO had to do with Taylor Swift tickets. Because we did not have the much sought after tickets.

Susan Stone: Was everyone saying, yay, I got my tickets online?

Kristina Supler: And they went and we were the only ones who didn’t. I mean, kidding aside, it was like a big, it was a big thing in my house. And we just sort of had to work through it. But to your point Susan, you see these photos on Instagram and wherever whatever the platform is. It doesn’t really matter. Everyone’s smiling and happy and in, you know, cool outfits. But it’s important that we, children and adults alike, we don’t lose sight of the fact that it’s not reality always.

Susan Stone: You know, one of the things I said to my kids growing up is you’re invited and you are placed where you’re meant to be. And that’s okay. You’re meant to be somewhere else and just be grateful for where you are and not in life and not what you think you missed out on.

Kristina Supler: Yeah, and that, I mean, something in our house that we talk about a lot is just the idea of treat others the way you want to be treated. Which again is so simple and basic, but I mean, it’s, it works and all facets of life. All facets. Glad we had this little chat.

Susan Stone: Indeed.

Kristina Supler: To our listeners, thanks for joining us and we’ll catch you next time. Thanks for listening to Real Talk with Susan and Christina. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to our show so you never miss an episode. And leave us a review so other people can find the content we share here. You can follow us on Instagram, just search our handle @StoneSupler. And for more resources, visit us online at Thank you so much for being a part of our Real Talk community. We’ll see you next time.