Addicted to Technology: Meet the Ozawa family

Ryan Ozawa
Ryan Ozawa
Ryan and Jen Ozawa
Ryan and Jen Ozawa
Zac and Alex Ozawa
Zac and Alex Ozawa
Katie Ozawa
Katie Ozawa

By Dan Cooke - bio | email

MILILANI (HawaiiNewsNow) - With smart phones getting smarter every day and WiFi finding you just about everywhere you go, it's likely you and your family are spending more and more time on the Internet.

But probably not as much as the Ozawa family.

"I'm online to earn a living, I'm online to do things for fun and I'm online to relax, that's basically it," Ryan Ozawa said.

This is dad, Ryan... online at work, talking about things online during his weekly show Byte Marks on public radio and surfing online at home in Mililani.

Even while watching television. Remember that Hawaii Five-0 episode where McGarrett and Chin Ho reminisce about high school?

"The next day my friend Valentino and I decided to make Kukui High real, so we made a Facebook page, we made a webpage, got a Twitter account and it took off like wildfire," Ryan said.

Ryan's wife, Jen, is a prolific Tweeter.

"My mom follows me, so it's kind of a way for my mom and other relatives to know what I'm up to," Jen said.

What does she tweet about?

"Life, really boring stuff really, what I'm making for dinner. I like to tweet about what I'm reading because I like to read too," Jen said.

Sons Zac and Alex both know their way around an iPad, ahead of the curve at Kipapa Elementary.

"Hardly any kids at school really think of iPads, hardly any," Zac said.

And then there's Katie. At 12 years old, already a Facebook and Twitter veteran. She's even used the social networks to sell Girl Scout cookies, but always under dad's watchful eye.

"Yeah, he has a link account to my email so whenever someone wants to follow me he's no, yes, no, yes," Katie said.

Ryan and Jen are doing a great job monitoring their family's online activities, but they are in the minority. According to, only one third of households are actively protecting their kids online.

"I can see there are a lot of things to be afraid of, giving out too much information, being unsafe and those are definitely the things I focus on and try to teach, but I also like that as a parent you start to realize that the only way you are really going to know what your child's character is, is by how they interact with other people, not how they interact with you," Ryan said.

To take some of the fear out of letting your kids interact with other people online, has an Internet safety program for families. It includes the top ten concerns for parents, more than 25 lessons for kids, even software suggestions for filtering and monitoring online activity. That's

"Bye. Later. Yo!," Zac, Katie and Alex said.

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