Thursday, March 26, 2009

Media reports concerns that normally somber kids go wild on the Web under peer pressure


NBC Washington tonight (March 26, 2008), with Colleen Williams reporting, discussed the continued troubling practice of teen exhibitionism, on YouTube as well as Myspace and sometimes Facebook. One YouTube video (I will not embed it here) showing a teen smoking weed had gotten 114000 views. Teens sometimes believe that they make themselves “popular” by exhibiting rebellious behavior publicly. (Remember the episode of Smallville where Clark is exposed to red kryptonite and goes into wildly rebellious behavior out of tension of “never telling”?)

Author and teacher Candice Kelsey (author of “Generation Myspace”, reviewed on my books blog May 25, 2008), discussed the problem, and said that in her classes she has seen teens who are very reserved in class go wild on YouTube or on Myspace.

64% of all teens self-publish on the Internet.

The report was intended to warn parents that they need to watch what their teens post, and get accounts and know their kids’ usernames and passwords.

Employers and colleges often look at profiles and videos, although the ethics of the practice has been questioned by many authorities, and that objection has been discussed on these blogs.

Authorities find the practice of “self-deprecation” on the Internet troubling, as many people view this as indicative of what someone really will do and do not regard the Internet as a separate “parallel universe”.

Also, on Tuesday March 25, Washington DC station WJLA reported that Maryland is considering a law requiring ISP's to meet certain standards in offering Internet filtering. I could not find the legislation on line. Stay tuned!

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