Week 8 Readings (Thursday)

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All of the readings this week seem to focus on online privacy and safety issues for younger kids. The whole dynamic of socialization have changed so much in the last decade or so and kids nowadays meet more friends online than in person. According the Pew Research article Teens, Technology and Friendships, from the surveyed teens, 77% of them have not met any online friends in person. I found this to be a bit unnerving but it could just be that I’m too old fashioned. I rarely add anyone to my social networks that I have no personal connection with. It does raise the concern with internet grooming, where predators act like someone else to lure kids into their traps. I think there should be some censorship with kids to not add people randomly and start communicating with them. It is hard to monitor what kids do online and this is why I think what we talked about last week is important. We have to educate our kids so that they can identify any suspicious activities online by themselves. If they are aware of the dangers they would be less likely to fall into these traps.

I do agree with the point on the article our focus on internet risks fails children, where it talks about family values transferring in to their digital spaces. However I am skeptical about the notion of letting children take risks online to make them fail and become resilient. I think any type of internet risks concerned with bullying, sexting, or grooming should not be taken lightly. We have to educate our kids and help them avoid these things before they go through any of them. The resiliency has to be built by being aware and raising questions if they detect any suspicious activities. I am not suggesting to restrict kids access to the internet but just like the metaphor mentioned in a previous reading, we shouldn’t let our kids drive without making sure they have a driver’s license just like we shouldn’t let them go stray on the internet without knowing the dangers. This is where teaching digital citizenship from a very young age can really help.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. vronvz says:

    I have a couple of things I want to comment on here! First, when I was a teenager I actually met multiple friends from different social media platforms online. There’s one friend that I am still in touch with to this day, but I’ve never met in person. I feel the opposite of how you do about it. When I did have the opportunity to meet him in person, it raised a lot of red flags for me. We’d met online as teenagers (never anything romantic, just true blue friends), and even though I’m an adult now I still had the thought of “I don’t really know this person”. But I love being connected with people online and making the world a little bit smaller. It’s interesting that I’m comfortable having him as a friend on Facebook, but not meeting him in person…

    Also, you mentioned the dangers of allowing students to take risks online. I agree with your point that we can’t take things like sexual predators lightly. However, I think that just teaching my fifth graders to blog is something like taking a risk. Just showing students that they can get online and share their thoughts with the world is enough of an adventure that I feel like it’s the type of “risk” the author was referencing.

    Liked by 1 person

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