That Scary Internet Is Dangerous For Teens

from the oh-come-on dept

It’s not often I come across an article that makes me guffaw aloud (even rarer that I would admit to “guffawing”). However, this Chicago Tribune article is so filled with fear-mongering about that “dangerous internet” it seems like the only proper response. The whole article seems to be focused on how scary it is that your teenagers might become addicted to the internet (gasp!). Luckily, it tells you to watch out for warning signs like (oh my!) the fact that your kids might use instant messenger more often than the phone to talk to friends (how dare they!). This is just silly. The only actual story they have someone with an “addiction” in the story is Serena Williams’ bizarre compulsion to shop online that was talked about a few years ago. That wasn’t an internet addiction – it was a shopping addiction. However, in this article Serena is described (how? why?) as having more self-control than most teens. If that were true, wouldn’t “most” teens be out there shopping online for more than the 6 hours-a-day that Williams was? Are their dangers on the internet for teenagers? Sure. Can good parenting help teens learn to deal with the dangers online? Definitely. Does printing a fear-mongering article about invisible dangers of “internet addiction” help anyone? No. Now parents who don’t know any better are going to start taking away their kids’ computers and doing other pointless things because the Chicago Tribune told them to.

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