Adults Encroach Upon Youth Turf Online

from the your-mom-poked-me dept

As technology starts to develop at a quicker and quicker pace, a generational digital divide has started to form between the children, who are growing up amidst all of this new technology, and their parents, who are left to play catch up. So, though most adults are now familiar with technologies like email (which has been around for decades now), more are starting to use instant messaging and social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook. We’re not referring to the so-called “online predators” that have been the subject of numerous tv specials. As mom and dad embrace these technologies, today’s youths complain that grown-ups are encroaching upon their “turf” and would prefer that they stay on their side of the generational digital divide. Online youths have been quick to embrace the sites like Facebook as somewhat of a social theater where they where they publicly canoodle with crushes, post pictures of the previous night’s escapades, and comment openly on each others’ profiles. Now, as adults get hip to the internet, these once private worlds are now at risk of being invaded. Back when these adults were kids, there was never really a fear of their parents invading their parties, or crashing their proms, so now some youths feel it necessary to keep a “grown-up friendly” online presence, thereby ruining the appeal of such sites. It might behoove Facebook to introduce more selective sharing levels, lest their most avid users start to lose interest in actually using the site. That said, this problem of over-sharing is not unique to youths — for quite some time now, adults have been getting into trouble over their online profiles as well.

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Comments on “Adults Encroach Upon Youth Turf Online”

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krsd says:

Re: Re:

I’ve always been surprised by the people that purport not to understand html, but constantly customize their myspace pages and blogs and live journals and guild pages etc. The code they are using (I am referring to people that are not just using out of the can themes and the like) are html/css. Oft times they just don’t really realize that they are just being limited in their application of it and everything they are doing could be done on a regular web page easier.

lizard (user link) says:

@Stretchdog & Bill — hell yeah! we invented teh internets, who are these punks to tell us we can’t play with ’em?

and seriously — if having their elders around makes them a little more reserved online, so much the better — unless society as a whole changes to the point where this full disclosure lifestyle doesn’t cause employers & even schools to reject you, it’s a good lesson to learn early on.

Palmyra says:


From the stereos we purchased in the PX during Nam through the Walkman, the VCR, BBSs, online services like The Source, and CompuServe, USENET, and the WWW to cell phones and on and on we are, as the song goes, “Talking about my Generation,” when it comes to Tech.

If some lazy ass punk kid does not like it he can stick it where the son don’t shine. Ever build a PC kid, to say nothing of a TV? So don’t call old dad the next time you frack your PC. Fix it yourself.

Simon Chamberlain (profile) says:

I’m with Stretchdog and others.

I’m 35. I love using Facebook, many of my friends are on there, and I probably use it for similar reasons that most teens do (tho’ maybe with fewer vampires/zombies).

But I’m not sure why it’s a problem for kids/teens if I’m on Facebook. Don’t want to interact with me? Don’t add me. Set your profile to private. Then do whatever the heck you like, and I won’t be able to see it. Seems fairly simple, no?

Anonymous Coward says:

From the article:

Lauren Auster-Gussman, a freshman at Juniata College in Pennsylvania, says it’s particularly awkward when one of her parents’ friends asks to join her social network. She thinks Facebook should only be used by people younger than, say, 40.

“I mean, I’m in college,” she says. “There are bound to be at least a few drunken pictures of me on Facebook, and I don’t need my parents’ friends seeing them.”

At least she thinks younger than 40. But what really sticks out is:
“There are bound to be at least a few drunken pictures of me on Facebook, and I don’t need my parents’ friends seeing them.”

In other words I’m 18 and don’t want my parents or other adults seeing pictures of me drunk from underage drinking.

Shun says:

Generation Gap

I think the above comments miss a very important point, which the article, and some TV programs eluded to. I watched one of those TV programs talking about the wildness of our youth on-line. Luckily, I was surfing teh internets at the same time, so I didn’t quite know what was going on (Hey, I gotta throw down for the adult side every once in a while).

Children have a visceral need to separate themselves from adult-monitored activity. The problem is, there are certain on-line activities that are inherently unsafe, like posting your real home address or personal phone number onto your Facebook or MySpace account. Also, unless their profile is behind an encrypted wall of some sort, their info is viewable by anyone, child or adult. Kids’ protests that adults are invading their space are specious. There have always been adults lurking in what some might consider kids only space. We do not want our children to meet these adults. Mostly, they are school teachers and priests. (Am I kidding? Was that supposed to be funny?)

Parents need to prepare their kids for the on-line world. Children need to learn that putting it all out there on-line, like casual sex and drug use, has a consequence which will follow them the rest of their lives. Parents who think that their kids would “never do anything like that” are fooling themselves. You need to immunize them from life-threatening risk. That means talking to your kids about sex, drugs, and on-line predators. We really are backward in this country. I mean, few enough parents talk to their children about sex. Just who the heck do we think we’re fooling? Dude (I have a visceral need to say “Dude” every once in a while), this just makes me wonder. Will there be job positions in the future for on-line risk counselors?

I could imagine that: if kids are too afraid to talk to their parents about on-line activity, who can you talk to? Security experts and hackers, most likely. Hey, if anyone can erase your FaceBook information, it’s going to be a hacker. The answer is encryption. Don’t allow anonymous users to view your profile. If anyone does want to be your friend, force them to log in with a username and password. As you can see, I think the FB/MySpace model is all wrong. I’m all about running ssh over everything. And ethernet everywhere, but that’s another topic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Over 30 and hip? Yeah, the old geezers back in the 50’s thought they were “cool” too but guess what? They were not. Face it, you might think you are cool, but you are not. You turned into your parents. I will too someday, and I am sure I will still think I am cool and still have it. I won’t.

Get over it and enjoy your AARP card.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

> Over 30 and hip? Yeah, the old geezers back in the 50’s thought they were “cool” too but guess what? They were not. Face it, you might think you are cool, but you are not. You turned into your parents. I will too someday, and I am sure I will still think I am cool and still have it. I won’t.

Hah, you’re not cool now – dont bother passing those uncool genes to another generation. Dennis Hopper, Robert Redford, Angelina Jolie, William Gibson, Jay-Z. All over 30, all cool.

If you think cool is something you grow out of, you never had it in the first place, chump 😉

And back on topic, my 14 year old daughter knows that the internet is permanent, and not to post stupid things now that are going to be an embarrassment later. It’s a frikken digital tattoo, y’all!

LDøBë says:

teaching is best

The dangerous stalkers don’t lurk. They solicit. I agree with Shun, when i say that if a kid is stupid enough to set up a meeting with someone they only know online, it’s the parent’s fault for not educating their child. Kids will always circumvent the rules, so we might as well drop all the shielding crap. If you don’t teach your kids how to deal with strangers by instead monitoring them constantly, you are doing terrible damage to their development anyway. No ifs ands or buts

Greg Andrew says:

I find this whole thing kind of ridiculous, since I’m 40 and had a facebook account before 99.9% of the teenagers who have signed up for accounts over the past few years. So as far as I’m concerned, they are the newcomers.

Of course, many of them seem to spend more time on facebook in a week than I have over a number of years, but that’s another story. I’m still not really sure how people manage to spend that much time there, though.

LoBot says:

Teenagers/kids turf are you nuts?

First off, as an adult considered cool by most for many … many years.
I think there is a problem with a 20 something kid creating a site to attract specifically teens if that was actually his intention. We have kids and never have let the computer or related peripherals and services be the baby sitter, that is the first major problem.

We have talked with them about sex and to much info on the internet as well as lurkers.
We do invade there space…everywhere…. to protect them from themselves during their dumbass years. On different occasions on myspace and facebook as well as a few others we have busted our 12 year old daughter (when she started doing this), creating accounts we did not know about. Our kids have been being warned about the internet and most other predator places not just electronic as well as full explanations on most topics so they are not misinformed. Yet at 12 when she started spending a bit more time on the net, more than, we watched. Although the page was only up for a couple days before we caught it, she had become an over night 16 year old and put up a bit much personal data anyway. And yes the older males were already sending her perverted materials knowing she was still a minor even at the ripe old age of inflated 16. After the third time she no longer has access to the internet. The kids are not allowed at any friends where there is a computer that is not in plain site of a parent that must also be home and informed by us they are not allowed on the computer. Our daughter has a friend that is really 16 and has a facebook account where she is 23. After being chastised by the mother for trying to show her what happens when KIDS are left unsupervised we decided her parents could figure this one out themselves.

Teenagers are KIDS and kids have “NO TURF” other than what responsible parents allow them to have, with supervision.

One thing most people do not think about, people on the internet communicate without inhibitions, they even build themselves up as more than they are. Teenagers/KIDS are also people they communicate on the internet in the same way. The big problem with that is most kids are less inhibited in what they say, “without an adult around” in the first place so unsupervised internet or outside activities are many times worse and make it ripe pickings for petafiles male or female.

Be a responsible adult do not let kids in their DUMBASS years wonder freely in cyberspace or anywhere else. Remember you are a parent first and a friend second, if they say they hate you, you know you are doing something right and they are safe.

Side note:
This may not be true but I am sure it is close.
If teenagers/kids think you are the coolest you might be letting them do some things responsible parents or the courts would not.

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