Not All MySpace Teens Privacy Dimwits

from the where-is-Doctor-Spock dept

Many of the stories discussing social networking sites and sexual predators paint the sites in a negative light, portraying teenagers as doe-eyed automatons without a whit of common sense. A new study shows that teenagers are actually pretty wise about what kind of information they're sharing online. The study shows that the vast majority of teenagers don't show their full name, and 40% keep their profiles private unless you're on their friends list. Of the remaining public profiles, just 1% offered an e-mail address. What's more, researchers found that kids gain confidence as well as valuable writing, networking and HTML skills while using the sites. As it stands, it's not clear if the warnings and scary reports are to thank for careful kids, or whether they were being careful all along, and nobody bothered to study them. Many parents have been eager to focus on the negative aspects of social networking sites -- even going so far as to blame MySpace for sexual predators. In the end of course it comes down to quality parenting -- informed kids not only reduce their risk of problems online regardless of the technology used, they know what to do when problems do occur. While there are kids who still stick forks in electrical sockets, we don't blame the electrical sockets -- we ask why the parents weren't paying attention to what their kids were doing.

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  1. identicon
    misanthropic humanist, 5 Jan 2007 @ 5:14pm

    Re: Re: -5 uninformative

    #AC7 are you saying that teenagers dress more sexually agressively
    these days? Then I would agree.

    There is a topic that is very seldom dealt with, imho it is considered a taboo and dangerous subject, but basically there is strong scientific evidence that the age of puberty is falling sharply. Some beleive this is due to environmental estrogen contamination from birth control drugs. I remain sceptical myself, but here's a couple of pointers fwiw. oc_format/Estrogen_Dominance.cfm

    By repression, I do not mean direct behavioural repression. I mean subtle psychological repression. When I was at school we wore uniform, revealing casual clothing was banned for the lads and girls were not allowed makeup or jewelery. That didn't stop subtle forms of expression though. We had very good sex education as early as 10 and teachers who talked openly about the highs and lows of sexual relationships.

    I think parents and teachers are less able to talk about the normal facts of life than they were 30 years ago. Today I hear a lot of pseudo religious faux morality which kids see right through as doublespeak. The role models they emulate are shallow TV personalities because real people in their lives are too timid to conduct intelligent discussion that is not deemed politically correct.

    Are they naive about sexual predators and inappropriate relationships with adults? No way. I hear girls and boys as young as about 7 talking at the bus stop about which of their teachers are nonces. Of course what they say is funny, way off, when you are that age all teachers that don't look like Brad or Angelina are either "lezzers", "gay" or "fiddlers". They're very cautious and very aware I think.

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