Friday, March 18, 2011

The internet just "is"

Nice summary of research by academics Patti M. Valkenburg and Jochen Pete, who have written numerous articles about youth online. In their current research, these two scholars conducted a review of all research done to date on teens online and concluded that the Internet isn't necessarily a positive or negative influence. It is just a tool to use -- for good or evil. They write ""Instant messaging can help them exchange intimate information with their close friends, thereby stimulating the quality of these friendships. However, it is also widely used for cyberbullying and online harassment. Likewise, online social support groups can help adolescents with social or health problems, but at the same time they can also result in dangerous interactions with strangers."

"Nuff said. As I and many others have been positing for years, we cannot portray the internet as this scary world from which we need to protect our youth. Instead, we need to work with our youth to provide them with positive environments and good role models so that they are more prone to use technology (and their lives) to promote themselves and others, not bring each other down.

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