Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.
posted in Mom Stories
When I was a child, people didn’t carry smart phones in their pockets. There was no email, no user IDs, and no online communities. I didn’t have to wonder if the messages I wrote to my friends would get published in a setting where hundreds – perhaps even millions – of people might see them. And I didn’t have many opportunities to communicate anonymously with total strangers. When kids wanted to do that, they wrote messages on the walls of public restrooms.
So this post by Allison McCann of MNBC has me wondering. How are social media, like Facebook, going to influence our kids?
McCann points out that Facebook has normalized what we usually view as rather creepy behavior—“stalking” friends, family, and acquaintances online. Social media are becoming like a “panopticon” prison, a prison where the guards are free to watch prisoners whenever they like. But in this case, we may play two roles. Prisoner and guard.
What does it do to a child – being under surveillance all the time, and knowing that he, too, can “eavesdrop?”
You might argue that kids have always had to cope with surveillance and a lack of privacy. For thousands of years, people lived in villages. Before that, kids grew up in small, intimate, hunter-gatherer bands. There was probably very little privacy – certainly nothing like the privacy a modern city dweller gets in his studio apartment.
But these little villages and foraging camps differed from the online panopticon prison in several ways. For one thing, people didn’t have to worry much about invisible eavesdroppers sitting miles away at their desks. For another, they didn’t get many opportunities to commit crimes of anonymity – like nasty, anonymous attacks on a person’s reputation.
So there really is something new here. And I wonder how the children who grow up with social media will adapt. Are children learning to live in a Facebook-style fishbowl?
As they discover the freedoms of anonymous communication, will they also learn to indulge in rude insults, libel, and other antisocial behavior?
And what about the shallowness? Does this wireless, instant upload world encourage people to ditch real dialogue in favor of self-marketing?
Last winter, a researcher announced results of a study suggesting that people become less generous after using their cell phones.
I don’t know if the social media will change our children for the worse. Sometimes I suspect so, but then again I’m probably prejudiced. I can’t help feeling that many “e-people” are becoming strangely disconnected from each other. They are good at exchanging glib, pithy remarks and announcing their daily trivia in amusing ways. But they’re also good at forgetting to respond to difficult questions, sad news, or just about anything that demands a moment’s reflection and – gasp! – personal communication.
image by Brian A. Stone of the U.S. Navy
Read more from source:“babycenter-com-baby”
e media are kids growing up in a big brother world
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