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Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!

Why is the title of social media researcher danah boyd’s new book “It’s Complicated“? Not just because “the social lives of networked teens” are complicated (the book’s subtitle), but growing up in a networked world is too. And I’d add that it’s further complicated when the adults in a teen’s life don’t have any idea […]

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In defense of Internet safety education

There has been some discussion lately over whether there is still a need for Internet safety education. I say yes. It’s true, as some argue, that safety messages from the 90′s are way out-of-date. We no longer need to dwell over the highly exaggerated risk of child predators or the panic over Internet pornography. While […]

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‘Neknominate’ is a stupid and potentially deadly online dare game

The Irish Mirror calls it “sickening online drinking craze,” and that’s factually correct.  “Nekominate,” also known as neck and nominate, is a game that’s growing in popularity in Australia, the UK and parts of Europe where someone posts a video of themselves doing something stupid or dangerous and then “nominates” another person to stick his or […]

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Teens’ own (wise) perspectives on life with social media

As panelists at Safer Internet Day US 2014 in Washington, D.C., high school students Arielle Ampeh (from Va.), Will Ashe (Va.), Zoe Parks (Ill.), David Rojas Rosario (D.C.), Hannah Thompson (D.C.), and Dursey Wade (Mich.) had a broad-ranging conversation about their experiences in all kinds of social media. But if you watch the video or […]

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Confessions of a binge viewer

I don’t mind admitting that, for the past few days, I’ve been a binge TV viewer. That’s because Netflix released the second season of its hit show “House of Cards” and, unlike traditional TV networks, the company released the entire 13-episode season all at once. In theory, it would be possible to turn on the […]

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Choosing stupidity or kindness: ‘Neknominate’ or ‘RAKnominate’?

Just as about every other human (and other animal) behavior has turned up in social media, so has “neknomination” (or “neck nomination,” “neck and nominate,” etc.). It keeps evolving, but it’s now a blend of dare game (e.g., “Truth or Dare” or “Top This”) and drinking game that’s thought to have started in Australia (UK […]

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People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems

This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News There was a big flap last week over the game “Flappy Bird,” an iPhone and Android app that was pulled out of app stores by its Hanoi-based creator, Dong Nguyen. It all started when Nguyen tweeted that, “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours […]

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Heart to heart: How connection protects & grows resilience

Back in 2008, I wrote about evidence that social networks – our social circles, as experienced online or offline – are a source of health and safety. They’re also protective in the way that fellow family and community members have each other’s backs. And the evidence is growing that meaningful social connections increase safety and […]

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U.S. Safer Internet Day focused on potential, positives and problems too

It was a great honor that ConnectSafely.org, the non-profit Internet Safety organization where I serve as co-director, was selected to host the first official U.S. Safer Internet Day.  The day, which has been celebrated in Europe for the past 11 years, saw events across the world including a celebration in Washington D.C. Tuesday where Senator […]

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Safer Internet Day 2014: The global safety collaborative

What do a high school student who’s a bullying prevention activist, two criminology professors and Safer Internet Day (February 11) have in common? They’re all sending the same message that safety and wellbeing online takes all of us. The student Aidan McDaniel the student activist says school safety happens from the ground (the students) up. […]

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