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An app for teens that promotes (& gets) positivity

Last spring I asked, “Will safety ever be baked in to social apps?” Well, it’s actually starting to be. Let is a perfect example. A social app (mostly on Apple’s iOS phones) with an overwhelmingly teen-aged user base that launched last March, its L.A.- and Marseilles-based creators seem to have grown a digital community in […]

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The Hunger Games as metaphor for youth oppression & resistance

Guest post by Warren Blumenfeld I believe one of the litmus tests by which a society can be judged is the ways it treats its young people, for this opens a window projecting how that society operates generally. Adultism, as defined by John Bell includes “behaviors and attitudes based on the assumption that adults are […]

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Prepare your family-tech before a major storm or power failure occurs

Whether it’s winter storms, fall hurricanes  or just random occurrences, power failures are a fact of life and can happen any time and anywhere. If they do occur, they can affect your family’s technology and that same technology can be a life saver in an emergency, assuming it’s ready to use. So to be safe, […]

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Safety & civility advice for anonymous apps

A growing number of apps allow people to post anonymously. Some of the better known ones include Ask.fm, Whisper, Secret and Yik Yak but there are new ones all the time, including After School, that’s been downloaded more than 100,000 times including by students from more than 14,000 U.S. high schools, according to Recode.net. As […]

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Digital & social: A teen’s perspective on parenting

Guest post by Jason Brand This guest post by family therapist Jason Brand is a composite of many teens’ views and experiences, those expressed in family and individual therapy sessions. “It’s some of the words behind the anger, avoidance or even just frustrated eye-rolling that teens can use in response to parental questions or concerns,” […]

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Sexual harassment victim’s secret weapon — ‘telling their mothers’

Alanah Pearce, a 21 year-old game reviewer from Brisbane, Australia has had more than her share of online hate, including rape threats. But, she told Alternet about her plan for dealing with her young harassers. I only realized quite recently that the majority of sexually explicit comments or messages I get come from young boys, not […]

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Google ditching CAPTCHA for ‘I’m not a robot’ checkbox

A couple of decades ago — before former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s anti-crime initiative helped reduce lawlessness — I stayed with a friend in New York but was annoyed at how much work I had to do to get into his apartment. I had to unlock a bolt lock, a regular door lock and a “police […]

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Social problem data & youth: Cause for celebration

“We should be celebrating young people’s good judgment and self-control — and extolling their parents and teachers,” writes David Finkelhor, director of University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center, in a Washington Post article just before Thanksgiving. “They have brought delinquency, truancy, promiscuity, alcohol abuse and suicide down to levels unseen in many […]

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Of parenting & a class called ‘Wasting Time on the Internet’

One of the central stereotypes of (or maybe urban legends about) us, our tech and our time is people filling every free or empty moment doing something on a screen – texting, playing a game, posting a photo, listening to a tune, checking email, reading a book, etc., etc. It makes us feel guilty or […]

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Anonymous apps get bad raps, but they fill gaps: The good side of anonymity

There are a growing number of social media apps that encourage anonymity. Popular services such as Ask.fm, Secret, Whisper and Yik Yak allow people to post under an assumed name, or no name at all. A new one, called Rooms, is actually owned by Facebook — the very company that popularized the “real-name culture.” Plenty […]

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