Compare sexting to the comic book panic of the 1950s, a thoughtful commentary in the Boston Globe suggests. “Huh?” you might say? Yes, back then, “a broad swath of the United States was convinced that crime and horror comic books were turning the nation’s children into murdering, raping monsters. Hearings were held, and eventually federal authorities pressured publishers into creating the Comics Code, an industry standard that neutered what had been a vibrant, eccentric – and yes, oftentimes provocative – form of American art.” Hmm, isn’t it interesting that each previous moral panic seems to have happened just long enough before the current one that the current generation of parents has no memory of it, and therefore lacks the kind of perspective that would help protect us from “the outrage industry” that exploits parental fears? Must be a conspiracy! Writer Jesse Singal continues: “We’re wired to be protective of our young, so it will always be much easier to convince people that children are at risk than to argue otherwise. That’s why these moral panics rage through the country at regular intervals. In the 20th century alone, marijuana, rock music, Dungeons & Dragons, Satanic cults, and first-person shooters have all seized the minds of American parents. And yet each successive generation graduated to adulthood largely undecimated.” Actually, this is good. It’s an opportunity for parents to practice the critical thinking that protects us against group think and fear-mongering, so we can teach our children critical thinking from experience! [See also "Why technopanics are bad."]
NEW! Subscribe to our newsletter
Please sign up for our email newsletter. We publish about twice a month (you can easily unsubscribe if you need to).
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Powerful lessons for preventing bullying & cyberbullying
- Mobile rules in the US now too
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments