The headline of a recent CNET interview with MIT professor Henry Jenkins suggests he might be, but – though he isn't a pediatrician or child development specialist – he is one of the US's top experts on social media. So he knows a lot about how young people's social producing and creative networking with digital media. Referring to research showing that "57% of teens online have produced media and about a third of them have produced media that they shared with people beyond their immediate friends and families," Dr. Jenkins told CNET that those 57% "are kids who are learning to share knowledge, to collaborate over distances, to work with people from diverse backgrounds, to participate in a global culture – those are really powerful things that are emerging in this generation. But they're also facing dilemmas about intellectual property, cyberbullying and how to navigate these environments." It's challenging to parent them as they do this navigating, he says, challenges that "are not anything their parents taught them how to deal with. They don't have a language to talk to their kids about a lot of the issues they're facing online." It's becoming more imperative to learn enough about social networking to try to talk with our kids, I'd say, because – if we try too hard to control or even ban it, communication breaks down and kids go underground. They have so many workarounds and opportunities to connect without our knowledge. "Turning your home into a surveillance culture where you don't trust your kids is dangerous because you're going to make it harder to communicate with your child," Henry told CNET. "So part of what I've argued is that the kids don't need someone looking over their shoulders, they need someone watching their backs." For more on his research and views, see "Participation: Key opp for kids."
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Zooming in on social norms (sidebar)
- Beginning of the end of #purge, revenge porn or social cruelty?
- For our kids & ourselves: Presence in a digital age
- Manage Net risk but focus more on opportunities: Researchers
- Proposed ‘rightful’ framework for Internet safety
- Social media in Saudi schools … sort of
- Textbook case of what NOT to do in teen sexting cases
- Breadth of videogames’ benefits to kids may surprise
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Safety, security and privacy risks of fitness tracking and ‘quantified self’
- Don’t let stalkers or abusers and creeps track your phone’s location
- Let’s stop persecuting ‘Auschwitz selfie girl’ for smiling at a camera
- EFF launches free Privacy Badger for Firefox and Chrome to block hidden trackers
- Privacy and security tips for newly-minted college students
- Google to stop labeling apps with in-app purchases as ‘free’
- Home automation and ‘Internet of things’ is great — but think about privacy and security
- Time for public to weigh in on ‘net neutrality’