More ephemera was published to the blogosphere two days ago that sidles up quite nicely along my last posting on “Parents Don’t Understand Internet Risks”. Stay with me now, ’cause it gets a little bit meta.
Above is the trailer for “Growing Up Online”, a PBS Frontline documentary that aired on Tuesday. The documentary is available in its entirety here, and really does make for interesting watching. If you can escape the narrator’s stern, deep voice and purposely-emotion-evoking soundtrack, there are some good examples of how the current generation lives online. What may come as a revelation to some: the majority of kids actually know how to keep themselves safe.
“We came out of it feeling, you find what you’re looking for online,” Mr. Maggio said of making the film, adding that parents had a distorted fear of the online boogeyman. “If you’re basically a grounded kid, you’re going to be fine,” he said. “We need to teach people good citizenship, a sense of morality, right and wrong, that transfer to the Internet.”
Next comes the NY Times review of aforementioned documentary (and from where the above quote was nicked), “The Rough-and-Tumble Online Universe Traversed by Young Cybernauts“, which stokes the fearmongering a bit. Not essential reading, but it leads us to the Gawker article, “Quick, Put The Kids On The Internet Where They’re Safe“, where my introduction to all this info began. Nick Douglas balances out both the documentary and the NY Times article nicely:
“Problem is, these fears are unfounded, and the Internet is practically safer for kids than their own homes. I shall now demonstrate this with a truckload of stats, logic, and some admittedly unfair anecdotal evidence.”
The comments on the article (darkly witty though they are) are probably NSFW.
This all reads a bit backwards, but it’s an interesting trawl.