Monday, March 2, 2015

Join the conversation - It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

The Parent Advisory Committee and I will be discussing It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by Danah Boyd on Thursday night (3-5-2015) in the Rugby High School Board Room beginning at 7:00PM. Below are list of questions to ponder or comment on for Thursday night.

1. Teens often get caught in collapsing contexts. Boyd defines this thought below.
"Many teens post information on social media that they think is funny or intended to give a particular impression to a narrow audience without considering how this same content might be read out of context" (p. 44).
We run into this issue all the time when dealing with different issues in regards to social media. What may seem perfectly logical in one context can be illogical in a different context.

How do you help your child understand that what may be appropriate within their circle of friends may not be appropriate in another context?

2.  What is privacy anymore? How do you balance giving your child the privacy that he or she requests with being aware of their actions online? How do you show trust? 

Boyd's definition of privacy: A space where they aren't scrutinized by adults and peers.
"Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity." Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook)
3. Many believe that being a "good" parent means being all-knowing.  When the internet and social media is involved does this mean violating their privacy? How do you balance invading privacy and being a responsible parent? 
"Surveillance is a mechanism by which powerful entities assert their power over less powerful individuals.  When parents choose to hover, lurk, and track, they implicitly try to regulate teen's practices.  Parents often engage in these acts out of love but fail to realize how surveillance is a form of oppression that limits teens' ability to make independent choices" (p.74).  
4. Social media can be addicting for both parents and their children.  Boyd explains that parents of previous generations worried about the hours spent on land lines.  They aren't spending hours on land lines, but they are still conversing.  Boyd suggests that most teens aren't addicted to social media, if anything, they are addicted to each other.  Do you place limits on social media/internet/device use?

5. Boyd argues that teenagers have less freedom to wander than any other previous generation. We often communicate to our children that danger lurks everywhere.  Boyd explains that parental control, highly structured environments, and over-scheduling encourages the use of social media to escape control. Reflect upon your child's weekly schedule - how do you encourage balance between structured and unstructured time for them?

6. There is a common belief that the internet is full of sexual predators and danger. Boyd explains,

"When parents create cocoons to protect their children from potential harms, their decision to separate themselves and their children from what's happening outside their household can have serious consequences for other youth, especially those who lack strong support systems. Communities aren't safe when everyone turns inward; they are only safe when people work collectively to help one another and those around them" (p. 126).

Should we be actively censoring/shielding our children from outside influences?

How do you respond to questionable posts/images from other children other than your own?

7. Has social media amplified meanness and cruelty?  

Please take a minute to review a previous post on this topic.

I would love to hear your responses to a few of these questions!

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