petek, 11. oktober 2013

Social media and teens

Below, excerpts from the article, titled Teenagers and social networking – it might actually be good for them. Got it via: #Bloom.
Let's go back to that girl who texts 250 times a day. The truth is, she was an extreme case I cherry-picked to startle you – because when I interviewed her, she was in a group of friends with a much wider range of experiences. Two others said they text only 10 times a day. One was a Facebook refusenik /.../
Amanda Lenhart of the Pew Research Centre, a US thinktank, found that the most avid texters are also the kids most likely to spend time with friends in person. One form of socialising doesn't replace the other. It augments it.
But surely all this short-form writing is eroding literacy? Certainly, teachers worry. Pew Centre surveys /.../
Stanford University scholar Andrea Lunsford gathered data on the rates of errors in "freshman composition" papers going back to 1917, she found that they were virtually identical to today. 
This type of interaction online with strangers can make kids more community-minded. Joseph Kahne, a professor of education at Mills College in California, studied 400 teenagers over three years. Kahne found that teens who participated in fan or hobby sites were more likely than other kids to do real-world volunteering. Interestingly, this wasn't true of being on Facebook.
Just last week, California passed a law allowing minors to demand that internet firms erase their digital past and the EU has contemplated similar legislation.
Distraction is also a serious issue. When kids flip from chat to music to homework, they are indeed likely to have trouble doing each task well. And studies show that pupils don't check the veracity of information online – "smart searching" is a skill schools need to teach urgently.
It's also true, Lenhart points out, that too much social networking and game playing can cut into schoolwork and sleep. This is precisely why parents still need to set firm boundaries around it, as with any other distraction.
So what's the best way to cope? The same boring old advice that applies to everything in parenting. "Moderation," Lenhart says. Rebecca Eynon argues that it's key to model good behaviour. Parents who stare non-stop at their phones and don't read books are likely to breed kids who will do the same. As ever, we ought to scrutinise our own behaviour.
Above excerpts from the article, titled Teenagers and social networking – it might actually be good for them.

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