This is a blog post by Mykael in response to the PBS Frontline: Growing Up Online
Really, I've got to say that i am in no way surprised by the video we watched in class today, in fact I'm more shocked by how little parents and teachers know. Kids have been getting in to trouble since the beginning of time and when parents invade on their fun they move on to another activity that the adult population hasn't stumbled upon yet. The thing that I don't understand is that the internet has been a problem for a while now and the movie we watched in class is one of many that has come out over the past couple of years. Even if parents haven't heard of myspace, Facebook, or Youtube they have got to be wondering what it is that keeps their kids entertained for hours on end.
Instead of just making videos about what today’s kids are doing/saying/posting online, why don't they try and come up with a more effective way to stop these kind of things from happening, or better yet use the same technology to their advantage. Think about it, if kids are using "Spark Notes" on all their assignments, then come up with an assignment that they can't use spark notes to cheat with. If kids are using forums to give one another encouragement for doing something as stupid as anorexia, then create a site where anonymous recovering anorexics can get support. A great example of a helpful solution to one of our problems is "Turnitin.com", it helps to prevent plagiarism from text found on the internet. If all else fails, you can always fall back on the good old saying, "If you can't beat them, join them." I don't think parents realize how much of an advantage sites such as Facebook give them. If they want to know what their kid was doing last Saturday, who they're dating, where the next party will be, who does drugs, ect., all a parent has to do is log on and look at their child's profile. Chances are a whole lot of information and insight in to their kid’s life is right at their finger tips. Let's be honest, most kids my age aren't that smart. We just aren't, i mean come on, who the heck puts pictures of themselves drinking on a site where anyone can see it, so why wouldn't parents use this stupidity to their advantage. Things like Myspace should be a parent's best friend, it's kind of like a diary left laying on the kitchen table with a big flashing sign that says "read me!" If parents could just figure out that today’s technology isn't too much for them to handle, they would know a lot more about their kids.
The thing that we have to except is that it is impossible to stop kids from getting in to trouble when we have something like the internet. There will always be adults figuring out ways to stop us and there will be people making new websites to keep pace with the ones that are being brought down. Even if we fixed everything bad going on the internet, it doesn't mean anything other than kids have come up with a new way to communicate with people and have been successful in keeping it on the down low. No matter what kids are going to do stupid things, and as horrible as it is, there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.