Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Response 1

There are many ways that teenagers use computer technology and the internet as positive means of personal expression and exploration. The internet provides adolescents with a much-needed place to voice their opinions, socialize with peers, and express their ever-changing identities. Unfortunately it is also a very powerful and complex tool that can all but take over an adolescent's life. Many of the teens in the video described the internet as "addicting". Several of the older teens worry about whether or not they could survive without it, since they are so used to being online all the time. Like the parents in the video, this concerned me.
I'm not saying that teenagers shouldn't have myspace or facebook accounts. (I have both!), But I do feel that they need to be made aware of the possible repercussions and negative consequences of exposing too much about themselves online. They need to know that living their life as on open book is simply not safe.
The bottom line is that the internet is here and it's not going away. It is not a passing fad. But parents and educators need to realize that adolescents are not "victims" of the internet, but rather willing, active participants. The world they have created online is very real to them, because they themselves have created it. What is dangerous is when an individual lives their entire life on line, and loses touch with reality.

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