Teens and Technology

The term “teenager” was created in the 1940’s after the great depression and the economy boom after World War II. It was used as a marketing term to target an older youth population. This began the idea that teenagers should be treated differently. They aren’t quite children anymore but they are not yet adults.

Many of the quotes from the chapters insisted that parents were terrified of the technology their children were using and they didn’t fully understand. The idea that new technology creates new problems. I agree with this partially. When I first joined Myspace my dad would try to give me advice on how I shouldn’t talk to anyone I didn’t know in person and that I shouldn’t be posting things that were too personal.

Bullying also became an issue with the start of the world wide web. AOL Instant Messenger, Myspace, and online forums created a space for bullies to hide behind a computer screen and bully whoever they wanted from the comfort of their own home. This can be a concern for any parent. How do they monitor their child online? How can a parent find out if a child is being bullied? Or how can they find out if their child is the bully? I believe that these are the reasons that parents are worried.

I think this comes down to having conversations about online security and privacy. Martha follows her daughter on Instagram. In real time Martha can see what her daughter posts and what she is broadcasting to the public. Dr. Z says her kids geek out with others online. She advices her kids to “hang out” online by connecting with others in a connected learning community. I believe that by talking with your kids and trying to find out about their networks you can get a good idea of what they are doing online.

“Parents often want to “solve” the problem by making it less visible – by restricting children’s access to social media or pushing for companies to scan for negative content. But this doesn’t actually curtail bullying. It is only a Band-aid on the fear.” I liked this quote because it is true. Parents want to “come to the rescue” for their children. By not allowing them to join social media sites the parents believe they are saving their child. Sometimes this can be more harmful than helpful. Children will never learn how to use technology if they are prevented from using it.

Chapter 3 taught me more about understanding how to engage in technology and new media. HOMAGO, is a new term I learned that I never heard before. Hanging out, is what most teens do while texting or spending time in person. They are gossiping, talking about social interactions or pop culture. Messing around most likely is related to learning and connecting with other learners. Youtube tutorials, coding, and video games usually allow kids to learn while they are messing around and making connections. Geeking out is even more involved. Kids check out blogs, youtube videos, and online forums to either share their experience and skills or learn a new skill and connect with people who already mastered the skill for the task.

Vlogging has become the way teens gather information on pop culture and the latest news and trends. Youtube is the new source for collection information. Vlogging is in a way a return to oral tradition. TV shows, awards shows, cultural news, and any types of entertainment can now be broken down on youtube videos. Youtube bloggers now give commentary to clips or videos and allow their opinions or expertise on these topics.

Another thing about vlogging that I found fascinating is youtube stars who are entertainers. Singers like Karmin and Justin Bieber started on youtube by singing covers. They produced their own videos and sang popular songs in their own original way to get noticed. Once they got enough followers they would start to make videos of their own original songs in hopes to get signed. You tubers interact with their followers and they ask for suggestions in the comment sections.

I remember when Youtube started. No one knew what it was and what its potential really was. Years later youtube is a sensation and has created jobs for vloggers and created enough content to suffice any user.