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Teenagers and the internet

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking about this alot lately. I'm a member of many message boards that allow teenagers to post.

My question to all of you that were teens before there was the internet: are you glad that it didn't exist or do you wish that it did?

I'm glad that it didn't exist. It allowed me to sort out the drama of being young on my own or with other real life peers and family. It just seem that many kids these days are reaching out in all the wrong ways, IE: cyberspace.
post #2 of 18
I wish it had been around for schoolwork. It's so much easier to research topics now.
What concerns me more than kids spending too much time in cyberspace is the chance of them becoming victims of predators, since far too many of them provide too much personal information.
post #3 of 18
I've got real mixed feelings about it. On one hand, the resources that it offers everyone are phenomenal. Better than having a University Library in every home! And it allows people to experience beliefs, cultures and ideas far beyond their physical realm of reality. I look at my life now and see that I have friends - good friends! - all around the world. I never would have met them or been given their perspective on everything without the internet.

However, the internet has also opened up the world to bad guys too, as Tricia said. It's far easier for a teen, especially, to become prey. It's easier to prey on them because they lack the real world experience that adults have, and because of the teen immortality complex. It is also far too easy to simply give up on real life and become nothing but an internet junkie. Just avoid real-life interaction all together, which obviously reduces the social skills young people would develop to be able to cope and succeed in the real world.
post #4 of 18
Some of the things I see just really frighten me. I spent time on that one blog where the anorexic teens support one another. Too many young people hang out all sorts of personal info like they think nobody else is reading, or perhaps hoping they are.

As to research, too many take the fact that it is posted on the net as gospel. I think it's made academic research appear to be too easy.
post #5 of 18
I'm glad it didn't exist.

Although I do agree with the posts about the information and educational bonuses.
post #6 of 18
I suppose it comes down to how kids use it. Our students have to give oral reports in foreign languages on a vast array of topics, e.g., the Monroe Doctrine, los guanches (natives of the Canary Islands), Churchill's early career, etc., and the quality of the reports has really improved over the years, because they can find info that isn't available at public libraries, or at least not available in English, Spanish, French, etc..
This article gives a bit of information on the dangers kids face, though, and how difficult it is to protect them:
post #7 of 18
I am very glad the internet did not exist when I was a teenager in my house. I was a naughty child and I can not imagine what I would have found or done on the internet. With responsible parenting I can see how the internet is helpful but unfortunately so many parents are to busy to really know what their children are up to.
post #8 of 18
I grew up rather poor, so if PC's and the internet had existed, we probably would not have had a computer in the house. We considered ourselves lucky to have a color TV in the living room. Now if I could've had a computer and the internet, I could very easily have become an internet junkie, as I lived on an island and was kind of buffered from the mainstream of society. We weren't totally isolated, of course, but when we traveled to the mainland, I saw many things that we didn't have on the "rock," and I can see how the net would have given me a window to the world that I would've likely spent as much time as possible looking through. And, I confess, I was naieve enough that I could easily have been victimized. Maybe it's just as well that I had to wait till I was in my 40's to become an internet junkie.
post #9 of 18
I think teenagers are very fortunate in all the resources they have at hand, and no doubt take for granted. I'm mostly glad I we didn't have it when I was a kid, as I was very naive in many ways and can see how that could have led to trouble.
However, I have seen some great sites where people with problems support each other (ok, not the pro-anorexic ones) and I think they're enormously helpful. Teens these days must be more aware of the wider world out there and feel less isolated if they have problems.
post #10 of 18
I have mixed feelings of it too..
I have met great people off the internet that i would have never have with out it...
I started meeting people when i was 12.. now its over 100 people that ive met... Most of them were in Australia.

On the Other hand though, i wish i didnt spend so much time on it, or atleast being so addicted. Instead i should have gone out more to explore the nature and did more fun things.. than sitting on my bum infront of a pc
post #11 of 18
The Internet was just becoming available my first few years of high school. I was glad to have it to do research and to chat. I didn't know about the naughty side of the Internet even when we got it in our home while in high school.

I met Scott through the between that and the research part, I'm darn glad I had it while in college!!

post #12 of 18
I think that the internet can be very valuable for researching worthwhile things for young people. I know that when I have children..I will be very restrictive as to the use of the internet in my home...I won't mind them chatting with friends but I will be monitering all their activity, and will be excercising my right to parental control.....geez I sound like my mom!
post #13 of 18
I would have loved the resources the internet provided, but I think it was a positive thing for me chat rooms weren't around when I was in highschool. That would have been detrimental to me being a good student - i would have spent too much time online.
post #14 of 18
I'm glad I didn't have the internet when I was in high school. I let my 17 y/o have 1 hour daily on-line, if he is keeping up with his school work. It does make a great incentive! As far as I know, he mostly socializes with other kids interested in anime and menga.

We have talked about the scary aspects of the net, and he watched a news program with me where adult men were arranging to meet kids in person, who they initially met on-line.

One thing that scares me is the access to pornagraphy. I mean, boys have been peeking at Playboy magazines for years, but now they can watch videos on-line of disgusting stuff. I don't want my kids seeing that.
post #15 of 18
I think the internet is way out of control... My sociology teacher taught us (4 years ago) that we are going to find a flurry of new laws being introduced because of the internet. She said the technology of the net exceeded our ability to make laws to cover every internet crime out there. Boy did she hit the nail on the head!

I have read news about the websites kids are using to create personal webpages (I didn't want to say the exact site because I was worried it wasn't allowed) every single day. Kids are being suspended from school, and even arrested for things they are saying. Those sites need to be shut down. I think that it actually might be a good idea for there to be a law that prevents children under a certain age from conversing on the internet... whether it be through personal web pages, chat rooms, message boards, or whatever else is out there that I don't know about.
post #16 of 18
As a teen who often spends most of her time on the internet, I'm extremely glad that it is around otherwise I would have not been able to meet my 2 best friends one of them being the best influence on me ever.

My mom actually says she would rather see me on the computer more so than going out and partying with drugs and drinking and being put under severe peer pressure.

I will admit I do give out some personal information but I have never given out my real name or my phone number or my address. There's actually only 2 people that know those and those 2 are the greatest friends ever in my life and I know they aren't predators for I have viewed their webcams and spoken with them on the phone.

The internet is my social life, without it I go insane.
post #17 of 18
I wish we'd had it when I was younger. It would have made it a lot easier to stay in touch with people. I was friends with many of the exchange students at my high school but lost touch with all of them after they returned home. With email and instant messaging, we probably would have kept in contact.
post #18 of 18
I agree with Heidi - it's a mixed blessing. I learnt to use a library properly and to love reading, but I could never have done as wide research as my students can do now. But I would never have dreamt of plagiarising - now it is too easy to download your topics off the net. And yes, there are all the dangers as many have said, set against the advantages of getting to know people from all over the world.
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