Virtual Friendship


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Dr. Jonathan Goldberg speaks about how boys use technology to communicate and connect.

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  • Virtual Friendship

    1. 1. Virtual Friendships : HOW BOYS USE TECHNOLOGY TO COMMUNICATE AND CONNECT The Fessenden School February 24, 2009
    2. 2. Internet Initiated by an MIT professor as a way of linking defense satellites post-Sputnik but did not gain a public face until 1990 with the advent of the World Wide Web (WWW). Estimated 1.5 billion users as of January 2009 Cell Phones The first generation (1G) device was launched by Motorola in the United States. Presently, the third generation (3G) is being sold with faster data transfer rates 14.4 mbit/s and a full range of multimedia services, including music, video, and Wi-Fi Text Messaging Originally developed for the hearing impaired, texting is currently the most popular form of communication for school-aged children. According to the Pew Internet and American Life project survey, 82% of children ages 13-22 text message regularly Doom Released The grandfather of every MMPORG to come, Doom was the first ultra-violent, first-person shooter with a 3D interface. The goal was to kill alien creatures using an assortment of weaponry. Distributed as shareware, it was downloaded 10 million times in two years. Became controversial following the shootings at Columbine The Evolution of Communication 1969 1983 ddd 1993 ddd 1993
    3. 3. “ Smart” Phones Bellsouth releases Simon, the first cell phone with integrated address book, calendar, e-mail ability, and games. The first true camera phone is released in 1997, ushering in a new age of journalism as well as voyeurism. A new bill introduced to congress just 3 weeks ago would require all camera phones to make clicking noises AOL Instant Messenger The first massively successful commercial software for peer-to-peer communication and file sharing in real time. Introduces children to a new way of speaking through the adoption of emoticons and slang (e.g., LMAO). Anonymous screen names contribute to first known incidences of cyberbullying EverQuest Released Also known as EverCrack because of its potential for addiction, this is the first true MMORPG wherein participants are immersed in an alternative universe populated by characters, or toons of their own creation. These characters interact in real-time and the game is a social experience. Ushered in WOW, Runescape, and even Club Penguin The Evolution of Communication Google Introduction of the most used search engine on the planet. Designed to be easy enough for children to use, it greatly changed the accessibility of information and made the internet more “friendly.” “Google-it” has become a part of most children’s and adults’ lexicon. Cyberstalking increases. 1993 1996 ddd 1997 ddd 1999
    4. 4. Social Networking Sites Beginning with Friendster, these websites allow adults and children alike to easily socialize with friends and become “content creators,” sharing personal profiles consisting of pictures, music, videos and writings. The most popular social networking site for children is presently Facebook with roughly 55% of 14-17 year-olds claiming membership YouTube A video sharing website where users can upload, view, and share movies. With its friendly interface, YouTube has made it possible for anyone who can use a computer to post a video that millions of people can watch within a few minutes. This has made it a kid’s favorite. Purchased by Google in 2006 for 1.6 billion First Cyberbullying Trial in US In November of 2008, the prosecution began its case against a mother and daughter who posed as an attractive male teenager on MySpace to taunt another girl in the daughter’s class. The 13-year-old girl hanged herself. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, approximately 43% of children ages 13-17 have experienced cyberbullying The Evolution of Communication To Catch a Predator Airs A reality television show that focused on undercover sting operations to catch sexual predators who used the internet for meeting-up with underage children. Viewed by approximately 7 million people, it increases national fears of predatory behavior on the internet. Recent empirical research suggests that cyberbullying is a far more serious issue 2002 2004 ddd 2005 ddd 2008 New York Times, January 13, 2009 “ Report Finds Online Threat to Children Overblown ”
    5. 5. Psychological Theories of Internet Use <ul><li>Understanding the psyche of school-aged children helps </li></ul><ul><li>us comprehend the broad appeal of these technologies: </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet allows children to experiment with identity </li></ul><ul><li>These technologies are the “fast food” of ego-building and </li></ul><ul><li>provide immediate feedback, validation, and reinforcement </li></ul><ul><li>In the future, everyone will have 15 megabytes of fame </li></ul><ul><li>These technologies give the illusion of independence </li></ul><ul><li>When done correctly, online communities foster important </li></ul><ul><li>feelings of belonging, acceptance, and friendship </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>The Upper School </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Survey </li></ul>
    7. 7. General Information <ul><li>179 children completed 60 questions, anonymously </li></ul><ul><li>Results were analyzed based upon grade, boarding status, and age of respondent: </li></ul><ul><li>Seventh Graders (61) </li></ul><ul><li>7-day boarders (12) </li></ul><ul><li>5-day boarders (4) </li></ul><ul><li>Day students (45) </li></ul><ul><li>12 year-olds (16) </li></ul><ul><li>13 year-olds (45) </li></ul><ul><li>Eighth Graders (84) </li></ul><ul><li>7-day boarders (28) </li></ul><ul><li>5-day boarders (8) </li></ul><ul><li>Day students (48) </li></ul><ul><li>13 year-olds (23) </li></ul><ul><li>14 year-olds (61) </li></ul><ul><li>Ninth Graders (34) </li></ul><ul><li>7-day boarders (15) </li></ul><ul><li>5-day boarders (13) </li></ul><ul><li>Day students (6) </li></ul><ul><li>14 year-olds (10) </li></ul><ul><li>15 year-olds (21) </li></ul><ul><li>16 year-olds (3) </li></ul>
    8. 8. General Information <ul><li>100% of children had access to a desktop or laptop computer at home or school </li></ul><ul><li>66% of children had a computer in their bedroom </li></ul><ul><li>30% of children reported that their parents placed restrictions on their internet use, and 12% reported that their parents directly monitored their internet use </li></ul><ul><li>62% of children reported doing things online that they would not want their parents to know about </li></ul><ul><li>42% reported being exposed to websites they were uncomfortable viewing </li></ul>
    9. 9. What are they doing online? (79%) N = 179 Indicate whether you use the internet for the following activities: (91%) (83%) (78%) (73%) (45%) (8%) (22%) Children reported spending an average of 2.8 hours on the internet per day
    10. 10. <ul><li>84% of children reported belonging to at least one social networking website </li></ul><ul><li>Incidence was markedly higher among ninth grade boys (97%) followed by eighth graders (82%) and seventh graders (77%) </li></ul><ul><li>78% of children reported that their parents knew about these accounts, while 24% reported that their parents had passwords </li></ul>What are they doing online? 10 Social Networking Websites:
    11. 11. <ul><li>Staying in touch with old and current friends (74%) was the #1 reason for going on these sites, followed by making plans with friends (65%), and checking-out pictures and profiles (51%) </li></ul><ul><li>The vast majority of children did NOT use these websites for making new friends (19%) </li></ul><ul><li>Most children (80%) updated/checked their site at least once a day </li></ul>What are they doing online? 11 Social Networking Websites:
    12. 12. What are they doing online? (2%) N = 179 Which of these social networking sites do you currently belong to? (69%) (49%) (22%) (8%) (2%) (2%) (16%) “ Other” social networking sites included CyWorld, DeviantArt, Meebo, and
    13. 13. <ul><li>82% of children were familiar with the term “cyberbullying” – this percentage was even higher among the younger cohort (91%) </li></ul><ul><li>23% of children reported engaging in “cyberbullying” or knowing someone who had; this percentage was significantly higher among ninth grade boys (35%) </li></ul><ul><li>13% of children reported being the victims of “cyberbullying;” this percentage was markedly higher among seventh grade boys (20%) </li></ul>Staying Safe on the Internet 13 Cyberbullying:
    14. 14. <ul><li>35% of children reported being contacted by a stranger at some point while using the internet – the incidence of this was significantly higher among older, ninth grade boys (51%) </li></ul><ul><li>26% of children reported speaking with a stranger at some point while using the internet; once again, this percentage was markedly higher among the ninth grade cohort (38%) </li></ul><ul><li>5%, or 9 children, reported arranging to meet a stranger from the internet – there was no difference across cohorts </li></ul><ul><li>44% of children reported sharing personal information over the internet, including name, telephone number and address – this was significantly higher among ninth graders (71%) </li></ul>Staying Safe on the Internet 14 Contact with strangers and sharing personal information:
    15. 15. <ul><li>On average, children reported spending an hour and ½ per day playing home video game consoles, such as Xbox, Playstation, and Nintento Wii – this number was higher on the weekends </li></ul><ul><li>The 179 children surveyed reported owning approximately 280 video game systems - including 106 Xbox’s, 79 PSPs, and 78 Nintendo Wii </li></ul><ul><li>The vast majority of children (77%) did not feel that gaming was a significant part of their social lives or interfered with other social activities, such as sports and going out (82%) </li></ul>Online Gaming 15 Home video game consoles:
    16. 16. <ul><li>65% of boys reporting playing these games at least every few weeks and 38% of boys played them on a weekly basis. 7 th and 8 th graders tended to play these games more frequently than 9 th graders. </li></ul><ul><li>57% of children reported that MMORPG games could become an “addiction” – i.e., something extremely difficult to give up. This was significantly higher among ninth grade boys (71%) </li></ul><ul><li>Although the majority of boys (87%) did not feel that their own use of these games was “out of control,” a greater percentage of boys were concerned about a friend’s use (40%). This was even higher among ninth grade boys (50%) </li></ul>Online Gaming 16 Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG):
    17. 17. Online Gaming 17 Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMPORG): Other popular MMPORG games included Halo, Call of Duty, Fallout 3, and Oblivion
    18. 18. <ul><li>The majority of children (65%) felt that instant messaging was important for maintaining their friendships, and 74% reported using these services (e.g., AIM, Windows Messenger) </li></ul><ul><li>93% of children reported owning their own cell phones with 77% texting on a regular basis – higher among ninth graders (88%) </li></ul><ul><li>29% of children reported sending or receiving inappropriate photos on their cell phones – higher among ninth graders (35%) </li></ul>Media “On the Go” 18 Instant messaging, texting, and cell phones:
    19. 19. <ul><li>Very few children considered their own texting (17%) to be “out of control;” however, 45% said they worried about a friend’s texting </li></ul><ul><li>Only 7% of children reported losing their cell phones due to inappropriate use – however, this was much higher for ninth graders (12%) than seventh graders (1%) </li></ul><ul><li>The majority of children (79%) did NOT feel that cell phones reflected a boy’s “coolness” and social status </li></ul>Media “On the Go” 19 Instant messaging, texting, and cell phones:
    20. 20. Playing favorites (59%) N = 179 If you could pick only one of these to keep, which would it be? (13%) (10%) (10%) (5%) (3%) “ Other” indispensables included laptops, iPods, friends, and having a life
    21. 21. Straight From the Horse’s Mouth: If you could communicate anything to your parents about your use of these technologies, what would it be? “ The internet is safe as long as you exercise responsibility when using it. Restricting access when it is misused is one thing, but restricting access out of fear that it will be misused doesn’t solve anything” – Ninth grade, day student “ It isn’t as bad as everyone says it is. It can be unsafe in some cases, but no one that I know uses it in a really dumb way. THINGS ARE DIFFERENT. They are just going to have to accept that it is a different time. We aren’t growing up when they were. It’s the way we are. Stop trying to monitor it or we will never learn for ourselves” – Eighth grade, day student “ Tell them the truth. Personally, all I do is listen to music on iTunes and email. Play games sometimes. Bad things do come up, though. Inappropriate pictures, bad words, and wrong information. The internet is used for good and also bad things” – Seventh grade, 7-day boarder
    22. 22. Straight From the Horse’s Mouth: If you could communicate anything to your parents about your use of these technologies, what would it be? “ Don’t worry. Facebook, online games, and IM are safe. I am a teenager, not a baby anymore” – Eighth grade, 7-day boarder “ I think that our parents should know that the internet can be dangerous. But boys at Fessenden are very good with the internet and hopefully don’t abuse it” – Eighth grade, 5-day boarder “ If you’re worried about me playing shooters, it’s EDUCATIONAL about WWII. Also dad introduced me to Facebook, that’s OK, and dad uses the PSP, not me. And I don’t use my cell that often. It’s mom that I’m worried about. She uses it like 7 hours a day!” – Seventh grade, day student “ I would want my parents to know that I am responsible enough to use the internet without people monitoring me” – Eighth grade, day student
    23. 23. Straight From the Horse’s Mouth: If you could communicate anything to your parents about your use of these technologies, what would it be? “ Everything is fine. Trust me. I’m not a naïve idiot. I don’t meet with strangers or talk to them. Stay out of my life.” – Eighth grade, day student “ Most parents know less about technology than their kids. If teenagers say that they know what they are doing, they know what they are doing. The internet is a way of sharing information. If adults say that the internet should not be used to share information that might be personal, this does not make sense.” – Ninth grade, day student “ Your kids know how to cover their tracks and how to take care of themselves. Don’t butt in!!!! We are better at this than you are.” – Ninth grade, 5-day boarder “ You can no longer control how we use computers. We have some sense. The internet is everywhere. If one uses it with sense it is not dangerous at all. – Ninth grade, 7-day boarder
    24. 24. Straight From the Horse’s Mouth: If you could communicate anything to your parents about your use of these technologies, what would it be? “ Those who know what they are doing via the internet are more safe than you think. You’d be surprised at the number of people who use the internet wisely. Once one knows the facts they are good to go. A generation should not be restricted by the majority. All will learn in time, it’s just that some learn slower” – Seventh grade, day student “ I have no problem with the usage of internet because I only use it for contacting with my friends who I cannot see physically. Therefore, it is okay to use Cyworld to contact and keep in touch with my Korean friends” – Eighth grade, 7-day boarder “ I am using it properly. I like the freedom to talk to my friends. I already go to an all-boy’s school and if you took away my privileges to talk to kids and girls my age that’s not fair. IM and texting is the only way I can talk to them” – Eighth grade, day student
    25. 25. <ul><li>BOOKS: </li></ul><ul><li>Totally Wired by Anastasia Goodstein </li></ul><ul><li>Generation MySpace: Helping Your Teen Survive Online Adolescence by Candice M. Kelsey </li></ul><ul><li>Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World by Chap Clark and Dean Clark </li></ul><ul><li>Myspace for Moms and Dads: A Guide to Understanding the Risks and the Rewards </li></ul><ul><li>by Connie Neal </li></ul><ul><li>How to Protect Your Children on the Internet: A Road Map for Parents and Teachers </li></ul><ul><li>by Gregory S. Smith </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet Playground: Children's Access, Entertainment, And Mis-education (Popular Culture </li></ul><ul><li>and Everyday Life) by Ellen Seiter </li></ul><ul><li>Parents Guide to the Internet: And How to Protect Your Children in Cyberspace by Parry Aftab </li></ul><ul><li>WEBSITES: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Additional Resources