Teenagers and Blogs
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Teenagers and Blogs



A talk I gave about teenage behavior in blogs (in francophonia) and some of the educational issues involved. ...

A talk I gave about teenage behavior in blogs (in francophonia) and some of the educational issues involved.




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Teenagers and Blogs Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Blogs, communities and relationships: how adolescents use blogs Stephanie Booth Lausanne, CH http://climbtothestars.org Cartigny Workshop 22-24 June 06 «  Sexual Health of Adolescents in the Internet Age »
  • 2. Schools and blogs
    • Students have blogs
    • Some go overboard
    • Need for information
      • Students
      • Teachers
      • Parents
    What is a blog? - a kind of website - easy and free - chronological - text, photos, video… - conversational
  • 3. What I have witnessed
    • Past 18 months: regularly called in by schools with « blog problems »
    • As a teacher, been confronted to some problems of my own
    • As a blogger of 6 years, insider understanding of the medium
  • 4. What goes wrong?
    • Naked bottoms or other body parts
    • Insults (teachers, school, peers)
    • Stolen photographs
    • Pornography
    • Harrassment
    • Illicit behaviour documented (theft, drugs…)
    • Suggestive poses and skimpy clothing
    • Unhealthy peer support groups (suicide, anorexia)
    • Racism and hatred
    • ...
    Often, first boundaries met are state or school authorities.
  • 5. Teenage blogs
    • My friends, my cat, my house and me
    • Sports and cute pictures
    • Most blogs don’t get noticed
    • « TRIBAL »
    • Shared with peers
    • Addition to offline
    • Document group life
  • 6. Social Internet Divide
    • Teachers, parents:
    • « Library » Internet
      • A place to search for information
      • Information one consumes
      • Google
    • Teenagers, geeks:
    • Social Internet
      • A place to build and nurture relationships
      • A place to express oneself
      • A whole world to participate in
      • A whole world of people to meet, the living web
      • Networking
      • MSN, MySpace, Skyblog, Second Life…
    It is urgent that « carers » discover the Internet young people live in. Media mix. Multifunctional devices.
  • 7. What gets teenagers in trouble
    • Blogs are not perceived as being public, although on the Internet (world of peers without adults)
    • Anonymity overestimated (they can’t find me; « privacy by obscurity »)
    • No educated adults in this new media to provide education (teenagers left to themselves)
    • Parents often don’t know their children have blogs! (cf. mini-survey)
  • 8. Will I get in trouble?
    • Provocation
    • Cat-and-mouse
    Teenagers know very well, when asked, that anybody can access something which is on the Internet.
  • 9. Try and find me!
    • Content and context allow identification of blogger.
  • 10. Found on skyblog.com
    • Popular platform with French-speaking teenagers
    • Most blogs are not problematic (« clean »)
    • Examples of questionable material
  • 11. Bad boys Self-image
  • 12. Bad boys II
  • 13. Do ya think I’m sexy?
  • 14. Do ya think I’m sexy? (2)
  • 15. Like my bathing suit? Positive comments!
  • 16. Do you love me? Leave a comment if you love me
  • 17. I love you
  • 18. You suck!
  • 19. Value judgements
    • « Black or white » appreciations
    • Lots of photographs and requests for comments
    • Lots of judgements on appearance
    • Is it healthy?
    Cool Uncool
  • 20. Party!
  • 21. Do the parents know?
  • 22. Do the parents know? (2)
  • 23. My blog is private!
    • Many teenage bloggers would be mortified if their parents found their blog
    • Strong defensive reactions when school interferes
    • Think their blog is hidden (« privacy by obscurity »)
    • No awareness of possible future discomfort present content may bring (permanence of digital media)
  • 24. Not porn Bedroom walls!
  • 25. Dark…
  • 26. Suicide The Internet brings together those with similar interests…
  • 27. Suicide (2) Positive!
  • 28. Glamour suicide http://deprimuzderetour.skyblog.com/l
  • 29. Glamour suicide (2) Attractive option!
  • 30. Suicide, anorexia, etc.
    • A lot of talk makes such preoccupations seems commonplace (« everybody feels suicidal »)
    • Description of experience and positive after-effects (« after I cut myself, everybody was so nice to me »)
    • « Feeling understood » is not necessarily effective support
  • 31. Where is this bringing us?
    • A lot of what used to happen in private is now happening in public: visibility (harrassment, name-calling, insults…)
    • Technological control is not possible anymore (moblogging)
    • All digital media (photos, video) run the risk of ending up on the Internet
    • Media education needed
  • 32. Online relationships
    • Online relationships are documented (useful in research)
    • Decreases social anxiety (no physical presence): what is the impact on developing social skills?
    • Online is just another way of interacting or meeting people (no online/offline fracture)
    • Teenagers meet new people online and bring the relationship offline; they have a social life online
  • 33. Wrap-up
    • Teenagers use the Internet as a medium to communicate amongst themselves and are heavy users
    • They expose a lot of their lives and themselves online, not always realising how public they make it
    • Parents and educators are unfamiliar with this usage of the Internet or see it as marginal
    • Teenagers online often have little awareness of boundaries (legal, moral, safety) which also exist there
  • 34. Discussion
    • Thanks for your attention – discussion is open!
  • 35. Ads