×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Memo To Parents and Society: Teen Social Media "Addiction" Is Your Fault

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-letting-the-children-outside? dept.

Social Networks 271

FuzzNugget writes "Wired presents this damning perspective on so-called social media addiction: 'If kids can't socialize, who should parents blame? Simple: They should blame themselves. This is the argument advanced in It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, by Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd. Boyd ... has spent a decade interviewing hundreds of teens about their online lives. What she has found, over and over, is that teenagers would love to socialize face-to-face with their friends. But adult society won't let them. "Teens aren't addicted to social media. They're addicted to each other," Boyd says. "They're not allowed to hang out the way you and I did, so they've moved it online." It's true. As a teenager in the early '80s I could roam pretty widely with my friends, as long as we were back by dark. Over the next three decades, the media began delivering a metronomic diet of horrifying but rare child-abduction stories, and parents shortened the leash on their kids. Politicians warned of incipient waves of youth wilding and superpredators (neither of which emerged). Municipalities crafted anti-loitering laws and curfews to keep young people from congregating alone. New neighborhoods had fewer public spaces. Crime rates plummeted, but moral panic soared. Meanwhile, increased competition to get into college meant well-off parents began heavily scheduling their kids' after-school lives.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

271 comments

It takes a village... (4, Insightful)

dtmancom (925636) | about 4 months ago | (#45792315)

...to raise a child poorly.

Re:It takes a village... (5, Funny)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#45792347)

Who to blame, who to blame? And the parents will all sing:

Should we blame the government?
  Or blame society?
  Or should we blame the images on TV?

  No!
  Blame Canada!
  Blame Canada!
  Shame on Canada, foooor...
  The smut we must cut,
  The trash we must bash,
  The laughter and fun must all be undone!
  We must blame them and cause a fuss
  Before somebody thinks
  Of blaming uuuuuuuuuuus!

No, no, nothing is ever the parents' fault, what could you be thinking?

Re:It takes a village... (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#45792733)

Who to blame, who to blame?

Who is to blame for what? TFA presents no evidence (other than conjecture) that teens actually interact less face-to-face than earlier generations. It also presents no evidence (other than conjecture) that using Facebook is harmful. So there is no reason to believe either that the "problem" exists or that it is a problem.

 

Re:It takes a village... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792441)

dosnt take a whole village to be involved or consulted to make one. So dont blame me if you cant raise your brat right

Re:It takes a village... (2)

flaming error (1041742) | about 4 months ago | (#45792525)

"It takes a village ...to raise a child poorly."

I don't get it. I think the point of "It takes a village" is to increase a child's face-to-face social interactions with a respectable variety of people.

So this article would seem to support the idea that it takes a village to raise a child well.

It takes an adult (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#45792557)

. . .to admit to lousy parenting and invest personal time in the children.

Re:It takes an adult (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45792817)

. . .to admit to lousy parenting and invest personal time in the children.

Huh? Talk about a knee jerk response. "Investing" too much time (i.e. being overprotective) is exactly what's being blamed here. I don't think social media is a major social problem, but I do think parents are overly protective. What we need is a little more neglect, like I enjoyed.

Re:It takes an adult (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about 4 months ago | (#45792935)

Being overprotective doesn't necessarily have much of anything to do with investing time in your child. You can chain a dog up--to keep them safe--and you can hire a dog walker to keep them occupied all without necessarily spending any of your own time playing with it. Frankly I see a lot of chained up dogs as well as a lot of strays, but far less often do I see involved parents.

Re:It takes an adult (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45793035)

You can chain a dog up ...

Most people are a little less extreme with their kids. That, and kids and teenagers being much smarter than dogs, means it requires serious involvement (albeit not of a productive variety) to keep them chained up without physically chaining them.

Re:It takes an adult (2)

Mr0bvious (968303) | about 4 months ago | (#45793099)

Huh? Talk about a knee jerk response. "Investing" too much time (i.e. being overprotective) is exactly what's being blamed here. I don't think social media is a major social problem, but I do think parents are overly protective. What we need is a little more neglect, like I enjoyed.

"invest personal time in the children" != "being overprotective"

"being overprotective" == "being overprotective"

I'm very pro 'independence", allowing my children to have freedom and the responsibility to make good decisions, often by allowing them to make (and learn from) bad decisions. But there is nothing wrong with 'spending time with my children' to guide them, teach them and encourage them to be independent and do things on their own without requiring supervision (I hate that word 'supervision'). But it's equally important to do things together, learn to work and socialise together - that includes allowing my children to socialise with us adults, be part of our conversations and have their say and be listened to.

I had a lot of freedom as a child, I got up to all sorts of (mostly harmless) things - these helped shape me, provided me with the ability to make sensible decisions and a whole load of independence. But my parents still spent a lot of time with me - they're not mutually exclusive things. They used their time with me to equip me to be independent, social, thoughtful, etc. They became a sounding board to whom I could go to with any questions/problems with out the fear of being embarrassed/chastised/other poor response. They always had the time for me and for that I'm grateful - but I certainly was not 'over protected'.

What a pile of shit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792317)

If something like Facebook is available to teens, they will use it. And they do.

What is with this "blaming" nonsense? What is all this talk about public spaces - where? Are we supposed to accept that the lack of facilities for youths exists throughout the Facebook-using world, or is Danah Boyd unable to think outside of her own local area?

Re:What a pile of shit (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 months ago | (#45793273)

I'm addicted to porn. It's other people's fault: they rarely have orgies with me, so I have to settle for virtual!

Bonus: the methodology here is asking teens why they're doing something "wrong." The answer is "Because my parents won't let me do what I want." Shock.

Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (1, Interesting)

tompaulco (629533) | about 4 months ago | (#45792319)

As Pop Psychology clearly tells us, nothing is ever the fault of the person who did it. It is always the parents fault, or societies fault, or their upbringing, or the people they hung out with.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go rob a bank. You should be ashamed of yourselves for driving me to this. I hope you all rot in jail.

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792409)

Well, since its mostly talking about teenagers, which the parents usually don't allow to fully make their own choices, especially if it may reduce their safety, then yes, in this case I think we can blame the parenting.

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792425)

The thing you get wrong is that there is no such thing as fault in the way you think of it. The decisions you make are based on the experiences you accumulated up to this point. The experiences you accumulated are based on the decisions you made, which where based on previous experiences.
We are all the product of our environment.
When something goes wrong, we should look for the causes and remove/try to correct them.
Just telling the person doing something "you are shit to begin with, thats why you did this" doesn't lead anywhere.

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (3, Funny)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45792583)

We are all the product of our environment.

No, no, no! Remember the scene the "Life of Brian" where he tells the crowd "you are all individuals", and they respond in unison "we are all individuals!"

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#45792795)

When something goes wrong, we should look for the causes and remove/try to correct them.

Except that the problem is, when people (usually liberal/lefties) do this, they end up removing opportunities for the good outcomes that occur concurrently with the bad. EG Children kept indoors will be safer from the outside chance of predation, but will lack the experiences, fun, and health benefits of consistent outdoor play.

Just telling the person doing something "you are shit to begin with, thats why you did this" doesn't lead anywhere.

That doesn't mean you remove motivation for them to strive to do better.

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#45792483)

Are you rational? If you are, why would you rationally make a poor decision? The short answer (for the most common case) is that someone else pushed a belief upon you that modified your parameters to irrational ones. That's child abuse

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45792593)

That's child abuse.

'

I've heard of strong reactions against social media, but I didn't think it went that far.

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#45792745)

The first question is, do you think emotional abuse is a bad thing? So many loonitarians here claim that feelings aren't real, so hurting them shouldn't be restricted. If that's your basis, then there's no common ground for discussion.

If you aren't that radical, then what do you call systemic lies to manipulate behavior? Should that be encouraged, or is it a bad thing? If it's a bad thing, then what do we call it when a parent does it to their child?

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (0, Flamebait)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#45792821)

..just like lefties think emotions are the most important, and want laws in place silence express that might cause negative ones, even when it is true(eg 'hate speech' law). The end result is this overprotective society talked about in the article.

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (2)

mysidia (191772) | about 4 months ago | (#45792631)

Are you rational? If you are, why would you rationally make a poor decision? The short answer (for the most common case) is that someone else pushed a belief upon you that modified your parameters to irrational ones. That's child abuse

Even rational people can make some judgement errors and technical mistakes, or give into temptation and rationally take a course that isn't optimal in the long term.

It's called "life".

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#45792779)

A rational person wouldn't make a mistake if they have all the information, unless they aren't being rational at the moment of the decision. So, if they are not rational, then that invalidates my requirement. If they are rational, but have insufficient information for the correct decision to be reached, then what's the problem if some group is deliberately holding back information? If it's the parents deliberately harming the child by restricting information that would enable rational choices, then that's Child Abuse. A parent deliberately causing harm is abuse.

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45793131)

unless they aren't being rational at the moment of the decision

Even Mr. Spock suffered from pon farr every seven years. In human teenagers it's more like every seven minutes.

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792549)

Haha.. Good one sir!

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#45792575)

We must circle the wagons and offer excuses for tompaulco's anti-social behavior. Blame Slashdot? No, let's go with a general Bush-blame.

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792617)

As Pop Psychology clearly tells us, ...

Not just Pop Psychology but also basic science.

At the most fundamental level everything that happens in the world, including human behavior, happens because of some combination of the laws of physics and random chance. That's not to say that people don't interact and influence each other or that a criminal justice system doesn't influence behaviors (i.e. prevent "crime"). Interaction and influence are no more a sign of free will in humans than in colliding billiard balls. Imagine a movie where all the actions are predetermined but where the characters on the screen actually experience the feelings of their situation. That's essentially what it means to be alive. You feel the pain but the most you can hope for is some degree of mercy from the laws of physics and random chance.

Now, given that reality, what should we do about it? Well, the other point is that life has no fundamental purpose. In fact, the notion of life having a purpose is not even, itself, meaningful. So, not only is there no "deserve" (deserve to be rich, poor, happy, sad, etc) but there is also no "should" (should be rich, poor, happy, sad, ).

What are we going to do about it, then? Well what ever the laws of physics and random chance dictate, of course. But on possibility is that other civilizations throughout the universe have developed to the point where they know beyond any doubt that their existence has no purpose and that free will is an illusion. And so they have collectively ceased to exist - a collective suicide, if you well. That may also be the ultimate future of humanity.

But it's not up to me: if you don't like it you can take it up with the laws of physics and random chance. Maybe if you could just convince the laws of physics to change the gravitational constant then you could have yourself a different destiny. :)

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (1)

The Cat (19816) | about 4 months ago | (#45792797)

At the most fundamental level everything that happens in the world, including human behavior, happens because of some combination of the laws of physics and random chance.

What a load of neckbeard bilge. Shut the fuck up.

Re:Yes, because nothing is ever your fault (2)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 4 months ago | (#45792741)

You're extrapolating the principle to an extreme and incomparable context.

Let me lay it out for you:

1) Helicopter parents become extremely restrictive and surveillant of their childrens' activities because of irrational fears provoked and perpetuated by a shock-based, fear-is-gold media and equally fear-mongering politicians.

2) People, especially children and teens, need socialization to function properly in society. That much we know. And they want it. And they will find it any way they can.

3) With no other options, they turn to social media and spend time there that they would otherwise spend mostly on actual socialization (which involves face-to-face interactions with tone, inflection, body language and all that important stuff that social media lacks or can only convey in a very rudimentary manner)

So, ask yourself again... who bears the majority of the blame here?

My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792357)

I've pushed and encouraged my son, now 19, to get out and socialize. I've encouraged him to go hang out with friends and to invite friends over. I've encouraged him to have and to attend parties, join groups, travel... I've provided a relatively fancy/sporty car and more than enough money to do almost whatever he likes.

Instead he plays League of Legends and DOTA2 for 18-20 hours per day. He'd rather be kicked in the head than leave you computer and go outside or socialize...

Well maybe it's my son that's got a problem. I do see lots of teens out in public. But, all of those teens, ALL OF THEM, have their heads buried in their smartphones. They go out of their way to NOT interact, let alone socialize, with anyone.

I think this "researcher" is full of shit. I think that we are still to blame for providing an easy and pervasive technological environment that allows them to bury their heads in their comfortable world of cyberspace and "social media", never having to come up for air. It's addictive as shit and they are all addicted to it. But, they're not at all interested in socializing IRL.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792385)

Jesus you sound just like my parents. If your son is happy why don't you leave your son alone and mind your own business.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#45792585)

Because his actual age is 39.

Re:Give him a pink slip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792903)

He may be unless in any and every single way unfortunately in life! :(

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792603)

Thanks for asking. The answer is that since he's my son he IS my business. His immaturity and inexperience prevents him from understanding the limit of his experience or realizing that the moment's pleasure is at the cost of a lifetime of happiness.

My mission is to make sure that he enjoys his entire life. His gaming "addiction" is not a lasting happiness, like making friends and sharing experiences with them would be. It is more like an alcoholic temporarily hiding from their troubles.

You are luck to have parents such as yours. But, you lack the experience and insight to realize it, yet.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#45792927)

You are absolutely right, but perhaps what he really needs is for his life to really suck for awhile. Living on his own (or trying to) may result in some life-changing revelations.

And please, don't fall for the "I'm going to be a professional game tester" line. I heard that from my nephew when he was living with us. (We got him when his mom couldn't take him anymore.) Needless to say, that didn't work out. And when I finally, regretfully, tossed him out, he slept in his car for awhile. And oh, he hated me with a white hot hate for destroying all his plans, which seemed to center around occupying my spare bedroom for the rest of his life. But eventually, he pulled himself together, got a job, and actually made something of himself.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (4, Informative)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#45792897)

Jesus you sound just like my parents. If your son is happy why don't you leave your son alone and mind your own business.

Ok, so, I'm having a similar problem with my daughter, also 19. The answer to your question is easy. You're an adult. It's my house. I have no intention of keeping you as a pet. If you're working towards something in good faith, a job, or an internship, or college, I'll support that. But if you're just going to sit on the couch, you can do it somewhere else.

Because, I'll say this again to be certain we're communicating -- pause the game so you can hear me -- It's. My. House. Not yours. As an adult you live here because I let you live here.

In your particular case, it might be time to set down the controller and figure out what you're going to do for the rest of your life. Oh, depending on the character of your parents, you may be able to occupy that couch indefinitely. I've seen it happen -- a guy I went to high school with, is still living with his mother in his fifties. Yes, I did say fifties. But I suspect that kind of situation is rare and I'm not sure that depending on it is a good career plan.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (1)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | about 4 months ago | (#45793077)

Here, Here!!

I started communicating this idea to the rugrats early on. Namely, that at age of emancipation, not only are they free to go, they will be booted out pending only a couple of rather explicit exceptions: 1) clear medical/psychological needs; 2) progression towards college degree.

Different cultures work differently. In many cultures it is indeed the norm for the children to stay at home until they are married - and this seems to be later and later for recent generations. I am concerned that when mine are old enough it really may be quite tough economically to head out. But I managed with a variety of single roommates during and after college. I imagine they can do the same.

It may seem heartless to toss the young-uns out. But kids seem to gain responsibility very quickly when they have to. And I always wonder how these very late bloomers handle things when/if their parents pass on before they've every managed on their own.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45793133)

As an adult you live here because I let you live here.

When it comes to my own daughter (my "creation", so to speak), I tend to take inspiration from God and his final message to his creation: "We apologise for the inconvenience." In particular, given that I'm substantially responsible for her existance, I imagine that I'll feel a sense of responsibility for my daughter's welfare even after that magic line in the sand where she turns 18 and is suddenly and completely an "adult". I mean, I'd feel kind of bad if she got to the end of her life and was like, "Wow, that whole being alive thing was really unpleasant! If I had one wish it's that my dad had used protection back in the day."

But it's also true that the relationship between a parent and a child needs to evolve as the child matures. Ideally, eventually the relationship would be similar to that of two adult friends. And in healthy adult relationship there is a high degree of reciprocity. So, while you may be within your right to kick your 19 year old daughter out into the street, if you do then it would unreasonable for you to expect your daughter to give you a place to stay or otherwise take care of you in your old age. Essentially, now that your daughter is an "adult", this is time to start making deposits in the friendship bank that you can withdraw in your waning days of ill health.

I've seen it happen -- a guy I went to high school with, is still living with his mother in his fifties.

I've also been aware of a couple of such cases myself. But, in those cases, the sons were struggling with significant psychological problems and would almost certainly been homeless without their parent's assistance. That is, there was no way they were going to have "successful" careers no matter how badly their parents treated them. On the other hand, I also know a number of people with highly successful careers who have relied heavily on their parents for support even in adulthood.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (5, Funny)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#45792437)

I think this "researcher" is full of shit. I think that we are still to blame for providing an easy and pervasive technological environment that allows them to bury their heads in their comfortable world of cyberspace and "social media", never having to come up for air. It's addictive as shit and they are all addicted to it. But, they're not at all interested in socializing IRL.

And they suck at riding horses, so they'll shamefully be foot soldiers when drafted into the military. And none of them have memorized a log table - how are they supposed to multiply big numbers, I ask you? And no one is apprenticed to a trade and sent off at 12 to work any more - how are they supposed to get job skills?

Instead they're off dancing the waltz and exposing their ankles like they have no shame at all. This moral decay will be the end of society I tell you!

Insight? Beyond My Understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792565)

And they suck at riding horses, so they'll shamefully be foot soldiers when drafted into the military. And none of them have memorized a log table - how are they supposed to multiply big numbers, I ask you? And no one is apprenticed to a trade and sent off at 12 to work any more - how are they supposed to get job skills?

Instead they're off dancing the waltz and exposing their ankles like they have no shame at all. This moral decay will be the end of society I tell you!

I sense that you are mocking me, perhaps implying that I am too old and that like previous older generations, I am lamenting the loss of a skill that is not actually needed anymore. But even shameful ankle baring waltzes were highly social activities.

But, I'm not talking about riding horses, or making your own bread. I'm talking about socializing with others of your own species. It's an absolutely essential skill. It's even important online, once you get past the cat picture and raging n00b stage. But the group of unsocialized teens that I am talking about have great difficulty communicating with each other or anyone else. They can't express or articulate an idea LOL cuz it's like IDK w/e. They are emotionally maladjusted or, at a minimum, they lack the ability to read emotion or empathize with others. This leads to not just issues relating to another individual, but also to far greater things when you consider that they people might one day be enacting laws based on their personal experience, or lack there of.

So, help me out. Show me what a great communicator you are, despite your low userID suggesting that you are NOT a teen, by painting me a picture so that I understand what you are trying so glibly to deride me about. I'm not catching your drift.

Re:Insight? Beyond My Understanding (1)

lgw (121541) | about 4 months ago | (#45792827)

I'm talking about socializing with others of your own species. ... They can't express or articulate an idea LOL cuz it's like IDK w/e. They are emotionally maladjusted or, at a minimum, they lack the ability to read emotion or empathize with others

Like, that's like, grody to the max! Like, gag me with a spoon! Why if the youth of today could only sound like the youth of my day, that would be the bees knees!

Sulking, angry teenagers, who's say to their parents only "just leave me alone!" - surely this is the first generation to encounter such wild, uncultured youth, whatever shall we do? (Complaints about "the youth of today are just not the men their fathers were" have been recorded for at least 2500 years, and likely from every society to leave written records.)

Here's a hint: you can socialize with others while still not being able to smell them. Socializing is about communication. Whatever the medium, whatever the dialect, if people are communicating then people are socializing. And teenagers are going to act like teenagers, regardless.

Re:Insight? Beyond My Understanding (1)

NIK282000 (737852) | about 4 months ago | (#45793311)

This leads to not just issues relating to another individual, but also to far greater things when you consider that they people might one day be enacting laws based on their personal experience, or lack there of.

You's seen how laws are working out now right? It's not like it could get much worse. At least these people will be familiar with the subject matter.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792675)

A spoiled 19 y/o who doesn't do what his father tells him to do. How quaint.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (5, Insightful)

Midnight_Falcon (2432802) | about 4 months ago | (#45792761)

My anecdote on the other hand -- myself -- does.

My parents claimed they encouraged me to be more social and go out more with my friends, just like yourself. Instead I spent time on IRC and MUDs.

The original article actually sort of reads like the story of my own childhood. I grew up in NYC under Broken Windows/Giuliani, when policing and keeping kids safe began to become at its peak.

My mom watched an awful lot of daytime TV and abduction dramas -- she was warning me about being abducted from stores when I was four years old, constantly, until I was around sixteen and it was ridiculous.

Of course, my mother being fed all these stories from the media, was very "overprotective." This meant she tried to listen in on my phone calls, would regularly search my room (not for drugs or anything ..this started before I even knew what drugs were...for notes I had passed out in class and things she could find to get more information about who my friends were and what were we doing). When I was 16 I found she had many of my friends' phone numbers in the back of her phone book -- many of those friends were from outside of school and she had to have gone through my things to find the numbers.

What happened here? Well, I became adept at cryptography and communicating privately -- and started working at an ISP around age 12. I also spent a lot of time at home because she would prevent me from going to any events with friends (concerts), sleeping over anyone's house, etc etc. Ostensibly, she said "get out of the house", but in reality her conditions were too restrictive to actually encourage it.

Once I got to college, I became a complete social butterfly. I threw big parties all the time and was extremely social, and I continue to be quite a social person today. I have little social media presence.

After college I used the computer skills I had gotten as a teenager to start my career, which I continue in.

It's not a sad story and it has a fine ending, but it totally matches the article. It's almost eerie reading it myself.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (3, Informative)

Midnight_Falcon (2432802) | about 4 months ago | (#45792789)

Oh yeah, to add to this, we moved when I was in 6th grade within NYC. We moved from a neighborhood that had been built in the late 1800s to one that had been built in the 1970s. The new neighborhood, while much nicer, had few public spaces for kids to play -- just one park attached to a school that was frequently gated/closed. Kids could also bike for about an hour to get to another larger public park in an older neighborhood. Once they turned 16, quickly those who could afford it got cars and started hanging out literally driving around the neighborhood. I'm sure these same kids are doing that now on their smartphone or just sitting at home.

Re:My Anecdote Does Not Support Assertion (5, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#45792945)

I think it boils down to an extreme risk-aversion caused by a spike in artificial risk imposed by society on large percentages of interaction. This is done by people who have vested interests in either corralling behavior, or by people with axes to grind.

1. Every time feminists get some new law passed that lowers the legal bar for girls to make accusations that stick, it increases the social and legal risks for boys and men who have little or no legal recourse for false accusations, both deliberate and those based on bad definitions. With those huge generalizations rattling inside their heads, girls are treating all boys as 'potential rapists.' This causes feral like behavior in both genders as their natural biological imperatives collide with these newspeak mantras. The smarter ones are abandoning the game altogether because they see the risks which leave the not so average ones to mate and reproduce. Playing video games is increasingly being seen as almost as fun and a lot safer, socially. Cheaper too.

2. Schools' social dynamics are becoming more and more like prisons, with ever more extreme punishments for the tiniest missteps in following increasingly chaotic and nonsensical rules. A wrong word, or out of context statement overheard by the wrong person used to get the student a dressing down or 'demerit' slip. Now it lands the student in front of the school psychologist, who then comes up with some 'disease' to label him with, ruining his future opportunities.. The fact that schools are now reaching outside their domains and into the home is quite scary.

3. Up through the 1990s, cruising around in cars was popular with teens until gas prices reached a point where few could afford to without parental gas allowance. There was a time in fact where a highschool teen could buy a shitbox car, fuel, and insure it, on the pittance earned at his part time job. This is not true anymore...or is becoming starkly less true as time goes on.

4. The usual zomg, terrorists, zomg, pedophiles, zomg rapists, zomg drugs stuff hasn't gone away either. The only thing that has changed is the increasing ubiquity and homogeneity of its message. This reenforces its 'truthiness' and relative importance in people's minds.

Obviously, this post overlaps what was said in the article. I agree with a lot of it. If anything, 'social' media is just the biggest convenient pothole for people to fall into when they see that taking IRL social risk has just become too risky.

Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792369)

Alcohol, the cause of and solution to all of life's problems.

precise definition of "kids" (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about 4 months ago | (#45792373)

therein lies the problem.

Re:precise definition of "kids" (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about 4 months ago | (#45792411)

And also definition of 'socialisation'. When I was a late teen, I spent most of my time online chatting with friends on IM and IRC. It was my way of keeping in touch with friends after school, and wasn't limited by who could borrow the car or whether the mall was closed at midnight. We could chat about whatever it was we were interested in at the, whilst simultaneously play games or surfing the web or doing a dozen other things. I'm sure that facebook (for all its faults) is filling that same void for modern teens. I'll wager they're being more social and having more interactions than every before... it's just that their parents don't see it because they're not part of that world.

yes and no (4, Informative)

fermion (181285) | about 4 months ago | (#45792431)

By the time I was a teenager in 80's, that is 13-19 years of age, the back by dark rule was being relaxed. I had homework to do so mostly I came home as school ended and did it and other things. I recall my older siblings doing the same, unless they had work, and spending endless hours on the phone talking to their friends. On non school nights and in the summer we would spend quite a bit of time out after dark.

Here is what I see vis a vis the new constant communication paradigm. I see a lack of discipline. I see kids at school who need in constant communication with their parents. I see adults at work who need in constants communication with their lovers, thier spouse their kids, and whoever else will make them feel valuable as a person.

This is a great change from the 80's when I talked to my parents maybe in the morning, definitely checked in by phone after school, than saw them whenever we both were home. I talked to my friends at school, where we made plans for whatever nefarious activities we might want. When I started college and later working, I certainly did not spend the whole day texting everyone. Honestly, at college I was normally around the people I wanted to be around, and a work I already generally knew what I needed to know for after work. I did not have to spend the day, as one ex-coworker of mine spend the day texting to try to come up with some activity for the evening.

What I see here is pretty typical teenage logic, which is developmental appropriate, but hardly a major finding. If the lawgivers do not let me do what I want, I will find some way to circumvent it, and if it is bad it is their fault for making the law. In this case, i can't go wherever and whenever I want, so I will instead play with social media, and if it causes problems it is not my fault.

Seriously though setting limits and fighting such logic is an important part of child rearing. There was a case in West Virginia where this girl was murdered by her two best friends, which was possible because she was allowed to sneak our of the house. There are cases of other children killing themselves over bullying because they cannot put down their phones and so are constantly receiving bullying texts. There is also cases where kids are getting really messed up sleep wise because they cannot put down their phones.

There is really nothing special about this, and there is really nothing new. We always need to learn to live with technology, and parents need to help children learn to live with it. In some ways this is like TV where a new generation of parents really did not know how to balance the TV with the development of the child. It is certainly not the parents fault that it was a better choice to have a kid come home and watch tv instead of running unsupervised outside.

Re:yes and no (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45792601)

she was allowed to sneak our of the house

Think about that one.

Re:yes and no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792835)

In particular, Skylar had been caught frequently sneaking out of her first-floor bedroom window at night. “I tried to give her freedom, so we weren’t on top of her all the time,” Neese told the Associated Press. “Now, in hindsight, those parents who do that? More power to them. They should be.”

a child or parent will understand

Re:yes and no (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45793081)

You have an awfully strong reaction to me pointing out a nonsensical statement. I have to wonder though, what kind of teenager can't sneak out without their parents figuring it out, especially if their bedroom is on the 1st floor? Teenagers must not be very clever these days - probably comes from too much social media. Lastly, if she was "murdered by her two best friends", I suggest that the bigger problem was her choice of friends.

Re:yes and no (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 months ago | (#45792773)

I see adults at work who need in constants communication with their lovers, thier spouse their kids, and whoever else will make them feel valuable as a person.

That's my new pet hate for when several people are waiting around for one person to finish the sixth non-work related phone call of the day when there is nothing resembling a domestic crisis going on.

Re:yes and no (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 4 months ago | (#45793123)

Or just maybe, parents of today know the horrible crap they pulled/trouble they got into, and have a better vector on how to prevent such things that their parents didn't

Also, the law comes down like a hammer compared to when I was a kid. Stole something? You got a mean talking to by a police officer and told "I don't want to see you again". Now you will end up in court. Get into a fight and break someones nose? Possibly sued and/or court. Today ISN'T the same for our children as it was for our generation. It is reasonable to posit that the same upbringing isn't as appropriate

Re:yes and no (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#45793155)

I see kids at school who need in constant communication with their parents. I see adults at work who need in constants communication with their lovers, thier spouse their kids, and whoever else will make them feel valuable as a person.

I see this as a fairly recent sea change and I'm puzzled by it. We've had to shut down personal cell phone use on the hospital floor by nurses and CNAs because too many of them were spending literally hours talking to family. It became intrusive as they would stop what they were doing to talk to their kid - who they talked to an hour ago. And it's not just one or two people, it's a significant number of staff members.

When you ask them about it, most of them get defensive and say that they really need to keep close track of family and friends 'in case something happens'. Well, major events don't happen very often and the issues that they seem to be arguing over are at the 'who gets to take out the garbage today' level. I guess it's because you CAN keep in molecular contact with people these days. Growing up with just phones (the ones that were physically attached to wall with a wire), we would go hours, perhaps even whole days without knowing were family members and friends were.

I do think it's really an addiction - people get a neurochemical warm and fuzzy and since it's easy to obtain, do it often. Perhaps we should work on cell phones that shock people after a certain number of minutes or texts...

really? (4, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#45792433)

So what about the situation where the parent is addicted to social media but the child is not? This isn't a rhetorical question.

I dunno, I think the idea that parents being over-protective driving children online is one of those things that's easy to prove anecdotally, because there are so many overprotective parents to choose from, and as a substantial number of children could be said to be addicted to social media, there would be a significantly large intersect between the two groups. But I wonder if there's really any meaning there.

I think it is true that society (not just parents) has made it more of a challenge for children to interact with each other. Geeze, the grade school playground is looking more and more like something out of A Wrinkle in Time. (...Camazotz... ...Read a book!...) I think a case could be made that there are a number of factors involved, including the observation that if it's news, it's rare by definition even if it's not, for profit reasons, presented as such, and this has given the vast unwashed public, who as a group has a less-than-college-level understanding of statistics, some wrong ideas. (Incidents of people being hit by falling pianos up 100%! Panic!)

I continue to believe that this tendency, if it exists, merely gives my daughter much shorter lines to stand in as she journeys through life, as more and more of her competition is staring at a screen when they should be doing something important. So I don't worry about it overmuch.

Hear this all the time from corporations. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792465)

Don't blame us and the billions we pump into marketing and marketing research! It's your own fault for choosing X!

Either marketing has an effect or it doesn't. It does, and so that's why money is spent on it. I'm not saying full blame should be put on McDonalds or whatever for making people fat or whatever, but let's not be naive about it.

Crime plummeted? (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 months ago | (#45792469)

Crime among teens didn't change relative to society as a whole, as far as the stats I found in a quick glance. What changed was the *perception* of crime.

yep, things have changed (2)

sribe (304414) | about 4 months ago | (#45792485)

There are many of us of a certain age (50ish) who remember during summer vacations being told not to be at home until after dark. Seriously.

Re:yep, things have changed (3, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#45792613)

There are many of us of a certain age (50ish) who remember during summer vacations being told not to be at home until after dark. Seriously.

There are many of us of a certain age (50ish) who remember during summer vacations being told not to be at home until after summer vacation. Seriously.

Re:yep, things have changed (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45792633)

Even younger than that. My wife is fortyish and remembers it. It was common for parents to basically kick kids out of the house so they could have some time to themselves. Neither I nor anybody else I know resented it. It was basically "go out and play with your friends". Who knew we were all abused and neglected children?

Re:yep, things have changed (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 4 months ago | (#45792799)

I seemed to have several years like that under canine supervison. So long as I took the dog my parents let me go out all day.

You mean like this? (4, Interesting)

nbauman (624611) | about 4 months ago | (#45792487)

This one has everything -- video monitoring the streets too. (Contrary to vendor claims, the video hasn't prevented crime.) This sounds like one of those 1950s movies where, the next thing you know, the teenagers will be playing rock and roll and dancing. Don't worry, they don't do this to white kids.

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131115/crown-heights/police-want-cut-wi-fi-at-crown-heights-mcdonalds-prevent-crime [dnainfo.com]

Police Want to Cut Wi-Fi at Crown Heights McDonald's to Prevent Crime
By Sonja Sharp on November 15, 2013 8:38am
DNAinfo

CROWN HEIGHTS — Phone thefts and teen brawls have gotten so bad at a Crown Heights McDonald's that police asked the management to turn off the Wi-Fi as a way of scattering the after-school crowds, DNAinfo New York has learned.

“We asked them to kill the Wi-Fi there from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. so it doesn’t become a hangout," Capt. Eddie Lott, commanding officer of the 77th Precinct, said of the McDonald's at Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway. "That McDonald's is a big hangout for young people."

Lott said he had reached an agreement with the managers of the McDonald's to cut the Wi-Fi in the afternoons, but it was still going strong this week — and McDonald's corporate office said the company had not agreed to anything yet.

"As good corporate citizens, we are working with the police to ensure the safety of our customers," the company said in a statement, adding that that McDonald's has hired additional security.

"The police have presented many solutions, one of which includes turning off the Wi-Fi."

The 77th Precinct has seen a 19 percent jump in robberies so far this year compared to the previous year, coupled with a 10 percent increase in felony assaults, NYPD statistics show. Grand larcenies, which police said include many phone thefts, have spiked by nearly 30 percent.

The precinct did not release separate crime statistics for Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway.

While the intersection is far from the only problem spot in the neighborhood, police in both the 77th and the 71st precincts have repeatedly called it one of the most troubling. Earlier this fall, Lott put an NYPD SkyWatch tower at the intersection, videotaping 360 degrees 24 hours a day as both a deterrent and a way of catching suspects after crimes occur.

"That’s why we have the SkyWatch there — we want to prevent those things from happening," Lott told residents in September when asked about the large group fights that routinely break out on the corner, particularly on Fridays.

"Hopefully we can abate that and it won’t become the problem that it was the end of last school year."

Teens, too, say the fights and thefts there have become routine.

"It's very violent — people get chased, jumped, beat up," said Melissa, 16, a student at nearby Clara Barton High School.

"It'll be three girls, five boys, and then their friends jump in. A lot of people get their phones stolen here. People from other schools, if they see someone with a phone, they'll take it."

But while it may curb crime, regular customers like Devonte, 16, said they would be unhappy about losing wireless access in the McDonald's.

"The library's closed a lot, so I can't go there," Devonte said. "The Wi-Fi brings me here mostly.... It'd be kind of upsetting if they turned it off."

FamousandRich
a month ago
Why don't the geniuses at NYPD just put a pair of cops on post at the location or is that just too easy for these idiots to figure out?

Re:You mean like this? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 4 months ago | (#45792801)

This sounds like a perfect use case for The Mosquito [wikipedia.org] anti-loitering device. To summarize for those who aren't familiar, the basic idea here is to discourage loitering of young people by playing a loud and obnoxious tone continually or in bursts at around 17.4 Khz, which while audible to most persons 25 years of age or younger, is much less audible or completely inaudible to older adults. This takes advantage of the fact that hearing, especially at the high pitched edge of the audible range, tends to decline with age. These types of devices can usually be configured to activate or deactivate between certain times, upon detection of motion or manually.

Re:You mean like this? (2)

Adam Colley (3026155) | about 4 months ago | (#45792887)

Oh yes, mechanical child abuse, what a good idea.

We have those abominations here and let me tell you, being over 25 or even over 35 is no guarantee you won't hear them.

Ban the mosquitoes, not the kids.

Re:You mean like this? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 4 months ago | (#45793057)

We have those abominations here and let me tell you, being over 25 or even over 35 is no guarantee you won't hear them.

You're free to take your business elsewhere. I believe that's why they call it a free market economy.

Ban the mosquitoes, not the kids.

It's called private property and the police cannot seem to be bothered with "low priority" calls these days. Indeed, their priority on a loitering complaint, short of rioting and looting, is generally somewhere between barely interested and not their problem. What's a business owner to do about unruly packs of young people driving away paying customers when banning them from the premises is either not practical or not enforceable as a matter of law?

Re:You mean like this? (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 4 months ago | (#45792907)

You may have noticed that persons under 25 are the main customers of that branch of McDonald's.

Outside McDonald's, it's a public street. It would probably be a violation of the noise laws to play deliberately annoying sounds.

Re:You mean like this? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | about 4 months ago | (#45793105)

You may have noticed that persons under 25 are the main customers of that branch of McDonald's.

Perhaps, but I wonder how much they're really spending. For example, here in the United States the Six Flags corporation, which operates themed parks around the country, used to market heavily to teenagers until they realized three things. First, unruly teenagers scare away families and especially families with young children. Second, they tend to break things. Third and finally, they don't spend as much as you might think. In response to these realizations, they reduced the marketing to teenagers, kicked out the troublemakers and their profits improved. Coincidence? I think not.

Re:You mean like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792893)

Why don't the geniuses at NYPD just put a pair of cops on post at the location or is that just too easy for these idiots to figure out?

That would be racial profiling.

Re:You mean like this? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 months ago | (#45793197)

Why don't the geniuses at NYPD just put a pair of cops on post at the location or is that just too easy for these idiots to figure out?

Because they'd get their cell phones stolen. Jeez. Didn't you read the article you posted? It's dangerous out there.

Media Distortion (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792489)

The media distortion described is absolutely true. In the 24 hour cable news cycle, every kidnapping, abuse, or (dare I say) mass shooting is plastered across multiple networks for a couple days. People get the gut feeling that frequency of occurrence is high, because our brains are wired to treat news as local. If a cave man saw someone killed, he actually saw it. We are really bad at making the distinction that back in 1800 there were about a billion people, and now there are about 6x that, and back in 1800 if something didn't happen in your particular town you were unlikely to hear about it. So if in 1800 there was one kidnapping and teen murder every 20 years in your small town, it means today in a country of 300M you are going to be having them nearly constantly.

OBTW, this is the same logic that produces kooky behavior to protect from mass killings. Yea, mass shootings are real, but the odds of your kid getting involved in one are about the same as winning the lottery, being eaten by a shark or hit by lightning. Not high enough to really worry about or change school policy, but we do anyway "just in case". The odds are way higher that your kid will get hit by a car or come down with cancer.

Re:Media Distortion (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45792709)

And people eat it up. My 10 y.o. daughter isn't allowed to walk home from school, which is two blocks away. She hates it because the bus takes 40 minutes instead of 5. We live in a low crime area, and we've asked if we have to sign a permission form or something to allow her to walk home. Nope, can't do it. District policy. Child must either take the bus or be picked up by a parent.

It's nuts. I, and everyone else who lived too close for a bus, was expected to walk to and from school by ourselves when we were in kindergarten. There were crossing guards for major streets. People say "the world isn't like when we were kids". They're right - it's safer! (that does depend somewhat on your age, but things have been getting safer for years).

I tell my daughter to walk to school. She complains it's cold. I ask "did we forget to buy you a warm coat? Hat, gloves?". Nope, all is in order. "So get out and walk!". I feel a little weird because my neighbors drive their kids to the same school (seriously) or walk with them. I wonder when Child Protective Services is going to pay me a visit.

Re:Media Distortion (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 4 months ago | (#45792979)

Nope, can't do it. District policy. Child must either take the bus or be picked up by a parent.

Tell the school to kiss your ass. They don't have the power to say how your kid gets to school or how they get home. They will certainly try to pretend that they do and will make a bunch of noise. But that's about all they can do.

Re:Media Distortion (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 4 months ago | (#45793015)

They don't have the power to say how your kid gets to school

No, they don't. She walks.

or how they get home

If she tries to walk home she'll get in trouble. My wife and I can scream and fight. Hell, we could get a lawyer (people sometimes have to do that when it's a serious issue). Could we fight city hall? Yes. Is it worth it for this one minor stupidity? No. It'll make her life more difficult. At least next year she gets to walk home.

Priceless quote FTFA (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792501)

"But for the sake of argument, let’s agree that we have a crisis."

Hysterical!

Teens aren't that sheltered ... (2)

MacTO (1161105) | about 4 months ago | (#45792563)

I work around plenty of teens and young adults who persistently access social media, simply because it is more interesting to them than the world around them.

These teens are by no means locked out of the real world by over zealous parents. These teens are active in their schools and in many cases their community.

While I can't speak for teens as a general population, the ones that I am exposed to are "addicted" to social media for reasons other than just their parents. (Parents may have some responsibility for not setting guidelines on social media use, but it isn't because they locked their kids away.)

Re:Teens aren't that sheltered ... (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 4 months ago | (#45793013)

When I was a kid, my sisters would talk on the phone with their friends. My parents would occasionally yell at them to get off the damn phone.

I see it as a variation of the same thing as when I was a kid. The only difference is that in my day, you had one communication line into the house and parents made sure that the line was kept relatively open because if someone was on the phone, a person trying to call in would get a busy signal. Nowadays, you don't have the bandwidth limitations into the house that you once had. Between high-speed dedicated wired Internet and cellular networks, you don't really have the "excuse" that the line needs to be kept open in case someone wants to call. Thus, there really isn't a reason to not let kids talk to their friends as much as they want, except for other tasks that are necessary (e.g., homework, chores, etc.)

There's a man with his priorities straight. (3, Funny)

hey! (33014) | about 4 months ago | (#45792581)

Find someone to blame, then make sure they get *all* the blame.

Re:There's a man with his priorities straight. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792969)

Why blame the parents, let's blame the parents of the parents, after all they taught them how to parent. Or hey maybe we should blame the parents of the parents of the parents, after all we have to blame someone right?

Trivial antedote (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792639)

'If kids can't socialize, who should parents blame? Simple: They should blame themselves.

My parents should not be blamed because everyone else is a sociopathic nutcase.

Here's how I view socializing:

  • Return on investment: What benefit do I get for going to a social gathering, compared to me staying at home and playing/working on a computer?
  • Stress: Using a computer is less stressful than meeting people at a social gathering. Computers are highly predictable and can (eventually) be fixed, while people tend to be hard to get along with.
  • Acceptance:Computers completely accept you (as long as cost of becoming skynet is 9999999). People will instead call you a computer nerd or "teacher's pet" simply because you want to read a book.

I've had enough years "socializing", developing Stockholm Syndrome (with being forced to attend school and told the diploma was doing me a favor), and dealing with Random crazies [notalwaysright.com] . My basic social needs are handled with my computer, and a software compiler.

Crock of shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792649)

What a complete crock of fuckin horse shit.

The "one or the other's fault" false dichotomy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792753)

If you raise an army of children who murnder people by hitting them over the head with iPads, it's almost entirely your fault. Each murder is only the child's fault to the extent that a child raised in a murder training camp can be said to have a conscience.

On the other hand, if you raise a child under some hypothetical ideal condition and that child still grows up to be a murderer then it's 100% the child's fault.

In reality, there are only a few situations on this planet where children are raised to kill (mostly in Africa) and we aren't even sure what to call an ideal environment.

As usual, the truth is somewhere between the extremes. Society defines the behavior of the average person; but throughout history we have seen people who transcended their society's norms and followed what we might regard as a more universal morality.

So. If your child is a media addict and it's harmful to them it's some percent your fault for letting them have it and some percent their fault for failing to transcend the situation.

well duh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792791)

I've forcibly blocked every single "social network" for any PC/devices in the house, if you want to talk to someone, call them up or meet them in person, don't put your dirty laundry for all to see on the internet.

Social media are addictive (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 4 months ago | (#45792811)

Teens aren't addicted to social media. They're addicted to each other," Boyd says. "They're not allowed to hang out the way you and I did, so they've moved it online."

What a load of horse shit. Has this woman got eyes?

Of course teens are allowed to hang out. I live in a medium sized town and Main Street is full of teenagers wondering about in groups... and playing with their smart phones at the same time. They play with them in the cinema too (fuckers), instead of watching the movie (which they went to with their friends). They play with them when they're out on dates. I see this in my town and I see it elsewhere too.

No, the problem is social media. It's vacuous and addictive. My girlfriend wastes hours and hours on it; procrastinating when she should be getting on with finishing her thesis. She claims she needs social media to communicate with the her friends who are abroad. Now that's a valid use of social media, but does she really need to spend 3 hours a day on it?

Re:Social media are addictive (3, Funny)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 4 months ago | (#45793223)

You're right, social media are addictive. So it's time to log out of Slashdot and get back to spending time with your family and friends during the current Christmas-to-New-Year holiday season.

And, yes, I'll do the same. Honest, I will. I can stop any time. Really, I can.

Re:Social media are addictive (1)

ShaunC (203807) | about 4 months ago | (#45793231)

Of course teens are allowed to hang out. I live in a medium sized town and Main Street is full of teenagers wondering about in groups... and playing with their smart phones at the same time

I live in a big metro area (Memphis, TN) and it doesn't seem to work that way here anymore, the author of TFA could be living in my neighborhood. The only time I ever see kids or teens outdoors is if the school bus has just dropped them off, and more often than not, there's a big line of cars waiting at the bus stop so that Precious Snowflake doesn't have to walk more than a block until their parents can usher them back home.

When I was a kid growing up in the 80s, on the weekends or during summer break, I'd wake up, eat breakfast, and be out the door and on my bike by 9AM. Lots of sleepovers back then, where the same thing would happen at whichever friend's house I happened to be staying over at (playing Atari or NES till the wee hours). I often wouldn't get home until it was almost dark. I'd be outside all day, riding my bike with my friends, exploring new roads or new trails through the woods.

We'd ride our bikes around into new subdivisions and pick up scrap lumber and nails and shit. We'd find a spot in the woods and start fires, because fire was cool. Someone would have brought a hatchet in their backpack and we'd chop down little trees and nail them around using the butt-end of the hatchet as a hammer, and make a treehouse. All of this on someone's property, someone who really didn't care as long as we weren't going to burn the woods down or something.

The 4th of July used to suck. The 5th of July was fucking awesome! A bunch of 12 year olds rolling around a few square miles, stopping to pick up all the accidentally overlooked firecrackers laying on the streets that still had a fuse. Then we'd go back in the woods and shoot them off.

Back then, nobody was worried that we'd be kidnapped, or molested, or cut up into pieces. And of course, none of that happened to any of us (and none of it happens, with any average of mention, today). We were kids out having fun. Try doing that today as a kid, and good fucking luck. Watch out for the Tasers.

Big media, Big sensationaism, and Big problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792843)

I distinctly remember the 1980s, its aftermath, and the "you can't go anywhere or do anything without an adult chaparone, because the pedos will get you and rape you to death like the kid on TV!" Phenomenon.

Now that I am adult, I see its upgraded stranger danger hysteria 2.0 all over, and it makes life as an adult even more dfficult.

Here, let me break this down for you.

I am a single, white male, aged 32. I am purposefully leaving other details blank here.

Here's the setup:

It is a lovely spring day, and I decide to go to the local park. I bring binoculars to look at the birds, and perhaps a book to read. It's Saturday.

A group of soccer moms arrives with kids in tow, to play soccer. It IS the public park afterall, and it DOES have big grassy areas just begging to be played on-- that *IS* what they are for afterall.

Soccer mom "A" sees me using the binoculars to look at the baby orioles in the tree on the opposite side of the grassy field the kids are playing in. She turns to soccer mom "B", points me out, and the two proceed to act quite disgusted indeed, and quickly call an end to the soccer game because of "the pervert."

Since when is bird watching being a pervert, especially when I was there BEFORE they arrived, for the stated purpose of said bird watching? It doesn't matter a god damn what I am actually doing there; that I am a single white male holding binoculars and looking over the field is all the evidence they feel they need to label me as one of the most disgusting things possible; a child predator. Gawd forbid that one of the kids kicks the ball my way, and they have to go and get it!

As a result, it isn't JUST the kids that can't really go outside and do things either-- its adults too!
Soccermoms A and B both FULLY EXPECT the park to literally be fucking devoid of people, and get paranoid when it isn't!

The sickest and saddest part of it all? When measured against the growth of populations inside fixed geographic areas, the rate of child predator emergence has remaind almost the same statistically! The % of the population that are child predators is mostly unchanged! All that's different now are that cities have more people in them, and thus naturally, have more pervos per square mile-- and the unreasonable senses of danger that people like the soccer moms have concerning those people.

The result is that people who really are just there to see the damned birds flitter about their nests in the spring, or who JUST want to enjoy the warming spring air after being cooped up all damned winter, either need to fit some rediculous mental picture of what those stupid cunts consider "normal and safe", or be consigned to either having to give up any hope of ever getting to use public prks in the manner in which they were intended, or forever be hounded by police showing up and aking just what it is you are doing in the damned park with a pair of binoculars in the springtime.

God forbid if there's a fucking school around. Then you get taken in for questioning.

The flipside, of course, is that the kids grow up thinking that anyone not fitting the precise sterotype of "safe" that their parents drum into them are immediately pervos, even when statistics flat out say they probably aren't, they grow up to be even more paranoid of "strangers" and the whole idea of going to the park in the first place becomes one of fear. Either that you will be fucking arrested for just being there, or that Pedobear is gonna get you or little timmy, and fuck your brains out in the bathroom and then dispose of the body in a roadside ditch somewhere.

As a result, people don't go to the park, kids don't go to the park, NOBODY fucking uses the goddamn park, and the news media eats it all up like fucking candy.

Catering to the paranoia will NOT solve the problem. What WILL, is for people to come to understand that their perceptions of other people can be, and likely are flat out wrong, 99% of the time. That other people, even "scary looking people" (for whatever definition of "scary looking" happens to foat your boat this week) have just as much right to a public park as anyone else. That just because the news media likes to show gory images of a little girl cut up into bloody rotting chunks in a dumpster is not grounds to lose your fucking minds.

I am sick and tired of being labeled as something horrible just because I look a little shabby, and am not there with some woman, OK?
People like me should NOT be forced to give up on perfectly OK things they enjoy, just because it makes crazy people feel threatened, OK? However, the "stranger danger! OMG! It's PEDO BEAR with binoculars! Call the police!" Phenomenon most certainly does cause exactly that. I actually GET SCARED these days when a kid comes up to me FOR ANY REASON! They could have gotten separated from their mom or lost something-- whatever-- it simply is not safe FOR ME to assist such a child in any fashion! That is how insane the situation really is!

I KNOW what the soccermoms are thinking, because *MY* mom was "soccermom"! Its way worse now too!

YES! Paranoid parents ARE TO FUCKING BLAME. And yes, I am bitter as fucking hell over it, and NO, I WON'T shut up about it.

Wired is such a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792879)

How can I take the opinion of a magazine who's aim is,"Look at what some tech people did a few years ago, and what people are doing now?" It is like a weather channel that predicts the weather that happened yesterday and looks out the window to tell you what the weather is now. Then three out of 4 pages are advertisements. I can flip through one of those in 1 minute flat, and be saddened I wasted that much time on it.

Addicted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45792929)

Can anyone explain what it means to be addicted to social media? What are the withdrawal affects? ...actual social interaction? I mean, as far as I know, the human ego has no limits. To point to the new cutting-edge technology that exposes the ego in all it's awesomeness, doesn't seem fair to the social media. The ego has no limits, and anything that allows it to express itself will always be utilized as much as possible. There's no way around this. Yeah, yeah, we humans have a certain responsibility to keep this in check, but uhh, as far as I know, the only thing that seems to motivate people these days, unless they're poor, is to provide them some form of ego-trip. The whole "straight and narrow" concept went out the window long ago.

Yeah, not buying it . . . (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 4 months ago | (#45793079)

So, basically the report says that over-restrictive parents are to blame for social media addiction? Don't think so. I've travelled quite a bit, the biggest complaint I've heard in the past decades is that parents were less involved in their kids lives than they were before WWII. Rebelling youth has been a chronic theme in Hollywood movies for the past 40 years. My favorite line in True Lies is when Tom Arnold explains that today's kids' parents are Axle Rose and Madonna and that parents can't compete with that kind of exposure. Social media is addictive because it's designed to be alluring and parents buy smartphones for their kids (pretty sure the kids aren't coming up with the coin themselves). Not sure how this report was researched.

Popularity contest. (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 4 months ago | (#45793267)

While I don't disagree that things have changed since I was a kid, let's not ignore what social media is: a non-stop popularity contest. Who has the most "friends", who says the most outrageous things, who shows most skin.

Everyone wants to be the most popular. When I was growing up, the popularity contest was limited to hanging out after school, going out, parties. With social media it's constant. Kids nowadays can contest for popularity every waking moment of their day. If the internet and smart phones existed in our days, it would've been the same stupidity.

Also, it's not just kids. My mother in law is just as bad, maybe worse. Same with all the moms at my kids' schools. So let's not throw only the kids under the bus.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...