Two Studies – Two Divergent Glimpses of Teens’ Attitudes About Life Online
Two sharply different studies released this week offered glimpses into teenagers’ attitudes about their lives online. McAfee, the security company, said the teenagers that it spoke to were leery of too much parental vigilance. Two out of three teens said their parents did not need to know everything about their online travels, and half said they would amend their behavior online if they knew their parents were watching. In the other study, Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that helps parents navigate new technologies aimed at children, concluded that texting, tweeting, and checking a social network had become part of an American teenager’s daily rhythm, and on balance, represented a good influence in their lives. Half of the teenagers in the study said social networking had mainly helped their friendships, while only 4 percent said it had mainly hurt their friendships, and more than one in four said that social networking made them feel more outgoing. But, most telling of all was that teens’ frustrations with digital distractions are a lot like those of some adults. Nearly half of those in the study said they wished they could “unplug” sometimes. More telling, one in five wished their parents could too.
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