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Frontline Documentary: Growing up online


Blue Dragon

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I just heard about this on commandn: There is a great documentary about teenagers growing up online and what problems this can cause. It's really good and shows what can happen if you get addicted to the internet and can't distinguish between reality and online-world.

Watch the full program here

What do you think about the documentary?

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After watching it, I really really hope this is wrong. It scares the shit out of me.

Sad, but anyone older than 25 is probably saying the same thing. Kids 10 and 12 years old doing things we only started to get into around 16 or so. 8 year olds with eating disorders and so introverted because of bullying at school the only place they can find escape is in the internet chat rooms and places like MySpace.

My friends neice has a page, and people think she is 18. She has men on her friends list telling her what they want to do to her, etc, and she is only 13. 13!! Sex is a whole other ball game when it comes to thes ekids and the internet. Most kids just learning about their bodies end up seeking out the easy access to porn sites and shit. I rememeber growing up feeling lucky to find a playboy magazine here and there and we all went nuts trying to steal them from the local magazine shop at 14 years old. Kids havent changed much, its just that they can access stuff a lot easier, and this is what bothers the parents.

Problem is, the parents wait too long to teach them about the internet and the dangers involved with socializing online, but more importanlty is the fact that most parents just have no clue about these things and arent educated about it to begin with. The kids end up having to teach the parents how to use the  damn computer, and in the process they think the kids know what they are doing and give them free reign over their internet access.

Mom is always asking me to fix her pc because she just knows how to do what she needs to in order to get her work done, but when my sisters end up getting root kits on the damn thing because they were using something like Limewire or Kazaa, well, you can figure out the rest.

Kids and parents are no different today than they were in the 60's, 70's, 80's, etc. There is always a rebellious gap with every generation, and technology only makes it worse. It would be interesting though to see these kids as parents 10, 15 years from now and do the whole documentary again and see how much different it becomes then. I bet these kids grow up wiser and more informed on how to protect themselves and their children, but the kids by that time will have found some other form or rebellion and there will be another subject of a generation gap that we probably havent forseen yet.

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I love Frontline its a great show!  Check out there show on Cyber Warfare (its from 2003 but a lot of it is still relevant) -->  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cyberwar/view/

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Very interesting.  I guess I would be considered a member of this online generation.  I definitely think I spend too much time on my computer, but I don't know what to think about it.  I just made a facebook a few weeks ago, I had resisted until this point, but I figure it will be the only way I can stay in touch with people from my high school once I graduate.  Having made it only a few weeks ago, I already find that I spend to much time on it, constantly seeing updates and that.  I would consider myself one of the better educated ones about this type of stuff, I have blocked my acct. to only my friends (and they are only the ones I know), and I refuse to have any photos of me on the site.  In fact, the photo I have up now is the result of searching for creepy old guy in google images, I hope some of my friends might see the irony in having that as my facebook photo.  Overall although initially sites like myspace/facebook were a good idea (they still are in theory), it puts way to much public info out to the internet.  And I agree with the only way to stop bad things from happening is from educating the youth.  I don't having parents view everything their child does is a good idea (just like back in the day you didn't want them in your room), I do think content filtering may be an option to help combat this.

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I do think content filtering may be an option to help combat this.

Well, maybe. But it wouldn't help to solve the problem with myspace and sites like that. You would have to ban those in your router/filteringsystem as well, although they are actually nothing really bad. But I think it would help to keep young kids off from any adult websites or websites with illegal content. The biggest problem is still that a lot of parents barely know how to turn on their computer (if they even have one). Setting up a filtering system is a bit more complicated I think.

Anyway. It's a good discussion so far and I'm curious about other oppinions on this topic.

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What's funny is that when I was in high school, my friends had the same LAN's, IRC's and Forums that we used to communicate with. But because This "WildWest internet" as the lady in the first episode calls it, is now inhabited by the popular kids and is much easier to access with less computer knowledge, it is now an epidemic. It reminds me of how shootings in inner city schools happened all the time with little to no news coverage until it was starting to show up in white, suburban, middle class schools. Then and only then did the mass media and hysteria begin. Of course its horrible that teens and preteens are trying to grow up too early but that has been going on for awhile now. It has just found a new medium.

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