All those hours teenagers spend socialising on the internet are a good thing, according to a new study by the MacArthur Foundation.
Mizuko Ito, lead researcher on the study, Living and Learning With New Media, said that it may look as though kids are wasting a lot of time hanging out with the new media. However, their participation is giving them the technological skills and literacy they need to succeed in the contemporary world. Not only that, they’re learning how to get along with others, how to manage a public identity and how to create a home page.
The study, conducted from 2005 to last summer, said that some parental concern about the dangers of internet socialising was based on misperception. It said that concerns about online predators and stranger danger have been overblown, and that there is some confusion about what kids are actually doing online. Mostly, kids are socialising with their friends, people they’ve met at school or camp or sports.
The study used several teams of researchers to interview more than 800 young people and their parents and to observe teenagers online for more than 5,000 hours.
It became fairly clear that adults thought socialising on the internet was a waste of time.
Teenagers moaned about rules and restrictions, but most found ways to work around them. X
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New York Times