Danah Boyd, a researcher and author of “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens” recently featured in Time Magazine (March 24, 2014). Boyd’s observations that because today’s children are trapped by helicopter parents, overprotected and over managed, they are more than ever desperate to create their own identity in this high tech digital age.
He says that ‘Protecting kids may seem like the right thing to do, but it undermines the learning that teens need to do as they come of age in a technology soaked world.’
Left with the option of unblocking, stop tracking and monitoring every move the teenager makes online, many parents are nervous and some would argue that they are feeling daunted. But Boyd suggests that teens need their freedom and they need us, parents, friends and family to take collective responsibility and sustain a real interest in what they are doing as they run down the digital road to ‘play. Asking the right questions seems so vital.
Boyd says, ‘…ask your kids what they’re doing online – and why it’s so important to them.”
Maybe someone should be asking the grown ups as well.