What girls do online

Texting on a keyboard phoneImage via WikipediaThis post is a continuation of yesterday’s post, moving through Justine Cassel & Meg Cramer’s article “High Tech or High Risk: Moral Panics about Girls Online”.

We’ll first look at some general teens & the internet facts:

– Today’s teens spend over six hours a day in front of some form of media … at least one of those hours is spent in front of a computer.

– 87% of teens are online

– the activity takes place primarily in the home or school

– 50% of US families are connected with broadband

– girls between 12 and 16 are the fastest growing internet users

– boys are more likely to play games online while girls are more likely to send email, use text messaging, read websites about movie stars, get health or dieting information

– 25% of girls online have a blog (go us!)

Then, some more interesting reading:

– “Teenage blog and social networking site users describe their writing s as read only by their peer network, express surprise that the writings are easily findable by others, and comment on the blogs that they feel are comfortable exposing their innermost feelings in these contexts because of their anonymity (even though the same author may give identifying information in a neighboring post).

– “Teens‘ use of instant messaging, e-mailing, game playing and website creation are key ways by which they grow into adults who manage, produce, and consume technology intelligently on an everyday basis.”

– “… the current panic over girls being online is not new … the result of moral panic has been a restriction on girls’ use of technology.”

– “Girls in particular may thrive online where they may be more likely to rise to positions of authority than in the physical world, more likely to be able to explore alternate identities without the dangers associated with venturing outside of their homes alone, more likely to be able to safely explore their budding sexuality, and more likely to openly demonstrate technological prowess, without the social dangers associated with the term “geek.” (I’m a geek. I embrace it.)

– “With luck, there will be a single difference between the moral panic surrounding the telegraph and the telephone, and that surrounding the internet: that we will come to recognize young women as more likely to be empowered by technology than damaged by it.”

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