Soc Paper 2 Kids Online

Soc Paper 2 Kids Online - Anthony Cao The Online Generation...

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Anthony Cao The Online Generation With the advent of twentieth century technology, the Internet is arguably the most culturally impactful and omnipresent innovation of modernity. It is through this inescapable nature that the Internet has forcibly made itself into an inextricable factor in the lives of most children. Although adults also interact frequently on the Internet, the dominance of the Internet specifically in the lives of children born in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries creates new, challenging, and socially constructed problems. However, these perceived problems in conjunction with more real problems of cyberbullying have the potential to be eclipsed by the benefits of the Internet. Although there are several possible explanations for the hysteria regarding children’s use of the Internet, a majority of the concerns stem from parents’ fear—Ranging from fear of their children becoming passive participants in society as a result constant, mindless surfing of the web, to fear of their children being molested by a predatory sexual offender. The root of this fear lies in the transition in the perception of childhood. Instead of the economically useful child, the “emotionally priceless child” has become the new norm (Lecture, 01/20/11), in which children are viewed as invaluable, not to simply be replaced upon any misfortune. This current perception of childhood relates directly to the dramatization of the supposed omnipresence of sex offenders. Because parents are so much more vested in each of their children than in the past, they place a perhaps exaggerated emphasis on both the cultivation and safety of their children. With the shift toward the emotionally priceless child has come the added importance of childhood innocence. Although perspectives are said to have transitioned from the Romantic Child to the Knowing Child (Lecture 01/20/11), influences of the Romantic Child can still be clearly seen today. Parents see the necessity in providing their children with a pure childhood,
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protecting them from the outside world. Because this aspect of innocence is still valued so greatly, many parents maintain an exaggerated fear of this innocence being forcibly taken away from their children. Adults fear that children are incapable of defending themselves from being manipulated by criminals and sex offenders. Brust, head of Counterintelligence and Cyber Divisions, further contends that, “ These children have not developed a mental capacity to match wits with a 40-year-old adult” (Growing up online). Hence, this continually held belief in the innocence of childhood along with the perception that children are incapable of defending themselves foster feelings of widespread hysteria in idea of children maintaining online interactions. This hysteria and fear are additionally fueled by statistics. Simply hearing statistics
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This note was uploaded on 11/28/2011 for the course SOC 102 taught by Professor Mcginn during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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Soc Paper 2 Kids Online - Anthony Cao The Online Generation...

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