"Consider the various moral panics that surround young people's online interactions. The current panic is centred on "cyberbullying". Every day, I wake up to news reports about the plague of cyberbullying. If you didn't know the data, you'd be convinced that cyberbullying was spinning out of control. The funny thing is that we have a lot of data on this topic, dating back for decades. Bullying is not on the rise and it has not risen dramatically with the onset of the internet. When asked about bullying measures, children and teens continue to report that school is the place where the most serious acts of bullying happen, where bullying happens the most frequently, and where they experience the greatest impact. This is not to say that young people aren't bullied online; they are. But rather, the bulk of the problem actually happens in adult-controlled spaces like schools.
"What's different has to do with visibility. If your son comes home with a black eye, you know something happened at school. If he comes home grumpy, you might guess. But for the most part, the various encounters that young people have with their peers go unnoticed by adults, even when they have devastating emotional impact. Online, interactions leave traces. Not only do adults bear witness to really horrible fights, but they can also see teasing, taunting and drama. And, more often than not, they blow the latter out of proportion. I can't tell you how many calls I get from parents and journalists who are absolutely convinced that there's an epidemic that must be stopped. Why? The scale of visibility means that fear is magnified."
is doing amazing work on the #attentioneconomy . I posted her talk at SXSW earlier, and it is brilliant and definitely worth a watch.
danah boyd originally shared this post:
The Guardian just published a long piece by me on social media & fear: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/21/digital-era-society-social-media This is based on my SXSW talk.
Social media in particular has inexorably changed the world, driving openness and fear – but it is not beyond our control