Friday, May 18, 2012

Creeping and Trolling - Teenagers' social world on the Internet

My school received a huge grant this year which resulted in a whole slew of Macbooks. Every student in our school has a Macbook and we have wireless rigged throughout the school. While they're certainly used for education, there's a whole lot of social life going on, too.

So here's a brief run-down of stuff I've seen.

Chatroulette.com: Students love to use this feature - it shoots them to random people all over the world. As an adult - I think it's totally creepy. You can not only see the other people but you can talk if you both have audio capabilities. There's a pretty high ratio of pervs on this site. Unless of course you're into naked Gustav. Omegle.com is a similar site but without the video capability

I-chat - Great for internal school communication when you're supposed to be studying. Smilies optional.

Skype: Skype is the new tool for phone sex (though I've only heard them talk about it - I sure hope it's not happening at school) . Sorry - but there's even a name for it "Skype-urbation."

Facebook: All the kids can totally get around any block, and if they can't, it's just a matter of seconds before they find someone who can. Facebook is like the social gossip center. Stories told, photos shared. Most teenagers have no privacy blocks on their Facebook pages.

Creeping: See Facebook - without privacy blocks it's pretty easy to creep on someone else's page, check out the hot girl who your boyfriend is flirting with or his ex. This is the correct term.

Trolling: You're a troll if you only have negative comments to make and do it for fun.

Twitter: Pretty much the same as Facebook

Other Favorite Teenage Sites:

You Tube - Viral videos get spread quickly between teenagers
Memebase.com - Funny stuff
Iwastesomuchtime.com - Funny stuff



So, anyone have anything to add to this list?  As a writer, with things changing so quick via technology, the old adage of be sort of glossy with it (as in, mention it, but brush over names or specifics) is wise. It's hard to keep up when you're an adult with loads to do besides be on Iwastesomuchtime.com!




17 comments:

  1. At first I'm thinking, Oh cool! How wonderful for your school! And then as I read further I am wondering how this is supposed to help further their education? Because don't teens already know how to maneuver computers better than anyone? Maybe the MacBooks should have gone to their parents!

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    1. Yes Karen, it's been a challenge. There are filters and blocks but the kids are super savvy. But, the other side of the coin is it IS a great tool. Even as an art teacher I use them - any image is immediately at their finger tips - artist research - digital portfolios - etc, etc. None of the above things are really allowed, fwiw.

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  2. Very interesting list, Jaye. Thanks for sharing!

    Skype-urbation and the Chatroulette.com principle are just creepy.

    Ever checked out http://www.happyplace.com/ ? It's crazy fun! Okay, maybe not so much for pre-teens.

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    1. Just back in to say that is delightfully raunchy Vero!

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  3. Scary...but it's the truth of it. The educational side is awesome, however.

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  4. Wow, I want a macbook! :) Though, honestly, I watch my students play on so many websites during lectures I sometimes think that a pen & paper actually are more convenient. Much less distraction at least!

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  5. While such tech is amazing, it scares me that its availability hits kids when they are most vulnerable. With no common sense at all and a world full of 'look at me!', kids don't stand a chance, unless there is an adult looking out for them.

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    1. It's a difficult train to stop - especially when they're so much savvier than we are. But the alternate of "ditch the technology" doesn't make sense in this day and age either. A conundrum.

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  6. Someday I'll have to share what happened to my socially phobic nephew in high school after a Facebook joke got pulled on him. Ugly, ugly story.

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    1. I think it's important these stories get told, Angelina. It's hard to stop cyber bullying, and awareness is the first step.

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  7. Yes, the internet is one scary place. Parents have got to keep a close eye on what their kids are doing, and set some strict guidelines. In one way, FB and Twitter and others make it easier to spy on kids and see what they're up to, even though that's kind of awful. But, since they often don't seem to care what they post and who sees it, it's just par for the course.

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    1. Indeed, we can creep on their pages, too!

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  8. I still do not get the meaning of tweet and the whole Facebook obsession of 50 yr old moms like me...my kids told me Facebook is now for moms more than kids....who knows? I just like my blogs...
    i am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

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    1. I've heard some of my students say that as well, r.e. FB

      I'll check out your blog.

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  9. Tumblr and pinterest are pretty big. Well, tumblr's for teens. Pinterest is a tumblr for women, but I think some teen girls would like it too.

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