By James P. Steyer, author of “Talking Back To Facebook”, and founder and CEO of Common Sense Media
In all the buzz about Facebook’s initial public offering (IPO) we’ve forgotten a segment of our population sure to be affected by the transaction: our children. Research tells us even very young kids are online; more than 7 million people under the age of 13 are on Facebook. And there’s plenty to be worried about.
Children aren’t equipped with the same tools as adults to navigate the social media space. That space isn’t always friendly: 88% of social-media-using teens have witnessed bullying on social network sites; 15% of teens have sent naked photos or videos of themselves; 33% have received texts or messages containing sexual language; and 21% have received naked pictures or videos of others.
Worse, there’s evidence kids are being exploited. In 2010 the Wall Street Journal released a report confirming kids and teen-targeted websites dropped 30% more tracking cookies than sites targeted to other users. The largest study to date on child identity theft found that 10.2% of kids – some as young as five months – had their social security numbers used by someone else.
The study of the impact of heavy-technology use on children’s social, emotional and cognitive development is still nascent. According to experts, increasing distractions of digital media erode the quality of interpersonal relationships. Studies show young people feel greater insecurity and social anxiety in a world where text messaging and posting have become appropriate platforms for personal confessions and communication. When important emotional matters are crammed into technology spaces that are ill-suited for complex feelings, human relationships are profoundly affected. In short, we may be fostering a culture that’s less attentive, compassionate and emotionally intelligent than the culture of the pre-Facebook era.
The Internet may actually be changing how our brains work. Too much hypertext and multimedia content has been linked to limited attention span, lower comprehension, less focus, cognitive overload and diminished long-term memory.
Digital media has also fundamentally altered our sense of privacy. Young people now routinely share personal information and opinions on social media platforms without fully considering the potential consequences. The impulse-enabling nature of social media platforms coupled with the inexperienced social and emotional development of young people, can be combustible. Kids routinely say and do things they later regret, and the damage can last years.
Adolescent psychologists including Erik Erikson talk about the importance of the teen years as a time for identity exploration and experimentation. This critically important developmental phase is dramatically twisted when identity experimentation appears permanently on one’s digital record for all to see. When Facebook or other tech companies claim to “own” your personal information, it is easy to see how distorted the issue of privacy has become.
The promise of digital media to transform our lives and those of our children is immense – in education, civic engagement and other ways. But we must hold technology companies accountable and insist they be part of the solution so we can give our kids the safe, healthy childhoods they deserve.
Saturday My Radio Show DaTechGuy on DaRadio on AM 830 WCRN was broadcast live from the Mall at Whitney Field (known to locals as the Searstown mall from the days when Sears was the only major store there) in Leominster Massachusetts.
It seems the local AM station is now carrying the Yankees so we at WCRN decided to show the flag to make sure that people in North Worcester County knew that they could still listen to every inning of every Red Sox game all season at WCRN.
We’ve already seen signs of the Yankees penetrating the area as evidenced by this video from Lids
It appears we got there just in time.
Last Saturday in an interview on Meet the press, Joe Biden, good Catholic that he is, expressed his public support for Gay Marriage. After a few days of pressure from the press the president followed suit in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC.
The left wing gushed and the media which backs gay marriage with the uniformity of a cult, portrayed the President’s return to his 1996 position, as a “courageous” step.
But most important of all for the Obama campaign was the results from a scheduled fundraiser at George Clooney’s house:
He changed his stance ahead of a $40,000 a plate fundraiser at the Beverly Hills home of movie star George Clooney where wealthy gay- and gay-oriented donors had threatened to withhold donations, according to a Washington Post blogger.
The Post also reported that one out of six of Obama’s campaign bundlers are gay and, as Obama declared his support for gay marriage against his previous vague stances, it was their big money that was talking.
Interestingly enough the president’s announcement came the day after the Vote in North Carolina on Tuesday on the subject. Not only did he decline to make a statement before the vote but he made a point to cancel a scheduled appearance in the state to take place just before the election.
Profile in courage indeed.
Pundits including me have speculated if this was planned or not but either way it sure looks like the MSM, this campaign’s biggest ally, has decided to go obsessively long on the subject. The Sunday shows were all Gay Marriage and with this week’s Newsweek cover, we can be assured of at least several more days on the topic. It almost seems like all gay marriage all the time.
Well I shouldn’t say ALL the time, in addition to the media orgasm on gay marriage we had the spectacle of the Washington Post devoting 5000 words to claiming Romney was a gay bashing teenager back when Hogan’s Heroes was in it’s first season.
As with any 5000 word piece, no matter how much time you devote to it, the Post was bound to run into a problem or two such as this from ABC:
The older sister of Mitt Romney’s former high school classmate said she has no knowledge of any bullying incident involving her brother and the GOP presidential candidate.
Yeah who would expect the sister of the “Victim” to know anything about such a trauma?
But the real problem comes from a different source as explained at the American Spectator:
The fundamental problem with this passage is that it purports to convey exact quotes in a private conversation based entirely on the say-so of David Seed. The man who allegedly said those words – offered as evidence that he was permanently harmed by Romney – has been dead for years, and never spoke to Horowitz.
How, then, could anyone possibly verify the accuracy of the quotes? The dead man’s relatives dispute the accuracy of Horowitz’s article. Will the editors of the Washington Post hire a psychic and conduct a séance, calling forth the spirit of the dead man to verify their story?
This type of reporting directly contradicts the common law origins of our journalistic standards but what is that next to cause of re-electing Obama?
Of course the Gay Marriage story and the Post story are unlikely to do the trick, in fact the fallout from both are potential trouble for the White House but not as much trouble as speaking about the economy, or the president’s record, or the price of gas etc etc etc…
How bad off does an election campaign have to be when shooting yourself in the foot is a winning week?
Speaking of elections in trouble we’ve been told for almost a year how Scott Walker was taking the republicans down in Wisconsin:
If anything, the healthcare reform victory was the GOP’s Siege of Acre. Wisconsin is shaping up to be the real Waterloo.
And not just Wisconsin, but also Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Florida, and the rest of the over-reaching state Republicans. Governors like Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and Jan Brewer are riding on the coattails of the Tea Party, but they’ve become blind to the dangers of their radical policies.
This was E.D Kahn in 2010 right after Walker finally got his initial vote when the ride of the Democrats finally ended. At the time I agreed Wisconsin was Waterloo with the GOP playing the role of Wellington. This pattern repeated after every stage as the left and the MSM argued that each successive failure actually meant ultimate success for the left.
Now after a disappointing primary where the hand-picked candidate of the Unions Kathleen Falk not only went down to defeat to Tom Barrett but, in an uncontested primary Governor Scott Walker supposedly had destroyed the GOP brand outpolled them both combined.
Dave Weigel, no conservative but an actual reporter notes the situation:
The Walker campaign—the one currently leading in polls—is what every Republican presidential candidate tried and failed to build. There’s a perfect link-up here between Tea Party, Republican Party, and megadonor. Walker’s TV ads run constantly; the Democratic ads don’t. Walker’s swag is everywhere, paid for by $25 million in donations, two-thirds of which dropped in from outside Wisconsin. Tom Barrett, Walker’s Democratic competition, has raised less than $1 million.
And Walker and the people understand why:
“The reason we had to raise the kind of money we raised was because of the tens of millions of dollars that have come in from outside of the state from special interests in Washington,” said Walker at his Tuesday night primary victory speech, inside a packed Waukesha victory center. “They funded the protests to begin with. They funded the attacks in the Supreme Court race. [A 2011 retention election became a proxy fight over Walker’s labor and tax reforms.] You guys all know it well here—they spent tens of millions of dollars in the Senate recall election, and they’re going to spend tens and tens of millions of dollars trying to take me out.”
The real gem is not the article itself with its subtle left spin, it’s the comments by the leftist readers of Weigel that are so vehemently angry for not keeping them within the comfortable bubble that they’ve been in.
And once Walker wins the recall they will not blame themselves, their actions or their positions, they will simply blame Republican money.
BTW when Obama loses in the fall, expect the left to place the blame solidly on Gay Marriage as opposed to policy. As I once told Nice Deb, the worst thing you can give somebody is an excuse.
Wednesday I was in Manchester NH where Robert Spencer gave a talk called: “Is Resistance to Jihad Terror a Right-Wing Issue?” We spoke before his speech
As to his topic the answer to that question actually came later this week in Indonesia
Police crackdowns and attacks by religious extremists have attempted to derail the book tour of famed Muslim Canadian author Irshad Manji through Indonesia, a country she previously described as a symbol of “meaningful moderation in Islam.”
Irshad Manji describes herself as a devout Muslim, she is also a lesbian. It remains to be seen if the left that so embraced the president’s stance on gay marriage will embrace a lesbian Muslim who is arguing against violence.
It’s telling that on my own site, one of my resident leftists immediately pivoted to Uganda when I brought up Islam and violence. It’s a legit story but unless people stop running away from this reality, we will see more of it.
Incidentally Robert will be my guest on DaTechGuy on DaRadio on WCRM AM 830 to talk about his book “Did Muhammad Exist?: An Inquiry into Islam’s Obscure Origins” next Saturday. You can listen live at wcrnradio.com or on tune-in. Don’t miss it.
Hewlett-Packard regained the top spot in worldwide client PC market in Q1 2012 after losing briefly to Apple in Q4 2011. Apple became the top seller of client PCs mainly due to record iPad shipments in excess of 15 million units. Apple shipped 11.8 million iPads in Q1 2012, making its total client PC sales to 15.8 million.  HP’s shipments were marginally higher by about 40,000 units, according to Canalys estimates. The total client PC market grew by 21 percent to 107 million units.  More
Between rolling out Creative Suite 6, Creative Cloud and a new video platform for broadcasters, Adobe’s been mighty busy lately. If that’s not evidence enough that the outfit is making good on its promise to restructure around digital media, hear this: the company just announced a slew of enhancements to its Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), which Conde Nast and others use to format magazines for mobile devices. For starters, publishers now have a way to tailor content specifically for the iPhone, just as they can for the iPad, Kindle Fire and Android tablets. More