Over protective parents who will not allow their precious little snowflakes play in the street are responsible for their kids’ online addictions.
A new book It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, by Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd is out and is based on a decade’s research and hundreds of interviews.
Boyd found that the only reason kids are wasting so much time on social media sites is because their parents will not let them out of the house.
Over protective parents, who are terrified that their kids are going to be snatched by paedophiles or bullied by others refuse to let their kids interact with others.
Teenagers would love to socialise face-to-face with their friends, but a fearful adult society will not let them.
Boyd claims that teens are not addicted to social media. They are addicted to each other.
But since they are forbidden to hang out in real life they do so online.
The result, Boyd discovered, is that today’s teens have neither the time nor the freedom to hang out. So their avid migration to social media is a rational response to a crazy situation.
Many high school students flock to football games not because they like football but because they can meet in an unstructured context. They spend the game chatting, ignoring the field and their phones. You do not need Snapchat when your friends are right beside you.
The downside of this is that kids are not learning any valuable face-to-face skills and will be ill equipped to handle the real world.
Boyd described the fear of children being victims of pedophiles as completely irrational and that “stranger danger” panic is the best gift America ever gave to Facebook.