Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Professional Reading #4

Stout, H. (2010, April 30). Antisocial Networking? The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/fashion/02BEST.html

Teens and tweens using social networking sites and texting gets a lot of negative attention primarily because of publicized instances of cyberbullying and sexting. This article takes on a whole other issue with this trend, how are these modes of communication affecting young people's social interactions with one another. Children are able to communicate with one another more than ever and have several different ways in which to do so. But has this begun to diminish the actual face-to-face communication between friends and are quality friendships deteriorating because of this phenomenon?

I see it as a quality versus quantity issue. Face-to-face communication yields a depth and understanding among friends that is hard to achieve through a computer or mobile device. But, the ability to communicate with friends constantly throughout the day provides young people with more opportunities to interact with their friends. Parents in the article were split on the issue. One stated that by using Facebook her son is satisfied with that as his primary social interaction with his friends; he is reluctant to hang out with them in person. Another parent stated that Facebook has enabled his shy son the ability to communicate more confidently with his peers, it has helped to bring him out of his shell.

I think that outgoing young people are going to hang out with their friends no matter what. To them, texting or Facebook is just a way to keep up with friends when they're not together. I think that the problem would be with those who are more reserved, where they are satisfied with primarily interacting with their friends through their mobile devices. It is disconcerting to think that this type of communication will affect young people's social interactions and quality of friendships now and as they become adults.

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