The Impact of Keeping in Constant Technological Touch
From a suicide conviction tied to MySpace to a dramatic rise
in texting-related injuries, communication technologies (and
their hazards) spent time under the microscope in 2008.
Technology continues to change the face of social dynamics -
especially how kids keep in touch with each other. And moms and
dads are becoming just as addicted to all things technological as
their offspring - with super-short notes tapped out in a flash
through email, instant messages, text messages, blogs, message
boards, and personal pages.
But news about communication technologies wasn't all rosy in
2008. The country saw its very first cyberbullying conviction. A
federal jury found a mother guilty of three counts of computer
fraud after she and her young daughter created a fake MySpace page,
pretending to be a boy and allegedly contributing to a depressed
teen girl's suicide.
Also in '08: A group of ER doctors - the American College of
Emergency Physicians (ACEP) - warned students to stop texting while
in motion (when driving, walking, biking) since reports of
texting-related injuries (and even deaths) are on the rise
What to Watch:
Modern communication technologies will continue to grow and
diversify. But all of this constant keeping in touch begs the
question, "Do we need more virtual boundaries?" Now, the
legal precedent has been set for putting an end to cyberbullying.
And maybe texters of all ages will be more aware of the dangers of
typing away while on the go (especially as more and more states
crack down on texting while driving).
But we also need to ask ourselves, "Is our ever-growing
reliance on (and obsession with) communication technology changing
how we communicate with each other, especially with our kids?"
Are quickly typed messages cutting off meaningful, deeper
communications? Are moms and dads less in tune with their kids
because everyone in the family is plugged in too often (even at the
dinner table)? We aren't getting any less busy and being able
to zip a quick message off to say who's going to be where and
when is priceless. Not to mention, a lot of these widgets are
pretty cool. But helping kids and teens develop well-rounded social
skills and learn how to have positive personal interactions with
others may boil down to just
to each other more often.
Safe Cyberspace Surfing
When Can I Get a Cell Phone?
How Technology Helps You Stay Connected
Protecting Your Online Identity and Reputation
Safe Surfing Tips for Teens
Texting on the Move
ER Docs Urge Kids to Skip Texting While in Motion
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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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