A Wilder World – Youth, Privacy, and Social Networking Technologies
This article discusses how a bill that has been passed by the House of Representatives with the intention to protect our children from online predators, can have an adverse effect by simultaneously blocking all social networking technologies utilized by recipients of universal service support through schools and libraries. In order to ensure that the goals of technologists in the roles of higher education align with the mission of academic research which requires an environment to grow and develop, in addition to the mission of academic teaching which holds those in higher education accountable for promoting ethical thinking while incorporating the use of new technology amongst all constituents, technologists need to step up to the plate by taking a leading role in discussions around this law and other laws that are similar (Miltrano, 2006).
For instance, Facebook, Myspace.com, and Twitter just to name a few are some of the newer technologies that have derived from the antiquated forms of networking technology which included applications like the dating services, multiplayer games and bulletin boards (Miltrano, 2006). The benefit to this new technology was that it provided people with an option to network with other people outside of their own community whether it was for social communication, business networking, or just as a hobby. Although there have been some isolated incidents that have occurred where the use of this technology led to malicious acts, this same technology has also helped other groups from social networking groups, to political parties to flourish.
In summary, there is a fine line between the benefits of social networking technology as it pertains to using this form of technology in the collegiate setting or on the social level of communicating because both are equally important. Unfortunately, there will always be predators out there that look at every possible way to misuse this technology or develop new technology for their own malicious intent. Since this is a known fact, the focus of the federal government should be channeled towards promoting the appropriate use of technology as opposed to taking measures to ban technology. After all, technology is the wave of the future.
As a school teacher, I have always wondered why our technology department blocked social networking sites until I read this article.I was amazed to find all the loop holes that are involved with social networking technologies. Being a long time facebook user, this article really open my eyes to the safety issues of using a social networking site such as facebook. The video that I choosed gives several great tips on how to be safe while using social networking technologies.
What can we as educators do to get schools and universities to turn social networking technoligies into academic tools of success?
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