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Love and Hate in the Era of Surveillance: | 4 comments
[new] Expectations (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#1)
by Aileen on Thu Jan 22nd, 2004 at 11:59:01 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
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Although the younger permanent members of my household are still younger than 17, issues of responsible use of the Internet and appropriate behavior have been the subject of extensive and protracted discussions here for some time. I have made it clear to my sons that I not only expect them to meet the same standards of behavior on line as in public space, I also expect them to pay attention to their friends' behavior. This is due not merely to my authoritarian aspirations (my 13-year-old recently presented to me at length that I am a terrible tyrant), but because my sons have more experience with computers and the Internet than most of their peers - as the other parents and teachers all know, which automatically puts them at the top of the list of suspected culprits, when undesirable computer-related behavior is noticed. What annoys me sometimes is that discussions about using the Internet responsibly don't seem to be taking place anywhere outside my household in this particular little universe where I live.

Aside from that, though, with more than enough opportunities to observe how young teenage boys (in particular) deal with all the media available to them, I think it would be important to question how they are learning to position themselves in relation to the world around them. What sense of time and space can a 12-year-old develop, who is constantly in at least two places at the same time - physically in one place, but enveloped in an exchange with others not physically present in the same place? Which is more important, the person talking to you or someone else signalling for attention? The traditional rule of having to be at a certain place (e.g. home) by a certain time becomes irrelevant, if you carry a personal tracking device (i.e. a cell phone). But since breaking that rule has always been an important assertion of independence before, what alternatives are there now? Or is being under constant surveillance, in one form or another, simply becoming normal?

There is no privacy on the Internet and even "private email" is a contradiction in terms. Could it be that feeling disturbed by receiving (or embarrassed by giving) unwanted attention is becoming a relic, a problem only for those of us old enough to remember "privacy"?

Love and Hate in the Era of Surveillance: | 4 comments


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