Parents, Fear, and the Digital Imperative

danah boyd talks about how parental fears of social media lead to concerns about their children’s online behaviors, but it’s the fear of everything else (e.g. Kids going out) that pushes kids to the isolation of social media in the first place.

This, to me, appears to fit somewhere on what I would call a spectrum of trauma.  It’s not abuse, precisely, but parental fears have led to increasing constraints upon childhood freedom in the U.S.  (See the playground article).  How does this trickle into the classroom?  Have students become “worse writers” because of limited social experiences?  Due to fear of failure?  Or perhaps, as in the example of privileged families in the Antebellum South, those children who were largely raised by slaves grew up speaking the dialect later to be known as African American English or Ebonics (history of English textbook _____) – perhaps the “App Generation” children (Gardner and Davis) (or Strauss and Howe’s Homeland Generation) are being raised within the discourses of social media to such a degree that teachers (like the Antebellum slaveholder parents) no longer recognize the words of the children as belonging to a “respectable” language.

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