The TCS Youth Survey 2016 conducted across India to understand the digital habits of students from class VIII to XII threw up some very interesting trends. Nearly 50% of Indian parents had control over their teen’s online accounts. Yet, nearly 25% of Indian teens are collaborating online for homework and assignments. Does this mean parents are beginning to accept the potential benefits of a connected world for their teens and not just worrying about the risks? Is this the new phenomenon in the world of networked teens? Danah Boyd, author of the book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, gives us meaningful insights.
PC: Why are parents so apprehensive about teens using social media?
DB: The biggest myth – a belief that this new-fangled thing is fundamentally different and dangerous. This is the culture of fear, which contemporary parenting is completely wrapped up in. There is a long history of considering children precious. Parents are taught to protect their children and technology is something parents don’t understand; so it’s a lot easier to fear it. This is only complicated by the heightened presence of technology during the crucial time of adolescence. This is the time when children start pulling away from their parents, a time that has always made parents anxious and fidgety.