Teens aren’t just wasting time when they “hang out” on Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites, concludes a study by the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Youth Project.
“It may look like kids are wasting a lot of time online, but they’re actually learning a lot of social, technical and also media literacy skills,” said Mizuko Ito, a researcher at the University of California, Irvine who lead the study.
. . . Kids denied access to new media, because their family can’t afford it or because their parents, school or library restrict their access or time on social networking sites, are likely to be short on skills that members of their generation are expected to possess, the researchers concluded.
Offline youths are “handicapped in their efforts to participate in common culture and sociability,” the study reads.
I’d bet social networking skills can be learned quickly if young people feel the need.
I was somewhat out of the common culture as a kid because I watched so little TV — and no Westerns. I read books. I’m now catching up by watching reruns and DVDs of Gunsmoke and Maverick. (My husband likes old Westerns.) There’s a great Maverick episode, “Gun-Shy,” that parodies Gunsmoke.