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ICYMI: Teens Confront Challenges in Digital Age

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - 12:43 PM

Girls use Facebook differently than boys by shaping and molding their images, a New York City high school student told a town hall meeting about teens and their digital lives.

“You can create someone you want to be, not who you actually are,” she said during the recent gathering at La Guardia High School.

And if you wondered what the distinction on Facebook is between “drama” and bullying? Drama is more like gossip while bullying is when someone attacks someone else for something they did, another teen panelist explained.

A student in the audience asked how to deal with a painful situation in which hurtful comments were posted on a YouTube video about her. Focus on what’s tangible, a panelist advised, know who you are and have confidence in yourself.

Other advice that came up during the discussion could be particularly useful to parents worried about how their children are navigating the digital world.

The mother of a 13-year-old boy who just recently joined Facebook was advised to keep talking to her son about problems of privacy and over sharing. Don’t sugar coat it, one student said, and be sure to walk through the security settings with him because most young teens won’t do it correctly.

In case you missed it, the town hall meeting -- sponsored by the non-profit group Common Sense Media and co-hosted by MTV (Sway Calloway of MTV News was the moderator) -- can be watched in its entirety, you guessed it, online. It was part of Common Sense's New York Digital Literacy Day, held last week.

NYC Digital Citizenship Day Townhall from Common Sense Media on Vimeo.

WNYC's Radio Rookies, high school students who learn radio and media skills, had partnered with Common Sense Media over the summer to report and produce a number of videos about what teens need to think about in order to be responsible digital citizens.

A compilation of their work was shown at the town hall meeting and one of the Radio Rookies, Bree Person, was a panelist. The Radio Rookies' work on digital literacy can be seen here.

Radio Rookies - New York City Digital Citizenship Day 2012 from Common Sense Media on Vimeo.

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