Saturday, April 08, 2006

Mommie Nearest

Today's Column One story, "Testing the Bounds of MySpace" in the Los Angeles Times about the popular online social networking site MySpace also describes the strained relationship of Catherine Saillant and her thirteen-year-old daughter. Thankfully the article avoids the current prurient obsession with online sexual predators and underage children so prevalent in the media and recognizes the importance of developing digital literacy for fostering the critical design and programming skills that are central to the DYL ethos.

Unfortunately, this self-aggrandizing article also emphasizes a counterproductive focus on the generational divide (rather than the author's own participation in similar social practices) and ignores how new technologies have traditionally targeted teenagers. Most important, it misses an opportunity to champion information literacy for kids, which may be a much more serious cultural deficit than lack of online etiquette among adolescents.

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Blogger Lupton said...

I was also surprised the maternal concern for a daughter's private and public behaviors, coupled with the "book tour" in which the mother displays their relationship with such relentless candor.

Thanks for linking to the Design Your Life manifesto! I agree with you: athough the DYL ethos respects children as publishers, it does not endorse using children's private lives to publicize ourselves.

In "The Crisis of Education," Hannah Arendt wrote, "Whenever human life is consistently exposed to the world without the protection of privacy and security its vital quality is destroyed ... Everything that lives, not vegetative life alone, emerges from darkness and, however strong its natural tendency to thrust itself into the light, it nevertheless needs the security of darkness to grow at all. This may indeed be the reason that children of famous parents so often turn out badly."

DYL aims to open new doors among public and private spaces and activities, but it does not destroy the distinction between them.

7:19 AM  

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