Add “screenager” to the lexicon of terms to describe the current generation of K-12 students who are finding new ways to use the internet to express themselves as “content providers”.
Using the cheap digital tools that now help chronicle the comings and goings of everyday life – cellphone cameras, iPods, laptops and user-friendly Web editing software – teenagers like Melissa are pushing content onto the Internet as naturally as they view it.
The article, which appears in the business section of the New York Times, was triggered by the release of another report by by the Pew Internet and American Life Project which notes:
Teen bloggers, led by older girls, are a major part of this tech-savvy cohort. Teen bloggers are more fervent internet users than non-bloggers and have more experience with almost every online activity in the survey.
Much of the article focuses on the potential impact of the attitudes of these kids towards downloading and consuming music. (Most agree that it is easy to grab music off the internet. About half said that downloading copywrited material was wrong; an equal number didn’t care about copyright.) The article (and the Pew Report) confirm that that many members of this generation are taking a much more active relationship with their media environment.
The Pew survey shows “the mounting evidence that teens are not passive consumers of media content,” said Paulette M. Rothbauer, an assistant professor of information sciences at the University of Toronto. “They take content from media providers and transform it, reinterpret it, republish it, take ownership of it in ways that at least hold the potential for subverting it.”
“Subverting” it? Now where have I heard that word before?