Identity development in children and the internet

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We are currently in an age of transition where one generation who grew up without internet technologies is giving birth or raising a generation in a computer saturated world. For comparison purposes, let us look at the ages as they are categorized up to present day. Progress in the age is measure by archaeological categorization such as the industrial age, the atomic age, the jet age, the space age, the digital revolution, the information age to where we find ourselves now, the social age.

It has been mentioned that children go through stages of development as they grow. A majority of their development takes is social. As we should already know, the social age refers to our broad use of social network services that have dominated the developing culture around us. Most parents and older people who are technologically challenged might have expressed at some point, the shock and surprise in finding how quick they are to learn their way through a computer. They would rather be stuck behind a screen than to go outside and play, so there is a difference as to what tools are used to develop their social skills.

Social developmental norms we once only developed through the interaction of their physical environment and acceptance, but at a fragile point where they are developing their identity, they are exposed to virtual environments and mobile screens to develop this. It is rather interesting at this important part of their identity development if there is healthy interaction and encouragement that can be utilized from these sources. There is also the fear of exposure to things that might be harmful to them and their growth. There still has to be involvement from the parental system as a support structure for the adolescent. It is normal to socialize, which is what this technology helps to provide in order for them to form a strong identity, but there is also a potential risk of withdrawal, without this support system.

Different values to our identity
Many have expressed a comparison of values and how the new generation is building degenerates who are going to ruin everything that were built before. “Where is the respect for the elders, where do we fit into this circle?” Because, perhaps there is no real understanding that these are tools of the modern age. An older generation felt a sense to protect their information or their identities. Do not lose your social security number, because anyone can use it, but there are many services that you can use without having the piece of paper as long as you have the number memorized. The differences between hesitation and freely offering the information, is so shocking that it generates fear with the older generation.

Often, this implies that the new generation has no values. But knowledge is not just provided from machine to student. These are still tools of man’s design that are used to make things easier on a massive scale and it is also man who controls how often or when it is used. It is important to educate, especially a child on the value of their identity and when and how it is used. The main reason for this is not so much that it will be stolen, although this is a very real concern, but that they will not understand the guidelines of protection and will offer it to predatory services that may compromise the owner of it or the parent. The identity of the person as it relates to a number is associated with those things that are valued by predators of banks and credit, and can be used to their advantage before the child even begins to have access to it.

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