A recent Read/WriteWeb post pointed me to a new Pew/Internet Survey that suggests that "teens" (defined in this study as 12- to 17-year-olds) may view contact by people they don't know as a "cost of doing business" in the online social network environment.
The Pew survey found that about a third of online teens had been contacted online by someone with no connection to them or their friends. Overall, studying all online teens, 7 percent of them had experienced stranger contact that made them feel scared or uncomfortable.
It is important to note that when you look at group of teens who had been contacted by a stranger, nearly of a quarter of them say they felt scared or uncomfortable. Girls were more likely to feel this way, 27 percent compared with 15 percent of boys.
What do these results mean for parents? Social networks are becoming the norm for kids and teens, and "networking" means meeting new people. The question is always how to help kids learn to safely negotiate the public contact that comes into our home through online exposure.… Read more