Disconnected Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap
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Fresh from a party, a teen posts a photo on Facebook of a friend drinking a beer. Acollege student repurposes an article from Wikipedia for a paper. A group of players in amultiplayer online game routinely cheat new players by selling them worthless virtual accessoriesfor high prices. In Disconnected, Carrie James examines how young people and theadults in their lives think about these sorts of online dilemmas, describing ethical blind spots anddisconnects. Drawing on extensive interviews with young people between the agesof 10 and 25, James describes the nature of their thinking about privacy, property, andparticipation online. She identifies three ways that young people approach online activities. A teenmight practice self-focused thinking, concerned mostly about consequences forherself; moral thinking, concerned about the consequences for people he knows; orethical thinking, concerned about unknown individuals and larger communities.James finds, among other things, that youth are often blind to moral or ethical concerns aboutprivacy; that attitudes toward property range from "what's theirs is theirs" to "freefor all"; that hostile speech can be met with a belief that online content is "just ajoke"; and that adults who are consulted about such dilemmas often emphasize personal safetyissues over online ethics and citizenship. Considering ways to address thedigital ethics gap, James offers a vision of conscientious connectivity, whichinvolves ethical thinking skills but, perhaps more important, is marked by sensitivity to thedilemmas posed by online life, a motivation to wrestle with them, and a sense of moral agency thatsupports socially positive online actions.
List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 9/19/2014
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall