There is no doubt that all is in a state of flux this phrase can be used to describe the situation in any period. As for modern society, it can be stated that changes taking place today are even more significant than those related to the past centuries because modern information technologies, capable of changing our world completely, are still developing.
In their book devoted to the given problem, Palfrey and Gasser reflect on different characteristics of people who were born at the end of the twentieth century, the ones whom they refer to as “digital natives” (1). Regarding the opinion concerning the changing world and the role of modern teenagers, it can be stated that different authors tend to regard the given problem from different points of view. For example, as for the authors of the given book, they seem to be rather positive when it comes to the younger generation and their active use of the Internet and different digital devices. Therefore, in their book, they pay increased attention to the fact that modern children and teenagers seem to be able to make informed decisions when it comes to information seeking and other tasks that require special skills.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to say that there are different opinions concerning the topic of modern teenagers and the fact that children start using digital devices earlier and earlier. About a wide range of sources devoted to the given problem, it can be said that there are researchers who aim to analyze it on a global scale. For instance, in the research devoted to the phenomenon of digital citizenship, Chen supposes that digital culture presents one more variant of traditional culture based on the same values (64).
Speaking about the researchers who seem to be interested in a wide range of problems related to the younger generation and the digital competence that makes them different from their parents and grandparents, it is necessary to say that many authors assume that children and teenagers construct their own culture with the help of a wide range of tools that they are provided with; in fact, this culture may be based on the same assumptions that one of their parents but the way it looks is completely different. According to Pereira et al., even though online communication significantly extends the opportunities of children and teenagers, it may be stated that it also involves a range of problems related to the nature of such communication (142). Therefore, many children are related to the communities whose members tend to evaluate each other based on the amount of time spent online and access to different online resources. This is why many digital citizens have to spend a lot of time using various means of online communication to be seen as cool and interesting (Livingstone et al. 271).
Many researchers suppose that the skills of ones who are referred to as digital citizens are much more developed than those of people belonging to previous generations when it comes to the use of modern technology. Even though this idea is supported by a great number of people, everyone agrees that younger digital citizens need to be protected when they are using the Internet (MacFarlane and Holmes 1). There are a lot of factors that encourage parents to watch out for their children when they use various means of online communication because there are a lot of cases when criminals try to fulfill their goals with the help of social networks and online applications (Décary-Hétu and Dupont 175).
Chen, Kuanchin. “What is Digital Culture? A Study of Citizens and Cultural Identity in the Cyberspace.” Communications of the ICISA, vol. 15, no. 2, 2014, pp. 64-75.
Décary-Hétu, David, and Benoit Dupont. “Reputation in a Dark Network of Online Criminals.” Global Crime, vol. 14, no.2-3, 2013, pp. 175-196.
Livingstone, Sonia, et al. “In Their Own Words: What Bothers Children Online?” European Journal of Communication, vol. 29, no. 3, 2014, pp. 271-288.
MacFarlane, Katrinna, and Violeta Holmes. “Multi-Agent System for Safeguarding Children Online.” Proceedings of SAI Intelligent Systems Conference (IntelliSys), 21-22 Sep. 2016. CentrEd at ExCel London, London. Lecture
Palfrey, John Gorham, and Urs Gasser. Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. Basic Books, 2008.
Pereira, Íris, et al. (Eds). The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children: Engaging with Emergent Research. Institute of Education of University of Minho, 2016.