The Rough-and-Tumble Online Universe Traversed by Young Cybernauts

NYT article: A baby-faced eighth grader, viciously bullied online, hangs himself. With a click of her mouse, a young woman with anorexia uses cyberspace to find tips on starving. A high school student, with a world of plot outlines available on the Internet, admits that he cannot recall ever actually reading a book.

If 21st-century parenthood is not scary enough, “Growing Up Online,” a documentary to be broadcast on the “Frontline” program on most PBS stations on Tuesday night, uses those real-life stories to ask an increasingly important question: What does it mean to be part of the first generation coming of age steeped in a virtual world seemingly outside parental control? The documentary touches on the much discussed fear of online sexual predators, as well as concerns about the ease of cut-and-paste plagiarism, using the Internet. It also examines how notions of privacy and the meaning of friendships change when a computer button can ferry your words and your images to strangers.

Full article here.