Gender week

For my project I have decided on why young teens speak online to strangers when they wouldn’t usually in person. I already know a little on why teens do this. There is no immediate danger to doing this. They aren’t having to face this person personally and there is that assumed level of safety in doing this. I still need to go more into the specifics on why they choose to do this. They are given all these warnings and yet they still do it. Why? Even if they have this presumed level of safety, why take the risk. What exactly are they getting from these conversations from strangers.

Peter, Jochen, Patti M. Valkenburg, and Alexander P. Schouten. “Characteristics and Motives of Adolescents Talking with Strangers on the Internet.” CyberPsychology & Behavior 9.5 (2006): 526-30. Web. 09 Sept. 2015.

Barbovski, Monica, Valentina Marinescu, and Anca Velicu. “Being in Contact with Strangers: Teenagers. Exploration of Alternative Identities Online.” Social Work Review 2 (2011): 61-77. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.

For our in class project on Thursday we took a look into Rose’s life online compared to real life. She has 267 facebook friends. 128 of them are guys and 139 are girls. One is gender neutral. She has a small group of people she hangs out with on a regular basis. 8 of them are guys and there are 6 girls. With her friends online, it would be incredibly hard to keep in touch with 200 friends. Not only are there so many, they are from all over, making it hard to see everyone of them. The friends she sees on a regular basis live near her, giving her more of an opportunity for open communication. There isn’t much time to keep up with everyone on facebook not to mention the ones who are hard to meet in the first place.

This weeks discussion on gender on the internet was a particularly interesting one for me. It amazes me that even though women have come so far with their rights when applying it to every day things like careers, we still have to go through so many obstacles on something as simple as the internet. A simple opinion from a woman on the internet then calls for a hail storm of hate and threats for something as simple as an opinion. In the Zoe Quinn case ¬†she simply ended a relationship she didn’t want to be in anymore. She trusted this man with secrets and intimacy and he ruined her life and many others. The fact that women are not allowed to have an opinion without something terrible happening to them, such as death threats and having to hide from people because you feel unsafe is horrid. The fact is that women truly can’t freely express them selves openly with out fear of reprimand or threats. Even though we have come so far as to gain rights in real life, does that really matter if we don’t have that right in everything we do? Her life was ruined and so was many others of who she associated with. Other women who had also expressed their opinions online. Isn’t it time we moved on from this.