Juvenoia is an exaggerated fear of the effects of social change on youth. Even in an Internet age, the kids are going to be fine. They may even turn out better than us.
Over the 15-or-so years I’ve been covering family technology, I’ve noticed a kind of siege mentality developed among parents about kids’ use of digital media.
Then, a few years ago, when sociology professor David Finkelhor at the University of New Hampshire gave his milestone talk, “The Internet, Youth Deviance & the Problem of Juvenoia,” I heard him offer the most plausible reason I’d heard or seen yet for what he called this “juvenoia” – “the exaggerated fear about the influence of social change on youth” – that had developed around children’s seemingly unprecedented and uncontrollable exposure to a diversity of values and influences not our own.
Not helping was awareness of our children’s delight in and comfort level with the media and technologies enabling that exposure (here‘s where I wrote about that), a comfort level many of us had not ourselves reached.
24/7 exposure to somebody else’s values
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