“Young People, Ethics, and the New Digital Media,” by Carrie James

The new digital media are a frontier rich with opportunities and risks, particularly for young people. Through digital technologies, young people are participating in a range of activities, including social networking, blogging, vlogging, gaming, instant messaging, downloading music and other content, uploading and sharing their own creations, and collaborating with others in various ways (James). In this paper, they explored the ethical fault lines that are raised by such digital pursuits. Drawing on evidence from informant interviews, they argue that five key issues are at stake in the new media, including identity, privacy, ownership and authorship, credibility, and participation. With new emerging scholarship on new media and theoretical insights from psychology, sociology, political science, and cultural studies, they explore the ways in which youth may be redefining identity with the new digital media. For each issue, James describes and compares offline and online understandings and then explores the particular ethical promises and perils that surface online.
In the paper, they define ‘good play’ as online conduct that is both meaningful and engaging in the way in which it is carried out. They argue that the new digital media, with all its participatory potentials, is a “playground” in which five factors contribute to the likelihood of ‘good play’: the affordances of the new digital media; related technical and new media literacy’s. The presence or absence of adult mentors and educational Person-centered factors can be measured by the cognitive and moral development of beliefs and values of a young people. Peer cultures, both online and offline, and ethical supports can help to mold the minds of the young in many different situations concerning opportunity and risk, and that includes curricula.

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