Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cyber Stories

A recent report in The Journal of School Health offered some new insights about online relational aggression. Teens say they often know who's tormenting them but don't report it or use filters or blocks to screen it out.

In a separate article from The New York Times on Friday, the suicide of a 39 year old Korean actress was linked to web rumors about her behavior. Apparently, South Korea has one of the world's most active online communities as well as one of the highest rates of suicide.

A third article on "baby blogs" described sites such as Totspot (a private page for your child) or Kidmondo (a personalized and secure online baby journal), touted as even more junior versions of Facebook than Club Penguin or Webkinz.

Look for problems to increase as we rely on computers and cellphones to communicate--especially among women, who tend to rely on body language (eye contact, tone of voice, posture, etc.) to decipher what's really being said. Even the nurses and residents at the medical center where I work tell me texting about a patient's status (standard practice) can lead to miscommunications!

Look for a future post on How to Avoid Cyber Misspeaks where I'll share solutions on how to effectively get your electronic message across.

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