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  1. Digital Life:Understanding the Cyber Culture & how it has Impacted Youth Ernest Staats Technology Director MS Information Assurance, CISSP, MCSE, CNA, CWNA, CCNA, Security+, I-Net+, Network+, Server+, A+ Resources available @

  2. Be Relevant “Let every worker in the Master's vineyard, study, plan, devise methods, to reach the people where they are.” --Ev 122, 123

  3. Outline Understanding the cyber culture (how Internet has impacted youth and their thinking) Living in a digital world Youth online Spiritual How they communicate Internet addictiveness Blogs Internet usage among youth Social networking Where they turn for answers Common terms/lingo online Resources available at A link that will make you think

  4. Living In the Digital World 23% of parents have rules about what their kids can do on the computer.3 In a typical day, just over half (54%) of all young people use a computer for recreation.3 Nearly one-third (31%) of 8- to 18-year-olds have a computer in their bedroom, and one in five (20%) have an Internet connection there.3 74% of online teens use instant messaging. In comparison, 44% of online adults have used IM.7

  5. Youth Online About half of young people (48%) go online from home, 20% from school, and 16% from elsewhere.3 One in ten young people (13%) reports having a handheld device that connects to the Internet.3 More than 70 percent of youth have accidentally come across pornography on the Web.4 More than 11 million teens regularly view porn online.

  6. Youth Online Of the 21 million teens who are online, 51% go online at least once a day Girls use e-mail more than boys (93% versus 84%) Girls also use IM more, but the difference isn't as drastic (77% versus 74%) Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens and Technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation, July 2005 (

  7. Youth Online The size of the wired teen population surges at the 7th grade mark 60% of 6th graders use the Internet By 7th grade, 82% use it The percent increases each year until it tops out at 94% of 11th and 12th graders Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens and Technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation, July 2005 (

  8. Information Gathering 59% of youth said they consider the Web more "useful" than newspapers, and 53% find it more useful than TV for receiving information.6 94% of online teens report using the Internet to research for school.7 71% say they relied mostly on Internet sources for the last big project they did for school.7

  9. Not Street Smart Close to 60% of teens have received an instant message or an e-mail from a stranger 50% report e-mailing or instant messaging with someone they have not met before 52% of online teens say they do not worry at all about being contacted online Only 23% express any notable level of concern

  10. The Spiritual Impact Only 4% of Gen Y are being raised in church. That means that 96% are unchurched. Pluralistic or diverse spirituality has become the norm of this post-modern culture, as it has come to be called Author Leonard Sweet talks about our postmodern culture as E P I C Experiential, Participatory, Image-driven, and Connected Today’s Gen Yer’s are very “E P I C” in how they think and live

  11. The Spiritual Impact The Church of England has debunked the widely held view that young people are spiritual seekers on a journey to find transcendent truths to fill the “God-shaped hole” within them A report published by the Church of England indicates that young people are quite happy with a life without God and prefer car sales to church If they think about church at all, the images young people come up with are cardigans, scandals, corruption, and traditionalism

  12. The Spiritual Impact The researchers were also shocked to discover little sense of sin or fear of death, nor did they find any Freudian guilt as a result of private sensual desires. The young people were, however, afraid of growing old. However, the authors also note the obvious contrast between the view of Generation Y that life is generally benign, with the figures showing rises in eating disorders, substance abuse, teenage suicide, bullying, and sexual abuse.

  13. The Spiritual Impact Actual truth or morals do not matter much What matters is centered around how that person sees and experiences life Their own personal philosophy

  14. Moral Relativism 56% of online teens have more than one e-mail address or screen name. Within this group of those who use multiple accounts, 24% say that one of those addresses or screen names is a secret one they use when they do not want their buddies to know they are online 24% of teens who have used IMs and e-mail or who have been to chat rooms have pretended to be a different person when they were communicating online 33% of these teens report having someone give them fake information about themselves in an e-mail or instant message 15% of online teens and 25% of older boys online have lied about their age to access a Web site – an act that often is used to gain access to pornography sites

  15. Communication Nearly all young people have used a computer (98%) and gone online (96%) In the US, 91% use e-mail Of the 300 million people in the US, 203 million use the Internet (as of Dec/05) 130 million of them are youth (about 65%)

  16. Communication They prefer experiential and participatory learning over just listening They are very image driven, and connectivity through the Internet, text messaging, and cell phones is extremely important

  17. Communication 74% of online teens use instant messaging; in comparison, 44% of online adults have used IM 69% of teen instant messengers use IM at least several times a week 19% of online teens say they use IM most often to contact their friends; 8% use e-mail; 71% still use the phone most often 37% have used IM to write something that they would not have said in person 17% of instant messagers have used IMs to ask someone out; 13% have used instant messaging to break up with someone 57% have blocked messages from someone they did not want to hear from, and 64% have refused to respond to instant messages from someone they were mad at 22% of online teens who use instant messaging and e-mail have shared their password with a friend

  18. Internet Addiction According to the Kaiser study, 8-18 y/o get an average total media exposure of 8.5 hrs/day. 75% had Internet access; only 46% had household media rules Internet has provided a social, interactive refuge during difficult times within the family Addictive Internet use is NOT simply in reference to specific Internet content. “Consider the time spent obtaining/exchanging information, chatting, Internet gaming/gambling, doing homework/work, researching, religious studies, etc.” (10)

  19. InternetAddiction 76% of online teens say they would miss the Internet if they could no longer go online 48% say their use of the Internet improves their relationship with friends; 32% say Internet tools help them make new friends 55% of parents with online teens think that the Internet is a good thing for their own children; just 6% say it has been a bad thing 55% of parents believe that it is essential for today’s children to learn how to use the Internet in order to be successful, and another 40% believe it is important 64% of online teens say they think use of the Internet takes away from the time young people spend with their families

  20. Internet Addiction “Stanford University’s 2006 survey suggests that it’s not an isolated issue. Gambling and pornography sites are just one part of the problem. Other sites–chat rooms, shopping venues and special-interest Web sites–are also proving impulsively habit-forming.” “Internet becomes a problem when it isolates, substituting for a real social life.” Taiwan (2005) college-age online game players experienced increased social anxiety and depression. Addictive qualities: unique neurochemistry/neuropathology involving 3 particular brain chemistries stimulating the main types of known addictive pathways: arousal, satiation, and fantasy. Similar to cocaine addiction in many physiological ways. Monthly pornographic downloads (peer-peer P2P): 1.5 billion (35% of all downloads)” .” (10)

  21. Blogging A blog (web log) is, essentially, an online diary which anyone may read It has been suggested that over 50% of internet bloggers are created and maintained by 13- to 19-year-olds8 The most popular form of blogging is news blogs.9 Most news sites have blogs set up, allowing anyone to post their responses to news items Some of the news sites which offer this are FOX, CNN, ABC, MSNBC, Yahoo, CBS, and USA Today

  22. Blogs & Social Networks Myspace, Xanga, Facebook Fun for kids to talk about with friends Show off pictures Identity tool “Like working on a yearbook”

  23. Blogging Dangers 82% of profile creators have included their first name in their profiles 79% have included photos of themselves 66% have included photos of their friends 61% have included the name of their city or town 49% have included the name of their school 40% have included their instant message screen name 39% have linked to their blog 29% have included their e-mail address 29% have included their last names 29% have included videos 2% have included their cell phone numbers 6% of online teens and 11% of profile-owning teens post their first and last names on publicly accessible profiles 3% of online teens and 5% of profile-owning teens disclose their full names, photos of themselves, and the town where they live in publicly viewable profiles

  24. Chat Many participants “talking” at same time All participants see each message Monitored & unmonitored Free and easy to access Feels anonymous

  25. Internet Usage

  26. MMORPGs Massively-Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games Second Life World of Warcraft EverQuest Ultima Online Guild Wars Etc.

  27. Internet Usage

  28. NetworkingSites MySpace has twice the number of views Google gets a day, for a total of almost 13 million a day. To put that in perspective, that’s 4,475 views per second.5 MySpace gets 150,000 new users a day, the vast majority of whom (90%) are youth 14-24 years old.5 Shadow Resume (colleges and future employers)

  29. Networking Sites Below are some of the more common SNS

  30. Social Networking Sites

  31. You Tube Example • Christ Follower or “Christian”

  32. Social-Networking Sites The Good “A shy kid who has a terribly hard time expressing himself one-on-one may be much more comfortable conversing online” “Likewise, teens facing difficult issues… can get support online from others in the same situation”14

  33. Social-Networking Sites Risks The BAD “These networking sites are a perfect predator's playground. Predators can troll through (SNS) and look for pretty faces that they like and get all the information they want. The police we work with tell us that when a predator starts grooming a child, he looks for vulnerability, and with a diary or blog right there, he's already gotten past the first stage.”13

  34. Social Networking Sites Among the key findings: • 55% of online teens have created a personal profile online, and 55% have used social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook. • 66% of teens who have created a profile say that their profile is not visible by all Internet users. They limit access to their profiles. • 48% of teens visit social networking websites daily or more often; 26% visit once a day; 22% visit several times a day. • Older girls ages 15-17 are more likely to have used social networking sites and online profiles; 70% of older girls have used an online social network compared with 54% of older boys, and 70% of older girls have created an online profile, while only 57% boys have done so. 2006. Based on teens who use social networking sites

  35. Social Networking Sites Teens say social networking sites help them manage their friendships • 91% of all social networking teens say they use the sites to stay in touch with friends they see frequently, while 82% use the sites to stay in touch with friends they rarely see in person. • 72% of all social networking teens use the sites to make plans with friends; 49% use the sites to make new friends. • Older boys who use social networking sites (ages 15-17) are more likely than girls of the same age to say that they use social networking sites to make new friends (60% vs. 46%). • Just 17% of all social networking teens use the sites to flirt. • Older boys who use social networking sites are more than twice as likely as older girls to say they use the sites to flirt; 29% report this compared with just 13% of older girls.

  36. Where they turn for answers

  37. Wikipedia 36% of online American adults consult Wikipedia It is particularly popular with the well-educated and current college-age students More than a third of American adult internet users (36%) consult the citizen-generated online encyclopedia Wikipedia, according to a new nationwide survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. On a typical day in the winter of 2007, 8% of online Americans consulted Wikipedia.

  38. Common Terms and Lingo TTYL- Talk to you later LOL- Laugh out loud OMG- Oh my gosh POS- Parent over shoulder KIT- Keep in touch BFF- Best friends forever BBS- Be back soon BF- Boyfriend GF- Girlfriend

  39. Summary All of the youth were engaged in multiple of the below activities: Creating Thinking Navigating Experiencing Connecting Learning Writing Feeling Cool Video To reach them you must be where they live. One must also consider their security.

  40. Why we must Go Online Ellen White says, “Let every worker in the Master's vineyard, study, plan, devise methods, to reach the people where they are. We must do something out of the common course of things. We must arrest the attention. We must be deadly in earnest. We are on the very verge of times of trouble and perplexities that are scarcely dreamed of.” --Ev 122, 123.

  41. Where Some Youth Turn

  42. Bibliography Tapscott, The N’ Generation, 1998: 1-2. World Youth Report 2005 The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Study, 3/05 Kaiser Family Foundation Numsum Myspace Stats Media Central “The Buzz” The National Youth Agency The Search Agency