Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: The Kids are All Right

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Moz,

    I think restricting it to people legally in NZ would be desirable, but otherwise yes, all for it.

    Doh, yes, except that one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to BenWilson,

    How does it look to them? I’m curious if this hyperconnectedness is something people born to it actually complain about.

    This is a complicated question. Well, it's a complicated answer. Are they aware of the drawbacks? Some. Are they particularly worried about them? No. They have yet to have a potential employer go through their social media postings. We've had some issues with bullying which was over social media, but they don't associate that with the technology. Why would they? It's just like talking.

    My feeling is that their expectation of privacy is much lower, and that's just the way it is.

    But. My kids are also very tech-y, even for their age group. My son's obsessed with quantum computing. For my daughter, texting and social media help remove some of the communication barriers from her hearing impairment.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Those are some righteous 3rd formers -- and superb interviewers, by any standard! I love how they manage to push Abbott beyond his own stipulated rules of engagement. This would make for a great discussion in a media studies class.

    For anyone who hasn't had the time to watch the video (WATCH IT!): Even though he's been cornered on the marriage equality question, carbon tax, and asylum-seekers, Abbott is so keen to ingratiate himself with these kids that he bends his rules: "Because you're such fantastic people, I'm going to let one more question be asked."

    The bonus question is about asylum-seekers again, so Abbott bounces the opportunity to another kid, who doesn't let go of the subject: "People are risking their lives to come to Australia. Why are they pushed out when there's so much to share?" Exemplary pincer movement, and beautiful phrasing!

    Abbott gives them the whole patronising "Look, you'll understand it when you're older" rigmarole. So the kids campaign for yet one more question, from someone they know will bring it. "LJ! LJ! Listen to LJ!"

    LJ is brilliant: " Not saying that I don't trust you or anything," she begins, to cheers and laughter. "Just wondering, just a simple question: why is a man the minister for women? Why is a man in control of the rights of women?"

    Abbott: "Well, I believe people are either male or female..."

    LJ, patiently: "No, there are actually intersex people."

    When Abbott waffles on about the innate human capacity for empathy, LJ grants him that, but presses on to argue for the basic principle of diversity in representation. Abbott backs his way out of the encounter, and his last pat-on-the-head, have-a-lolly feint -- that if LJ thinks more women should be in power she should join the Liberal Party and "work her way up" -- is greeted with howls of jubilant disbelief.

    And people reckon kids are politically naïve. Underestimate at your peril; give these ones the vote!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    There's some hella smart kids

    Sure are.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Jolisa,

    Even though he’s been cornered on the marriage equality question, carbon tax, and asylum-seekers, Abbott is so keen to ingratiate himself with these kids that he bends his rules:

    The jaw-dropping moment for me was when, after the marriage equality question, Abbott said, "Let's have a guy question."

    He actually said that. With those words and everything. Let's have a guy question.

    if LJ thinks more women should be in power she should join the Liberal Party and “work her way up”

    Actually proving her point, as this is demonstrably not possible for a woman in the Liberal Party.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW, in reply to Jolisa,

    "People are risking their lives to come to Australia. Why are they pushed out when there's so much to share?" Exemplary pincer movement, and beautiful phrasing!

    A patriotic Australian, echoing the words of their National Anthem -

    For those who’ve come across the seas
    We’ve boundless plains to share ...

    How on earth can an Australian government get away with being so hypocritical?

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Yeah teenagers are trying, part of it I think is because there's a moment when that little kid you've been hugging for 12-13 years starts to push you away - you're just not ready for, but they are, it feels like they're tearing your heart out, they're starting to become independent.

    Of course the whole point of kids is that you're trying to raise functional independent adults, you have to let them go, all that strife, really you're just negotiating about the timing.

    Ours are gone, out flatting, that's hard too (that whole empty nest thing, it's real), but they come home (we do Sunday dinner together as a family) and now they're adults, and they relate like adults, it's great

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Abbott said, “Let’s have a guy question.”

    He actually said that. With those words and everything. Let’s have a guy question.

    Good grief, I missed that moment. Because two girls speak and suddenly it's time for affirmative bloke action? Dick.

    (Not that the boys who asked questions weren't also incredibly articulate. Just, what a dick).

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart, in reply to ChrisW,

    Governmental hypocrisy is the new 'meh'

    Hadn't you noticed?

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Did you notice how all the kids were shouting for LJ to ask a question. They knew how powerful she was.

    I might have a small crush over her now :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    I recall through my teenage years thinking regularly about the fact that one day I was likely going to be a father. When I got to be one I regularly thought about my teenage kids that once I was one.

    I think it might have helped to keep the angst in perspective.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to BenWilson,

    How does it look to them? I’m curious if this hyperconnectedness is something people born to it actually complain about.

    It would be akin to fish complaining about water. Or us complaining that telephones make it too easy to contact people. Or about something else that I can't quite put my finger on - there's a forest there somewhere, but I cant see it for all the trees in the way.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    Or us complaining that telephones make it too easy to contact people.

    I often find myself complaining that cellphones make it far too easy for people to contact me.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to ,

    way back when her and her mates showed little interest in lighting fires.

    Heh. At least mine appreciated explosions!!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    We’ve had some issues with bullying which was over social media, but they don’t associate that with the technology. Why would they? It’s just like talking.

    It's easy to imagine how they might engage with it, and just as easy to get that wrong. Asking seems like the best way to find out.

    My feeling is that their expectation of privacy is much lower, and that’s just the way it is.

    How about their desire for privacy? Because that's been the suggestion for a long time with Facebook, that it's success was because of the invasion of privacy, rather than in spite of it. There was no shortage of more locked down options when the battle for the social media space first took off. But they were deeply unappealing to kids on university campuses, because the whole idea of locking oneself down tight, controlling everyone's access to you, just seemed like something one's parents would think was a good idea, whatever social opportunities it cost you. In fact, it still is my actually parents idea about how such things should be done.

    I know this is an even harder question to judge, because we were never in the position as teenagers of having the option to open ourselves to the world the way Facebook allows. So our own desire for privacy at some past point is hard to judge. My gut feeling is that if it had been around when I was a teenager, I'd have been in like Flynn, and any time someone looked up something about me that they "shouldn't", I'd probably have been stoked.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to BenWilson,

    How about their desire for privacy?

    I sort of thought myself into a hole into a hole contemplating this question, because I think there are so many other factors that play into an individual's desire for privacy. How private you want to be is a factor of how hard you have to work to keep yourself safe.

    So if you need a more locked-down environment for some aspects of your life, that's always available. I can have open/unlocked accounts on both Facebook and Twitter, and still have Fetlife. For safety reasons, that area of my life needs to not be open to every passing weirdo.

    There is a mental exercise I wish social media platform designers would carry out, and it's this. "I am a woman who has just left an abusive relationship. I wish to interact with my friends, and still be safe." Google+ failed that spectacularly. Now it's just that place where Eastern European men I've never met add me to Circles and I can't do shit about it.

    So, what is it that people are going to find out about you? That you got wasted before your exams and you weren't "sick" after all? Or that you're queer, or kinky? Where you live so they can stalk you? That you had an abortion, or attempted suicide? Even for teens, the risk factor varies so much.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    How private you want to be is a factor of how hard you have to work to keep yourself safe.

    I think that you're half right there. You're suggesting that your choice of a solution will come down to how hard you have to work to get the level of safety you want? Which for people who feel very unsafe, is quite a lot if the system is very unprivate by default. But for people who feel far too safe, a highly locked down system is going to also be a lot of work.

    It's a conundrum for designers. Always was, and I think they tried the more safe way first (security constantly comes up in design discussion). It just didn't take off in the same way. The argument they'd make is that whilst the overall average need for security might be way lower, when that need is high, it's a real need and the consequences of it not being secure can be very high for the user.

    But the counterargument is "we're in business of selling software, not keeping people safe. We want it to be popular. But yes, thanks for the input, security guy. We'll make sure the legal team write it very clearly into the terms and conditions that consequences of security breaches are not on us".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

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