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« Schools, blogs, Xanga, MySpace...What's it all about, Alfie? Part III | Main | Schools, blogs, Xanga, MySpace...What's it all about, Alfie? Part V »

Monday, December 12, 2005



I hate it when kids excuse nasty behavior by saying it was "just a joke". My response is always, "Did HE think it was funny?"

Once a kid complained to me that his classmates were laughing at him. A classmate saw this and called out, "No, no, Jake, we're not laughing AT you, we're laughing WITH you!" The only problem? Jake wasn't laughing.

Kids often have a highly inaccurate perception of what other kids are thinking and feeling. They look more at how an appreciative audience is reacting to their comments, and less at how the target of their comments is reacting. I find that my kids can't reliably read facial expressions or tone of voice, so they truly can't gauge how their "jokes" are being taken.

So I can see how "jokes" would proliferate on the Internet, in the absence of even these common cues.

Kids need a LOT of training with this.

Scatterbox at

There's more on this issue at Scatterbox in a post titled, "Internet generation realizing a downside to growing up online."

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