Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why do Kids Trust each other Online?

In spite of the heat the Internet gets for its many dangers, especially for youngsters, it thrives as a space for forging friendships and establishing new forms of peer groups. So how do young people gain trust in their interlocutors?

To address this question I got two papers published this year on Trust over the Internet among cyber youth. The first is entitled: Impediments to and Affordances of Creating Trust over the Internet: The case of Israeli youth. It was published in a volume dedicated to online Trust and its abstract can be read here:

My other paper is entitled: Trust over the Net: The Case of Israeli Youth

Here is its abstract:

The Internet has been highly acclaimed for its innovation, financial and cultural benefits but a major obstacle to its expansion lies in the question of trust relations. This paper focuses on trust-building over the Internet among Israeli youth and how youth construct trust over the Internet. The study is based upon 38 in-depth interviews with adolescents ages 12-21 and an analysis of chat rooms, personal homepages, blogs and popular youth newsgroups. Findings uncover three strategies for identifying trust among youth: (1) control over anonymity; (2) “technological affordances” for maintaining trust; (3) continuity and durability of online relationships. These findings show the Internet’s potential for fostering social integration and reveal the ways youth communicate and fraternize in contemporary society.

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