A Plea for Youth

I’m finally getting some time to blog about a variety of interesting things I’ve seen over the last week or so, and I’ll start with this post about allowing today’s youth the space and freedom to express themeselves over at Danah Boyd’s blog, apophenia.

I think Danah’s done a fantastic job of capturing why it is that we need to allow space online for young people — and why we need to step aside and let them fill those spaces:

Post-Columbine, we decided to regulate the symptoms of alienation rather than solve the problem. Today, we are trying to regulate youth efforts to have agency and public space. Both are products of a culture of fear and completely miss the point. We need to figure out how to support youth culture, exploration and efforts to make sense of the social world. The more we try to bottle it into a cookie-cutter model, the more we will destroy that generation.

Danah’s plea is compelling and hearfelt enough to warrant a full read. I encourage any of you who work with, interact with, or just plain care about youth and youth culture to read it.

And, while you’re there, be sure to read the comments posted. The one about the experiences of a film teacher and students in Colorado is particularly chilling.