Teens Freaking Over Wikipedia Blackout Offer a Scary Peek at the Future

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WikipediaParents, it is a wonderful world you're waking up in today. Entire chunks of the Internet have disappeared as part of the SOPA Blackout -- a protest against Internet piracy legislation working its way through Congress -- and your teenagers are freaking out. Wait, better make that FREAKING OUT!!!

I think I heard the collective bang of the laptops of procrastinators who realized at midnight that Wikipedia had gone dark, effectively forcing them to do their own homework. Not surprisingly, these inventive little buggers then took to Twitter to unleash an angry torrent of complaints about how Congress has wrecked their life and their GPAs in one fell swoop, thereby trying to make us actually feel bad for them.

I don't, and neither should you.

Yes, parents, this is your wake-up call. The SOPA blackout may officially be directed at Congress, but it's unofficially directed right at you. Your kids are useless in the face of adversity. It's troubling to me as I raise a member of the Internet generation that kids seem increasingly unable to chart another course when the technological one is off-limits.

I don't say this to be cruel. I'm a writer on the Internet, and this whole SOPA thing has put a major kink in my day. But raised in the era of having to actually get off my hind end and go to the library to research a project, I will work around it. It's what we did back in the day of having to figure things out for ourselves, without a handy little gadget to do it for us.

This isn't just about forcing our kids to read actual books (although that would be nice). Forgive me for sounding like my third grade teacher, but it's about good old-fashioned critical thinking, and it goes far beyond homework. When one avenue doesn't work, you find another one. It's how you deal with not getting the number one job you wanted or finding your typical route to work has been closed due to (insert natural disaster of your choice here).

Whiny kids pissed off at Wikipedia aren't just a sign that we're raising brats who are too dependent on technology. It's a sign that we're raising kids who give up too easily. Google is still up and running along with millions of other websites. They could have picked one, any of them! Heck, they could have heeded the warning that the blackout was coming and actually done their homework a little earlier!

Instead, they blamed Wikipedia, Republicans, the Internet, and lady luck for screwing them over ... and then just sat there. Now imagine all those kids sitting there, waiting for the closed road to re-open because, well, it wasn't THEIR fault there was a mudslide, so they're not going to actually turn that car around and find another way.

It's a pretty scary look at our future. If that doesn't spur you to have a really long talk with the kids tonight, I don't know what will. Unless you really want to be raising a kid whose immediate response when option A doesn't work is to say "f--- this, the Internet is stupid."

Did the Wikipedia blackout highlight your kid's helplessness?

 

Image via Wikipedia

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MrsSi... MrsSimonsen

I did my homework back in the day by reading the damn book. Yeesh.

mama_... mama_rayray31

Its not even wikipedia that I'm worried about, the WHOLE internet is going to be censored if this goes through. I'm all for books, I'm all for doing homework without wikipedia (infact, believe it or not..get ready to gasp..I passed college without using wikipedia for homework). I know, CRAZY, not all teenagers are piles of cheating shit. I use the internet to learn how to make things for the home, or buy items for cheap off of craigslist for my home and my children. You're missing the big picture that even grown ups use the internet, obviously you (Jeanne) do to keep your job.     

LoveM... LoveMyViolet

Wow, way to make an issue about censorship all about teens, COMPLETELY missing the point of the whole backout. And BTW - you know there are sites other than Wikipedia that are blacked out?


I agree, let this be a wake-up call to parents, to teach them what this situation is really about. To teach them about the issue really at hand.


Doomy234 Doomy234

I dont necessarily think its laziness. What about college kids who work also and dont have time to just run to the library? Or get out of work/school so late that the library is closed before they can get there.

Secondly, all the high school libraries and even the public libraries in our area are extremely limited in their knowledge (which is very sad, but entirely true).

nonmember avatar Jennifer

OBVIOUSLY the blackout is about a completely different issue. But just at those tweets in the link provided and tell me you don't fear for the country's future!

nonmember avatar Cass

Another article painting teens as lazy. Yay...



Wikipedia is a wealth of knowledge. I often use it to answer little questions like "what do I know that actor from" or "when did this come out". As for homework, Wikipedia isn't a bad thing. When it comes to school, I often read the Wikipedia page on a subject I don't understand. That way, I understand the textbook better and can go back to reading that. Even if I wanted to use an alternate resoyrce, my library

nonmember avatar Cass

Another article painting teens as lazy. Yay...



Wikipedia is a wealth of knowledge. I often use it to answer little questions like "what do I know that actor from" or "when did this come out". As for homework, Wikipedia isn't a bad thing. When it comes to school, I often read the Wikipedia page on a subject I don't understand. That way, I understand the textbook better and can go back to reading that. Even if I wanted to use an alternate resource, my library doesn't have the necessary books in stock. Besides, good teachers check their students homework against Wikipedia for plagiarism. If a student is using Wikipedia to learn (and backing up Wikipedia with a more reliable source), then putting it into their own words for an assignment, why is that a problem?

mande... manderspanders

yea... um...wikipedia doesn't count as "research"; so it scares me that anyone thinks it is.


Teens ARE lazy; I'm pretty sure that's been true for the past 30 years or more (I know I cared more about staying out late with friends and sleeping all day than doing homework, as did most of my peers).


Todays kids really don't seem to have clue about how to be resourceful and critically think through situations. They expect everything to be handed to them - whether it's parents spoiling them with material items, or the internet making everything instanteously available. 


Life is hard; it's even harder when you have no/limited critical thinking skills or work ethic.  Kids should be taught these things from a young age instead of "sheltered" from it.

MrsSi... MrsSimonsen

Isn't it supposed to be down? It's working for me.

Tiffa... TiffanyMarie80

The idea that there are people, teens and adults alike, who actually think that wikipedia counts as valid research scares me! It's incredibly easy for anyone to change a wikipedia article, making it not such a great place to get facts.

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