A little while ago my Twitter friend grdnldy wrote a post that said, “How did I miss this, digital drugs http://tinyurl.com/69tsex“‘ I wrote back and said, “Perhaps because the hype is more than the reality. Perhaps a bit of breeding hysteria for something that might not really be a real issue.”‘ But, actually, before I wrote that reply, I did a quick Google search and found that several media outlets had recently run a story on digital drugs.
Automatically, I started thinking to myself, here’s the press again making something really bad out of something that really isn’t an issue.’ And, then I thought, well if the press is making this an issue, librarians working with teens definitely need to know about it. That way when the topic comes up with colleagues, administrators, parents, or concerned community members, they’ll be ready.
I’m here to say, “Be ready.”‘ Read what the popular media is saying and writing and do some of your own research. What does Wikipedia have to say about digital drugs? At the time of this post, nothing. What does Google have to say about digital drugs? At the time of this post pretty much only what the popular media is saying.’ What are the tech blogs saying? Well, actually TechDirt has an interesting post about the media’s pickup of this story and what the writers at TechDirt phrase “technology moral panics.”
The thing is, there will always be people in the world who are trying to put a scare into us about the dangers ahead. Of course, sometimes these dangers are real. And, sometimes, they aren’t real. Don’t let yourself, the people with whom you work, or members of your community be drawn in when the danger is all hype and not real at all.’ Do your research and be ready to respond when someone says, “Oh my gosh, have you heard about digital drugs, we have to keep our teens away from the Internet so that they won’t have their brains ruined.”‘ If you are ready you can say something like, “You know, I’ve looked into that and there really isn’t much to it. For example, take a look at this article that I found….”
Being prepared really is the best defense.