The Bebo Generation; Expert Says the Children Spend 40 Minutes per Day on the Site and Theyre Not Wasting Time, Theyre Socially Interacting

Daily Mail (London), June 13, 2007 | Go to article overview

The Bebo Generation; Expert Says the Children Spend 40 Minutes per Day on the Site and Theyre Not Wasting Time, Theyre Socially Interacting


IT will come as no surprise to parents that three in four children spend at least 40 minutes per day on average on social networking sites such as Bebo.

What will raise eyebrows however, is that theyre not wasting their time. In fact, says an expert on Bebo (which is Ireland and the UKs largest social networking medium), theyre gaining key social interaction skills and parents and teachers should be learning how to exploit the new online-savvy generations interest.

The 40-minute figure was revealed as one of the worlds leading authorities on internet safety said Ireland is at the forefront of the social networking revolution that has spawned websites, which also include My Space.

Dr Rachel OConnell, the chief safety officer at Bebo, was speaking at a major conference hosted by Tipperary Institute on Internet in Education where it was revealed that 74 per cent of Irish Bebo users between the ages of 13 and 24 spend an average of 41 minutes each day on the site. She also said thatyoung Irish people are incredibly proficient in social networking and added that the key from an educational standpoint was how to maximise this potential.

I cannot but be encouraged by teachers in Ireland. Teachers have shown great initiative and have really embraced this technology. Ireland is definitely at the forefront in teaching young people how to maximise the potential of this information revolution, she said.

During her keynote address, Dr OConnell also indicated that Bebo is establishing a teacher group in Ireland to promote ways of stimulating educational usage of their site, such is the power of the networking phenomenon.

The potential here is enormous for teachers to encourage interaction between students on the social network and to discuss subjects and share information, she said.

The reality is that young people are driving this information and with this comes an opportunity for personal expression and positive development.

Essentially, social networks are an extension of the real worldnetwork. …

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