Here, using a small set of these interviews, which were made with students in a tutorial centre in Athens , we will describe how some young people use the Internet to make relationships with others, and particularly how young women and men use the net to meet and talk to one another.
As a place to meet and talk with strangers, one of the appeals of cyberspace lies in its visual silence.
It is not unknown for girls and boys, and even researchers to take on new selves.
Sherry Turkle tells of her shock and surprise at entering a chatroom anonymously and encountering another Professor Turkle who was there doing research.
What is an Acronym An Acronym is a word formed from the initial letters of a name much like an abbreviation or text shortcut, such as LOL, which means Laughing out loud, and can also mean Lots of Luck.
Another example many teens often use is the abbreviations "POS " - parent(s) over shoulder, or "PAL" - Parents Are Listening, to indicate to the chat recipient that they are unable to talk because a parent is present.
In this paper we describe a particular set of Internetbased interactions that have great appeal to young people but create most anxiety among parents and other adults. In the main they were concerned about security rather than pornography, which they saw as amusing rather than harmful.
During the period 20002002 we conducted more than 200 interviews with children and young people and conducted case studies in homes, schools, libraries, cybercafes and other places where the Internet is accessed. But it was also clear from our interviews that many were more active in chatrooms than their parents and other adults realised.
Ricki Goldman Segall (1998) has shown how this use of computers appeals particularly to teenage girls, who can use the computer to explore and extend their interests in fashion and appearance in intimate and novel ways.
And there is dark side of illicit information, criminal activity, dangerous knowledge and harmful content.
Teachers, parents, librarians and other adults want to encourage children and young people to make maximum use of the positive and creative possibilities of the internet, but they also feel, to varying degrees, responsible for steering them away from the dark side.
This paper reports a small number of interviews with young people in Athens about their use of Internet chatrooms as a means of meeting people.
In the last few years there has been a growing public concern about the dangers of socialising with strangers in chatrooms, but what do the users themselves think about the risks involved, and what strategies have they adopted to manage these risks?