Learning Foolishness via YouTube

An article by Dr. Claire McCarthy points out that YouTube “multiplies the peer effect” when it comes to learning new, and sometimes risky, behaviors from other teens.   When we parents think of peer pressure we often think of the specific social group a teen belongs to, or the culture in our child’s school.  That’s a mistake, according to Dr. McCarthy, who says that with the internet, peers “becomes the whole wide world.”  And that makes parenting even harder for moms and dads today.  Some of the things that teens can research on YouTube are downright dangerous, like the (not new) “choking” game, which she discusses in the article.  Her advice is the same I’ve often given…talk to them.