In attempting to pinpoint these areas, I focus on the altering power that the communication medium, which is that of the internet, along with its accoutering entailments (i.e. blogging, podcasting, engaging in online discussions, video chatting, plain surfing). I then argue that there is a continuously forming youth internet culture, which is more perverse than theorists, who would highlight the empowering function of the internet for the youth, would like to believe.
This paper's focus on the internet is novel in the sense that it argues that activities borne by the medium have great socialising power and are responsible for dramatically changing youth identities and youth culture itself for the worse. On one level, the status of being rather nameless and faceless, or the anonymity that the internet lends to a youth, tends to give the same a feeling of being licensed to act in anyway he/she desires. On a more collective level, a multitude of youths subsequently feeling this way forms a new youth subculture of irresponsibility in the internet. On another level, there also exists a problem with giving too much personal information in the web. As by-products of this liberated and unrestrained use of the internet, new menaces such as sexual exploitation of the youth, consensual sex between a minor and an adult, cyber-bullying, and identity fraud, to name just a few, are formed. Unlike scholars and experts who highlight the benefits, whether for the individual youth or the collective, that the internet brings, this paper veers toward alarming the readers of the condensing culture of irresponsibility and unaccountability among the youth which, as aforementioned, is brought about by the quite impenetrable anonymity that the internet affords them.
This essay proceeds with certain presumptions in mind. First, there is never a specific and fixed definition of culture, youth culture or otherwise. There will always be nuances and distinctiveness among the different cultures among countries, among regions, within countries, and even within localities. Hence, there is a need to specify which subculture one is probing into, otherwise analysis would be flawed by the logical fallacy of hasty generalisation. For this paper, what is being studied is a youth subculture which is not necessarily tied down in one specific geographic location, but rather is existing in cyber space, a place wherein distance is banished by such things as real-time conversations and video conferences.
With this said, the second presumption then would be that this paper's 'youth' are the young users of the aforementioned internet features, who as a result have formed convenient mediated relations with people outside their own regions, countries, and localities. These are the youths who have access to the internet whether in their own homes or outside (i.e. in internet cafs, at peer's homes, etc.) and who do any, a combination, or all of the following: blogging, podcasting, engaging in online discussions, video chatting, and/or simply surfing the World Wide Web.
Differentiated from previous studies
What sets this paper apart from prior sociological standpoints on the issue of youth is its argument that although, on the one hand, the youth often use the internet to be able to form new