The Blair Reader: Exploring Contemporary Issues by Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell has a collection of different fiction, poetry, literature and essays that touch on different topics meant to appeal readers from different backgrounds. It is a book that promotes critical thinking as it touches on a number of issues affecting the world today. Moreover, it has different themes including The Politics of Language, Media and Society, The Wired Revolution, The American Dream, Earth in the Balance, Family and Memory, Women and Men, Issues in Education, Medicine and Human Values, Making Choices. I am going to touch on the topic about cyberspace (Kirszner Mandell, 2-4).
The book also covers the topic on what adolescents miss when parents or the society lets them grow up in cyber space. Why are adolescents drawn to the internet? The books looks into the advantages and disadvantages of letting teenagers use the internet. It starts by exploring the motives behind adolescents seeking to use the internet. Some of the reasons include for the purposes of intimacy and belonging, exploration and identity experimentation, filling the void left by parents and immediate family members (Kirszner Mandell, 239).
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The essay then finds out the hangout joints for these youngsters, which include chat rooms, Web sites, message boards and blogs. The net is useful for acquisition of new skills, finding information, increase of worldly knowledge, the exploration of social skills and personal identity. On the other hand, the disadvantages include cybersex, presence of adult predators, adult confidants, and addiction (Kirszner Mandell, 240). To solve this problem, parents are given tips including talking to the teenagers, making the computer visible, acknowledging the good and the bad, getting knowledgeable about the sites they visit, setting reasonable rules, using software controls, encouraging a balance with other activities, and the use of discipline (Kirszner Mandell, 240).
It is a good book that touches on very important issues. The cyberspace issue is a serious one and should be dealt with carefully. If not dealt with, the cyberspace interferes with the lives of these teenagers and hence destroys their future. I recommend both teenagers and parents to read this book as it will help them in life.
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