In a Dynamiczna Tozsamosc pilot workshop a serious misunderstanding between youngsters and adults came to light. This misunderstandings could be derived from answers to workshop questionnaires number two and number six.

The misunderstanding can be summarized as follows: youngsters do not think that adults are necessarily honest. And on the other hand adults do not know whether youngsters are capable of understanding as much as they should.

There are a few hypothesis as to what could cause the misunderstanding between generations. All of these will be part of the upcoming blocks in the workshop.


Hypothesis one is that the misunderstanding is not so much between generations as rather between people who are online often and people who are not. According to this hypothesis the Internet is not a finished product but is a work in progress. Online people create new kinds of meaning about themselves and the world around them, just like they create meaning in their casual phone-calls or during their day-to-day meetings with friends and  acquaintances.

In this vision the Internet is an environment to build stories with a neat beginning and an end, divided in logical steps. Rather, it is a messy place where existing videos, pictures and texts can be integrated in communication and where everybody can read everybody, comment upon them and judge them. Commercial content is at the same page as intimate messages. In contrast to other contact, it is rather not one-to-one, like phone calls, it is many-to-many with one-to-one interludes.

As a result on the Internet different meanings come into existence than are present in the real world. These different meanings might be the cause for misunderstandings between generations.


A second hypothesis tells us that people who are online a lot see reality as a world full of blockades while they see the online world as an easy place to communicate and be. For people who hardly ever visit the Internet or are online only for practical reasons this perception is completely the reverse. For them the online world is full of threats and obstacles while reality is their home.


Whatever the hypothesis to explain the misunderstanding, the consequence of the misunderstanding is that youngsters and adults often differ in how they see the virtual world and how they see the real world. As a result teachers, authorities and parents are sometimes lost as to how to react to youngsters – and the other way around.


For more details on the preliminary interpretation of the outcomes of project questionnaires number two and six, see:

To read more about media education as a dialogue between generations, see:

On the first hypothesis you can find more here:,

To read more on the second hypothesis, please have a look here: and

Examples of parents reacting to their child’s online activities can be found here:

An example of authorities having trouble reacting to youngsters’ online actions can be found here:,, and