What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens' lives? Read more...
What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens' lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens' use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers' ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity.
Boyd's conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. Offering insights gleaned from more than a decade of original fieldwork interviewing teenagers across the United States, boyd concludes reassuringly that the kids are all right. At the same time, she acknowledges that coming to terms with life in a networked era is not easy or obvious. In a technologically mediated world, life is bound to be complicated.
- ISBN-13: 9780300166316
- ISBN-10: 0300166311
- Publisher: Yale University Press
- Publish Date: February 2014
- Page Count: 281
- Dimensions: 8.58 x 5.81 x 1.04 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.03 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-12-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Boyd, an NYU professor and principal researcher at Microsoft Research, spent eight years exploring the relationship between teens and technology, meeting with teens nationwide, from gang-ridden schools in L.A. to schools in rural Pennsylvania. The text is backed by current research, though the author warns that social media is a “moving landscape” that is constantly evolving. Boyd set out to explain the networked lives of teens to “adults who worry” about the role of technology in kids’ lives, but, as one teen posts online of her romantic status, “It’s complicated.” The author discovers this to be true of the role of technology in teenagers’ lives as well. As she delves into this complex subject, Boyd finds that adults have often used technology as a “punching bag,” blaming and fear-mongering in ways that aren’t helpful to kids, families, or communities. While many adults complain teens are addicted to technology, she argues that kids are actually addicted to their friends and social connections. Today’s teens, Boyd asserts, have less freedom than teens of yore; with structured environments and schedules, less free time, less geographic freedom, and not as many places to hang out face-to-face. As a result, they create their own online meeting places where they can gather and interact. Students, parents, and educators will find this a comprehensive study of how technology impacts teens’ lives and how adults can help balance rather than vilify its inevitable use. Agent: Kristine Dahl, ICM. (Feb.)