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.
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No surprises if you grew up in the digital era
Everyone's guide to understanding teens
Not only to friends, but to everyone. This is a book that provides thoughtful insight into and discussion about how our society is, and in many cases is not, adapting and integrating the 'internet' and the tools one uses to connect to it. The framework of the book is networking on the internet, but the book reaches down to the fundamentals of teens themselves: who teens think they are, their goals and ambitions (immediate and future), what motivates them to behave in the manners they do. It is also about how people, parents, teachers, policy makers, lawmakers, police, private space owners and the public in general perceive teens: our beliefs, fears, expectations, etc. and how we regard them in light of our experiences (experiences that are not at all comparable to to theirs--they live in a very different world than we did when we were growing up). Thoughtful discussions based on interviews with teens and other published literature regarding specific internet networking (social media) issues: privacy, security, bulling, literacy. dana boyd doesn't 'tell' us how to interact with our teens, nor how to 'set limits', protect their 'privacy', prevent 'bullying'--both the giving out of and receiving of --, she sheds "light on the complex and fascinating practices of contemporary American youth as they try to find themselves in the networked world". Her hope is that "you will suspend your assumptions about youth in an effort to understand the social lives of networked teens. By and large, the kids are alright, but they want to be understood." She is very successful in achieving this goal as she motivates us to think about why we think or behave the way we do in relationship to our teens and what the consequences of such thoughts and behaviors might be.
I was reminded to trust my teen, to remember that I have instilled my values, his character and value set has by and large been formed. Therefore as a teen, a person very close to adulthood, needs our trust and the freedom to interact with his world on his terms. In addition, I realize how important it is that I become more active in understanding the internet, how it works and what the policies are governing it, really how the tools & sites work (for example privacy settings), and basically not to fear something I really don't understand.
Thank you dana for such a thoughtful book, a book that doesn't tell me what to do as a parent, but reminds me to think before acting--providing me with enough information so I have a chance at making an educated decision. Thank you for 'making' me look at my teen as a healthy young individual instead of a rebellious, disrespectful, angry person.