It's Complicated: The Social Lives Of Networked Teens

by Danah Boyd

Yale University Press | February 25, 2014 | Hardcover

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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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 296 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 in

Published: February 25, 2014

Publisher: Yale University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0300166311

ISBN - 13: 9780300166316

Found in: Current Events

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It's Complicated: The Social Lives Of Networked Teens

It's Complicated: The Social Lives Of Networked Teens

by Danah Boyd

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 296 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 in

Published: February 25, 2014

Publisher: Yale University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0300166311

ISBN - 13: 9780300166316

From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

danah boyd is Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, Research Assistant Professor at New York University, and Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She lives in New York City.

From the Author

How are teenagers’ lives different today?   The most visible difference is, of course, technology. Many of today's youth have access to tools that allow them to connect to people and information in unprecedented ways. Yet this is not actually the most salient difference between now and the past. Teens today are also more heavily constrained in their mobility, more regulated in terms of their time and activities, and under more pressure than those from previous generations. This means that they have fewer opportunities to socialize in unstructured, face-to-face settings. Technology often serves as a relief valve, allowing teens to hang out with friends when getting together isn't otherwise possible.   What most surprised you from your interviews of teens?   Given the plethora of concerns about social media, I expected to see problems everywhere. I was most surprised to find that most teens had a perfectly healthy relationship with technology and that many of the struggles they faced were age-old issues made more visible through social media. I found that the newness of technology distracted many well-intended adults from helping young people with the challenges they do face.   What topics dominate society’s conversations about youth? How would you change the focus?   Most conversations that focus on teens' use of social media—and their lives more generally—center on the risks youth face. While it's important to protect youth from dangers, a society based on fear-mong
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Editorial Reviews

Winner of the 2015 Educators Book Award given by the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International.