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Social Media and its Effect on the Youth

51B6Ier0ePL._AA160_I was assigned a book report for my Understanding Media Markets class, and I stumbled upon this really great novel about social media and how it is effecting the youth in today’s society.

Many people think that social media and the accessibility teens have to their phones is going to ruin them and their social skills. I was a person that could see this being a possibility until I read It’s Complicated: the social lives of networked teens, by Danah Boyd.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in seeing where we are headed due to emerging technology on society and culture. Boyd touches on all issues that need to be discussed when dealing with social media and our teens like privacy, bullying, identity, safety and danger.

Boyd argues against what other think and claims that the way we are reacting to teens and networks are failing young people. By being over protective parents, we are hindering teens from becoming informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens. Teens often find a way to develop their own sense of identity, even with paternalism and protectionism.

Social media has become a norm in society, but teens are not using it to become anti-social, they are using social media to constantly stay connected and in conversation with their peers. The first chapter of the book discusses teens at a high school football game, and their interaction with technology. The teens were only using their phones to document the event by taking photos and video clips, along with texting other friends to meet up at the game. Parents, on the other hand, were using their phones to check emails and text people who were not at the game, polarizing themselves from those around them from conversation.

Technology and social media are not going to disappear, if anything they will continue to grow and expand further. Boyd believes that the relationship between a person and the social lives of networked teens is very complicated.

Pick up a copy of Boyd’s novel today, I guarantee you will learn something you didn’t know before.