Is Facebook losing it’s cool? Are the demographics of social media changing? Is this because Grandma is online now? Grandma is on Facebook and wants to be your friend and at the same time teens don’t want to friend their own parents. It’s not cool when Mom or Dad tags you in an embarrassing photo. Teens want to have some space where they can do or say something that is not constantly being watched. (or so they think) Teens are flocking to Instagram, Twitter , Foursquare and Snapchat.
Danah Boyd’s book, “It’s Complicated- Social Lives of Networked Teens” is being released today. (Danah Boyd Social Media Researcher)
This book captures what teenagers are doing online – And why. Her insights give perspective for parenting and teaching on teenagers. Teens are using social media to talk to each other. Adults don’t understand that the smartphone is a place for them to escape to relax and have fun. Several profiles allow individuals to interact with different groups and allows them to present themselves in different context. Profiles taking out of context allows for others to mis-interrupt what teens are doing. As an example, a teenager may have several personas. A young man could say in a beautifully written college essay, how he would like to escape the area he is in, but then have a social profile on MySpace showing he is an active participant in gang related activities. You may think “Who is this?” However, Boyd points out is that this young man may be using that profile online for his own survival and safety in the physical world and his online profile should not misrepresent him. He may truly be a great kid who wants a better life.