It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

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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, ...
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It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Alissa Quart
It's Complicated avoids many of the typical either-or clichés about adolescence. Boyd's new book is layered and smart…She understands why adults are concerned about teenagers becoming screenagers but also what teenagers get out of their screen lives…It's Complicated will update your mind.
Publishers Weekly
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.)
Anne Collier

"Finally, a book about youth and social media that actually gives youth a voice! The insights here offer unprecedented perspective for parenting and teaching in this networked world of ours."—Anne Collier, co-director, writer
Nancy Lublin

"For the price of two grande frappucinos, you can buy this book . . . and young people will make sense."—Nancy Lublin, CEO,
Mizuko Ito

“A rare teens'-eye view into the often mystifying changes to our everyday communication, boyd's book offers a voice of reason in the often heated debates over young people and technology.”—Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine
Elisa Camahort Page

“boyd always moves beyond conventional wisdom when it comes to understanding teen online behavior. It's invaluable to have here the results of her years of study.”—Elisa Camahort Page, co-founder, BlogHer
Eve Ensler

"Boyd has done her homework and listened well. She is a high-tech medium translating the language and meaning of teenagers and social networking."—Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and In the Body of the World
Howard Gardner

"If you want to understand the digital worlds inhabited by today's young people, this is the book to read."—Howard Gardner, coauthor of The App Generation
Henry Jenkins

"I want to get this publication into the hands of every teacher, parent, policy maker, and journalist. Thoughtful in her analysis and adept at skewering the most common misunderstandings and anxieties about teens' online lives, boyd is the best possible person to write a book like this, and this book does not disappoint in any way."—Henry Jenkins, coauthor of Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture
Walter Isaacson

"In explaining the networked realm of teens, boyd has the insights of a sociologist, the eye of a reporter, and the savvy of a technologist. For parents puzzled about what their kids are doing online, this is an indispensable book."—Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute, author of Steve Jobs
BoingBoing - Cory Doctorow

"A passionate, scholarly, and vividly described account of the reality of young peoples' use of networked technologies in America today. Painstakingly researched through interviews and close study for more than a decade, boyd's book is the most important analysis of networked culture I've yet to read."—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
Slate - Emily Bazelon

"danah boyd is one of the smartest people thinking about how teenagers use the Internet—a topic of enormous importance to parents, me included. Her book is smart, sophisticated, and imbued throughout with a rare and wonderful sensitivity to the real, lived experiences of teenagers. Read it to understand what they're doing online, and why—you'll come away enlightened!"—Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy
Stephen Balkam

“Astute, nuanced, provocative and hopeful, boyd does it all in this must-read treatise on teens and their digital lives.”—Stephen Balkam, Founder and CEO, Family Online Safety Institute
Justine Larbalestier

"Impeccably researched, written and argued, danah boyd's It's Complicated is essential reading for anyone with even the slightest interest in teens or social media."—Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar and Zombies versus Unicorns
Scott Westerfeld
"Crucial reading for anyone who wants to understand the nuances and hard realities of being a teenager in our networked world. (I'm looking at you, parents, policy makers, and YA writers.)"—Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies
New York Times Book Review - Alissa Quart

"boyd’s new book is layered and smart . . . It’s Complicated will update your mind.”—Alissa Quart, New York Times Book Review

"A fascinating, well-researched and (mostly) reassuring look at how today's tech-savvy teenagers are using social media."—People
Scott Westerfeld

"Crucial reading for anyone who wants to understand the nuances and hard realities of being a teenager in our networked world. (I'm looking at you, parents, policy makers, and YA writers.)"—Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies
Los Angeles Times - Amy Benfer

"An exhaustively researched study of how teens use technology . . . and a manifesto on how parents as individuals and society as a whole let young people down when they insist on protection and paternalism over media literacy and critical thinking. Even readers who are not parents, or teens, may well find this one of the most interesting books of the year."—Amy Benfer, Los Angeles Times
Salon - Andrew Leonard

"It’s Complicated is both a report from the front lines and a larger social analysis. . . . It probes much deeper than just the latest fads in Twitter gossip or Snapchat goofiness . . . On one level it is designed to counter the paranoia and anxiety that many parents still feel about their children’s engagement in social media. . . . But on another level it is a poignant critique of contemporary civilization . . . The briefest possible summary? The kids are all right, but society isn’t."—Andrew Leonard, Salon
TIME Health & Family - Randye Hoder

"Based on a decade of research and interviews with adolescents from the suburbs to the inner city, It’s Complicated is a persuasive anti-alarmist polemic that should help ease parents’ concerns about all sorts of Internet bogeymen."—Randye Hoder, TIME Health & Family
Financial Times - Gillian Tett

"The key point is that social behaviour is adaptive, and people in power (ie parents) rarely understand the coping strategies being used by others. When adults start worrying about our children’s use of the internet, we should also ask what we can learn from our children—and then look in the mirror at our own behaviour too. And have the courage to give kids more freedom physically to roam in the 'real' world— alongside their travels in cyberspace."—Gillian Tett, Financial Times
The Sunday Telegraph - Jane Mulkerrins

“The book took a decade to complete, and cites sociologists including Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman, but it’s the voices of the 166 teenagers Boyd interviewed across America that make it a truly enlightening read.”—Jane Mulkerrins, The Sunday Telegraph
The Financial Times - Gautam Malkani

It’s Complicated, a new book about teenagers and digital technology by the media scholar danah boyd, places today’s smartphones, iPads and laptops in the context of this perennial power struggle between adolescents and parents. In doing so, it adds much to our understanding of a young generation of hyper-connected, hybrid consumer-producers – a cohort whose behaviour often unites parents, educators and investors in collective bewilderment.”—Gautam Malkani, The Financial Times
"A fascinating, well-researched and (mostly) reassuring look at how today's tech-savvy teenagers are using social media."—People
The Sunday Telegraph - Jane Shilling
“[T]here is something marvellously sensible about Boyd’s resolutely academic style. . .Boyd’s anatomy of teenage life is penetrating”—Jane Shilling, The Sunday Telegraph
The Observer - Carole Cadwalladr
‘[T]here are. . .a lot of interesting observations here: that most teenagers aren’t “digital natives” as we like to believe.’—Carole Cadwalladr, The Observer
New Scientist - Simon Ings
It's Complicated champion[s] a rich, complex idea of what youth is about, and view[s] with horror the way adult discussions so often reduce the young to mute metrics.’—Simon Ings, New Scientist
New Statesman - Helen Lewis

‘Boyd’s slim academic study makes a compelling case that today’s teenagers are more adept at navigating [the] dilemmas of the social media age than we old crusties aged 20 and over.’—Helen Lewis, New Statesman
Scott Westerfeld

"Crucial reading for anyone who wants to understand the nuances and hard realities of being a teenager in our networked world. (I'm looking at you, parents, policy makers, and YA writers.)"—Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies
Cory Doctorow

"Painstakingly researched through interviews and close study for more than a decade, boyd's book is the most important analysis of networked culture I've yet to read."—Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
Mizuko Ito

It's Complicated is essential reading for anybody who has ever wondered about the lives of teens online. The extensive online fieldwork and interviews with young people from around the country provides the reader with a rare teens'-eye view into the massive and often mystifying changes to our everyday communication with the advent of social media. Written with both sensitivity and a critical eye, boyd offers a voice of reason in the often heated debates over teens and technology.”—Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine
Library Journal
★ 02/15/2014
This groundbreaking survey of the online social habits and realities of American teens, based on extensive fieldwork, also serves as an important corrective to numerous persistent, widely held notions about young people, public life, and the Internet. Boyd (principal researcher, Microsoft Research) offers provocative, cogent, and compassionate assessments of teen participation in what she calls "networked publics." She illuminates the conflict between teens' desire to connect to peers and adult-created impediments to this socialization and roundly critiques both the idealism and the anxiety informing adult reactions to teen online behaviors. Among other topics in her packed but efficient and accessible book, Boyd discusses bullying, media literacy, and social inequality; debunks the pervasiveness of online predation; addresses problematic assumptions behind the term digital native; defends Wikipedia as a great educational tool that makes transparent the evolution of knowledge; and astutely points out that the technology may be new, but teens, as always, simply want to socialize, be known, spend time with friends, and participate in public life. VERDICT Exciting, challenging, and liberating; this title is essential reading for adults with any interest in or control over teens.—Janet Ingraham Dwyer, State Lib. of Ohio, Columbus
Kirkus Reviews
An analysis of the role social media plays in the lives of teens. "Social media has evolved from being an esoteric jumble of technologies to a set of sites and services that are at the heart of contemporary culture," writes Microsoft principal researcher Boyd (Media, Culture, and Communications/New York Univ.). "Teens turn to a plethora of popular services to socialize, gossip, share information, and hang out." They use them to enhance and expand their social interactions with their peers. Cellphones, texting and online sites like Facebook allow teens to share more than the minutiae of their daily lives; they are relatively safe and vital places where they can express their opinions and receive almost instant feedback from a vast network of friends. With street corners, city parks and even shopping malls becoming off limits to teens as places to congregate, the Internet gives adolescents access to their friends, who might live across town or even across the country. Through hundreds of interviews with teens, parents, teachers, librarians and others who work with the young, Boyd's extensive research illuminates the oft-misunderstood world of teens today, where social media is an extension of life, not a place to hide from parents or other authority figures. She examines the unwritten etiquette rules of social networking sites, the safety concerns of parents and teens who worry about cyberbullying and cyberstalking, the fear of an online presence leading to sexual predation and the racial segregation filtering through the Internet. Thorough information interwoven with common-sense advice from teens and the author enable readers, particularly parents, to relax a bit regarding this new media age. Boyd also provides a list of demographic information about the teens she interviewed, including age, ethnicity, home state and which sites they use. Comprehensive new research that illuminates why and how social media is important to teens.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300166316
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2014
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 163,966
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet 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.
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Read an Excerpt

it's complicated

the social lives of networked teens

By danah boyd


Copyright © 2014 danah boyd
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-300-16631-6



why do teens seem strange online?

In 2005, an Ivy League university was considering the application of a young black man from South Central Los Angeles. The applicant had written a phenomenal essay about how he wanted to walk away from the gangs in his community and attend the esteemed institution. The admissions officers were impressed: a student who overcomes such hurdles is exactly what they like seeing. In an effort to learn more about him, the committee members Googled him. They found his MySpace profile. It was filled with gang symbolism, crass language, and references to gang activities. They recoiled.

I heard this story when a representative from the admissions office contacted me. The representative opened the conversation with a simple question: Why would a student lie to an admissions committee when the committee could easily find the truth online? I asked for context and learned about the candidate. Stunned by the question, my initial response was filled with nervous laughter. I had hung out with and interviewed teens from South Central. I was always struck by the challenges they faced, given the gang dynamics in their neighborhood. Awkwardly, I offered an alternative interpretation: perhaps this young man is simply including gang signals on his MySpace profile as a survival technique.

Trying to step into that young man's shoes, I shared with the college admissions officer some of the dynamics that I had seen in Los Angeles. My hunch was that this teen was probably very conscious of the relationship between gangs and others in his hometown. Perhaps he felt as though he needed to position himself within the local context in a way that wouldn't make him a target. If he was anything like other teens I had met, perhaps he imagined the audience of his MySpace profile to be his classmates, family, and community—not the college admissions committee. Without knowing the teen, my guess was that he was genuine in his college essay. At the same time, I also suspected that he would never dare talk about his desire to go to a prestigious institution in his neighborhood because doing so would cause him to be ostracized socially, if not physically attacked. As British sociologist Paul Willis argued in the 1980s, when youth attempt to change their socioeconomic standing, they often risk alienating their home community. This dynamic was often acutely present in the communities that I observed.

The admissions officer was startled by my analysis, and we had a long conversation about the challenges of self-representation in a networked era. I'll never know if that teen was accepted into that prestigious school, but this encounter stayed with me as I watched other adults misinterpret teens' online self-expressions. I came to realize that, taken out of context, what teens appear to do and say on social media seems peculiar if not outright problematic.

The intended audience matters, regardless of the actual audience. Unfortunately, adults sometimes believe that they understand what they see online without considering how teens imagined the context when they originally posted a particular photograph or comment. The ability to understand how context, audience, and identity intersect is one of the central challenges people face in learning how to navigate social media. And, for all of the mistakes that they can and do make, teens are often leading the way at figuring out how to navigate a networked world in which collapsed contexts and imagined audiences are par for the course.

Taken Out of Context

In his 1985 book No Sense of Place, media scholar Joshua Meyrowitz describes the story of Stokely Carmichael, an American civil rights activist. In the 1960s, Carmichael regularly gave different talks to different audiences. He used a different style of speaking when he addressed white political leaders than when he addressed southern black congregations. When Carmichael started presenting his ideas on television and radio, he faced a difficult decision: which audience should he address? No matter which style of speaking he chose, he knew he'd alienate some. He was right. By using a rolling pastoral voice in broadcast media, Carmichael ingratiated himself with black activists while alienating white elites.

Meyrowitz argues that electronic media like radio and television easily collapse seemingly disconnected contexts. Public figures, journalists, and anyone in the limelight must regularly navigate disconnected social contexts simultaneously, balancing what they say with how their diverse audiences might interpret their actions. A context collapse occurs when people are forced to grapple simultaneously with otherwise unrelated social contexts that are rooted in different norms and seemingly demand different social responses. For example, some people might find it quite awkward to run into their former high school teacher while drinking with their friends at a bar. These context collapses happen much more frequently in networked publics.

The dynamics that Meyrowitz describes are no longer simply the domain of high-profile people who have access to broadcast media. When teens interact with social media, they must regularly contend with collapsed contexts and invisible audiences as a part of everyday life. Their teachers might read what they post online for their friends, and when their friends from school start debating their friends from summer camp, they might be excited that their friend groups are combining—or they might find it discomforting. In order to stabilize the context in their own minds, teens do what others before them have done: just like journalists and politicians, teens imagine the audience they're trying to reach. In speaking to an unknown or invisible audience, it is impossible and unproductive to account for the full range of plausible interpretations. Instead, public speakers consistently imagine a specific subset of potential readers or viewers and focus on how those intended viewers are likely to respond to a particular statement. As a result, the imagined audience defines the social context. In choosing how to present themselves before disconnected and invisible audiences, people must attempt to resolve context collapses or actively define the context in which they're operating.

Teens often imagine their audience to be those that they've chosen to "friend" or "follow," regardless of who might actually see their profile. In theory, privacy settings allow teens to limit their expressions to the people they intend to reach by restricting who can see what. On MySpace and Twitter—where privacy settings are relatively simple—using settings to limit who can access what content can be quite doable. Yet, on Facebook, this has proven to be intractable and confusing, given the complex and constantly changing privacy settings on that site. Moreover, many teens have good reasons for not limiting who can access their profile. Some teens want to be accessible to peers who share their interests. Others recognize that privacy settings do little to limit parents from snooping or stop friends from sharing juicy messages. Many teens complain about parents who look over their shoulders when they're on the computer or friends who copy and paste updates and forward them along.

To complicate matters, just because someone is a part of a teen's imagined audience doesn't mean that this person is actually reading what's posted. When social media sites offer streams of content—as is common on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram—people often imagine their audience to be the people they're following. But these people may not be following them in return or see their posts amid the avalanche of shared content. As a result, regardless of how they use privacy settings, teens must grapple with who can see their profile, who actually does see it, and how those who do see it will interpret it.

Teens' mental model of their audience is often inaccurate, but not because teens are naive or stupid. When people are chatting and sharing photos with friends via social media, it's often hard to remember that viewers who aren't commenting might also be watching. This is not an issue unique to teens, although teens are often chastised for not accounting for adult onlookers. But just as it's easy to get caught up in a conversation at a dinner party and forget about the rest of the room, it's easy to get lost in the back-and-forth on Twitter. Social media introduces additional challenges, particularly because of the persistent and searchable nature of most of these technical systems. Tweets and status updates aren't just accessible to the audience who happens to be following the thread as it unfolds; they quickly become archived traces, accessible to viewers at a later time. These traces can be searched and are easily reposted and spread. Thus, the context collapses that teens face online rarely occur in the moment with conflicting onlookers responding simultaneously. They are much more likely to be experienced over time, as new audiences read the messages in a new light.

When teens face collapsing contexts in physical environments, their natural response is to become quiet. For example, if a group of teens are hanging out at the mall and a security guard or someone's mother approaches them, they will stop whatever conversation they are having, even if it's innocuous. While they may be comfortable having strangers overhear their exchange, the sudden appearance of someone with social authority changes the context entirely. Online, this becomes more difficult. As Summer, a white fifteen-year-old from Michigan, explains, switching contexts online is more challenging than doing so in the park because, in the park, "you can see when there's people around you and stuff like that. So you can like quickly change the subject." Online, there's no way to change the conversation, both because it's virtually impossible to know if someone is approaching and because the persistent nature of most social exchanges means that there's a record of what was previously said. Thus, when Summer's mother looks at her Facebook page, she gains access to a plethora of interactions that took place over a long period of time and outside the social and temporal context in which they were produced. Summer can't simply switch topics with her friends at the sight of her mother approaching. The ability to easily switch contexts assumes an ephemeral social situation; this cannot be taken for granted in digital environments.

Because social media often brings together multiple social contexts, teens struggle to effectively manage social norms. Some expect their friends and family to understand and respect different social contexts and to know when something is not meant for them. And yet there are always people who fail to recognize when content isn't meant for them, even though it's publicly accessible. This is the problem that Hunter faces when he posts to Facebook.

Hunter is a geeky, black fourteen-year-old living in inner-city Washington, DC, who resembles a contemporary Steve Urkel, complete with ill-fitting clothes, taped-together glasses, and nerdy mannerisms. He lives in two discrete worlds. His cousins and sister are what he describes as "ghetto" while his friends at his magnet school are all academically minded "geeks." On Facebook, these two worlds collide, and he regularly struggles to navigate them simultaneously. He gets especially frustrated when his sister interrupts conversations with his friends.

When I'm talking to my friends on Facebook or I put up a status, something I hate is when people who I'm not addressing in my statuses comment on my statuses. In [my old school], people always used to call me nerdy and that I was the least black black person that they've ever met, some people say that, and I said on Facebook, "Should I take offense to the fact that somebody put the ringtone 'White and Nerdy' for me?" and it was a joke. I guess we were talking about it in school, and [my sister] comes out of nowhere, "Aw, baby bro," and I'm like, "No, don't say that, I wasn't talking to you."

When I asked Hunter how his sister or friends are supposed to know who is being talked to on specific Facebook updates, he replied, I guess that is a point. Sometimes it probably is hard, but I think it's just the certain way that you talk. I will talk to my sister a different way than I'll talk to my friends at school or from my friends from my old school, and I might say, "Oh, well, I fell asleep in Miss K's class by accident," and they'll say, "Oh, yeah, Miss K is so boring," and [my sister's] like, "Oh, well, you shouldn't fall asleep. You should pay attention." I mean, I think you can figure out that I'm not talking to you if I'm talking about a certain teacher.

Hunter loves his sister, but he also finds her take on social etiquette infuriating. He wants to maintain a relationship with her and appreciates that she's on Facebook, although he also notes that it's hard because of her priorities, values, and decisions. He doesn't want to ostracize her on Facebook, but he's consistently annoyed by how often she tries to respond to messages from his friends without realizing that this violates an implicit code of conduct.

To make matters worse, Hunter's sister is not the only one from his home life who he feels speaks up out of turn. Hunter and his friends are really into the card game Pokémon and what he calls "old skool" video games like the Legend of Zelda. His cousins, in contrast, enjoy first-person shooters like Halo and think his choice of retro video games is "lame." Thus, whenever Hunter posts messages about playing with his friends, his cousins use this as an opportunity to mock him. Frustrated by his family members' inability to "get the hint," Hunter has resorted both to limiting what he says online and trying to use technical features provided by Facebook to create discrete lists and block certain people from certain posts. Having to take measures to prevent his family from seeing what he posts saddens him because he doesn't want to hide; he only wants his family to stop "embarrassing" him. Context matters to Hunter, not because he's ashamed of his tastes or wants to hide his passions, but because he wants to have control over a given social situation. He wants to post messages without having to articulate context; he wants his audience to understand where he's coming from and respect what he sees as unspoken social conventions. Without a shared sense of context, hanging out online becomes burdensome.

The ability to understand and define social context is important. When teens are talking to their friends, they interact differently than when they're talking to their family or to their teachers. Television show plotlines leverage the power of collapsed contexts for entertainment purposes, but managing them in everyday life is often exhausting. It may be amusing to watch Kramer face embarrassment when he and George accidentally run into Kramer's mother on Seinfeld, but such social collisions are not nearly as entertaining when they occur without a laugh track. Situations like this require significant monitoring and social negotiation, which, in turn, require both strategic and tactical decisions that turn the most mundane social situation into a high-maintenance affair. Most people are uncomfortable with the idea that their worlds might collide uncontrollably, and yet, social media makes this dynamic a regular occurrence. Much of what's at stake has to do with the nuanced ways in which people read social situations and present themselves accordingly.

Identity Work in Networked Publics

In her 1995 book, Life on the Screen, psychologist Sherry Turkle began to map out the creation of a mediated future that resembled both the utopian and dystopian immersive worlds constructed in science fiction novels. Watching early adopters—especially children—embrace virtual worlds, she argued that the distinction between computers and humans was becoming increasingly blurred and that a new society was emerging as people escaped the limitations of their offline identities. Turkle was particularly fascinated by the playful identity work that early adopters engaged in online, and with a psychoanalyst's eye, she extensively considered both the therapeutic and the deceptive potential of mediated identity work.


Excerpted from it's complicated by danah boyd. Copyright © 2014 danah boyd. Excerpted by permission of Yale UNIVERSITY PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


preface, ix,
introduction, 1,
1 identity why do teens seem strange online?, 29,
2 privacy why do youth share so publicly?, 54,
3 addiction what makes teens obsessed with social media?, 77,
4 danger are sexual predators lurking everywhere?, 100,
5 bullying is social media amplifying meanness and cruelty?, 128,
6 inequality can social media resolve social divisions?, 153,
7 literacy are today's youth digital natives?, 176,
8 searching for a public of their own, 199,
appendix: teen demographics, 215,
notes, 221,
bibliography, 245,
acknowledgments, 267,
index, 273,

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 2, 2014

    This book is about social lives of networked teens, social media

    This book is about social lives of networked teens, social media and how it affects them on a daily basis, its seems fashion, smart phones are all the rage at the moment, only phones are not being used for text messaging and calling but now for sending out photos
     and videos, sharing with friends all over the internet and media sites such as Facebook,Twitter, using Apps and Myspace, they say if your not on Myspace you dont exist. It seems teens have an avid fascination with all social media sites, not realising they can be harmful especially if you have had some photos take which you would rather not share.
    Nowadays teens think they can do anything online without problems ensuing but you only have look at the number of teens who have committed suicide because of internet trolls.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Worth a read for those interested in teens


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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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