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“It’s Complicated” by Danah Boyd Review

For the past four days I’ve been reading “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens”  by Danah Boyd. She is currently giving away free online copies of her book here.

I feel this book’s intended audience are adults, adults who typically don’t comprehend teenagers’ use of the internet. I would say about 2/3 of this book is dedicated to those adults that continue to misunderstand us. However, the other 1/3 remaining is dedicated to us young adults struggling to maintain our digital presence in the ever evolving social media we encounter. It gave me a greater insight on many of the social implications of interactions we perform online, some things that I would never think about and I bet most young adults don’t even think about when interacting online.

I like the extensive field work she has done throughout the United States. Boyd has interviewed many young adults about their opinion on social media and the way they use it in their daily lives. However, I feel like the book would’ve benefitted from surveying young adults in less economically developed countries because many of the situtations described aren’t applicable outside the United States or Canada.

In her book, Boyd points out that teens reject profile requirements in these sites because they refuse to portray themselves like these sites want them to. Teens don’t really pay attention to these requirements because for the most part the people they will be interacting with are their own peers who know them well. Boyd explains that social media are extensions of social interactions are therefore NOT ways in which teens hide from the outside world, rather they use it as a way to further extend their relationships.

Boyd looks into social issues of racial and ethnic inequality. Many people assume that the internet and social media would blur these divides in society. However, the truth is that when teens participate online they are reproducing their race based dynamics. In her chapter “Inequality” Boyd says “Although thechnology makes it possible in principle to socialize with anyone online, in practice, teens connect to the people that they know and with whom they have most in common” to signal this further division and racial and ethnic inequality of those participating in social media.

Boyd presents the idea of being in public and being public. I believe this is an idea to always keep mind. Most adults think that teens need to be part of social media is because they want attention. However, teens use social media to interact with others in a more selective way not really crying out for approval from their peers. By deciding what to post and what not to post online, teens are demonstrating a side of them without revealing their entire self, this is where they separate their digital identity and true self . Many adults claim that teens are “addicted” to social media. Having said that, Danah draws attention to the fact that constant interaction through social media for teens is a highly social behavior. Teens aren’t addicted to the components of social media but they are rather addicted to one another.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Boyd’s book on the way young people like me interact with social media. Many of the passages and interviews she did with teens make her book relatable and demonstrate concrete evidence of her explanations. I would definitely recommend this book for any one trying to understand teens’ interactions online or for a course like this one.

boyd

And to those adults out there still not understanding our constant need of the internet and social media: Go out and buy this book and OH YES IT IS COMPLICATED YOU HAVE NOOO IDEA.

 

Better late than never

This is the link to my Digital ID Cmap.

Summary #6= Pre-service teachers’ digital literacy practices: exploring contingency in identity and digital literacy in and out of educational contexts.

This paper demonstrates that individuals portray their digital identities as those that fit context specific identities. Also, that there is a motivation and expectation from our environment and from ourselves to continue the certain digital identity we have decided to show in the internet. Here, the author has used pre-service teachers as an example and further pinpointing the importance of teacher identity to discussions concerning the disconnect between digital literacies in and outside schools. Our digital experience is framed by appropriateness, legitimacy, and risk. This articles recognizes that the digital literacies skills, orientations, and attitudes might or might not be able to help when translating to education. Finally, it emphasizes the importance of teacher’s digital literacy experiences in their different domains should be taken into consideration because of emerging technologies.

The reason I chose this articles is because it shows us the link of how technologies and teachers should be in accordance when it comes to our educational system, which is one of the main ideas we are exploring in this course.

Summary #5= Revealing our digital identity.

The authors of this article discuss the importance of identity formation. The research they have conducted demonstrate that students know their identities can be explained by external factors but they don’t seem to really care what these factors are. However, the students in this research do seem to care about their digital appearance and image that they portray of themselves through the internet, but only as an immediate social form. 1 out of 4 students don’t seem to be worried about the impact of their digital impact on their own future. What they mean by this future is not only their educational future but when seeking jobs as well. There is a focus on the new form of identity, that is digital identity, and how it is represented in social networks and the impact of these identities of the current up and coming generation.

One of the reasons I chose this article was because the secondary author’s main field of study is psychology. Digital identity can still be treated with such a science. I also like that they conducted an experiment that is relatable to the students in our class and how they perceive themselves in the internet.

Summary #4= A World without Center: Culture, Identity Construction, and Cognition in the Digital Age.

The internet has demonstrated to have a great effect on cultural growth. Here, we learn that such transformations are worth noticing since this exploitation of information distribution channels have changed the global environment and allowed us to suppress our physical space as personal interaction. We are introduced with two questions: 1. what are the consequences of our cognitive and identity development, and therefore, the makeup of the individual in our culture? and 2. how do these processes operate in the overall latin american context? This article discusses how recent literature has redefined the development of such cognitive and identity development, the effects of the internet in the construction of our culture, the day to day interaction in social networks, and the rhetorical and argumentative customs of online debates.

I chose this article because it shows the viewpoint of latin americans on the internet. I also liked that it related how social and digital media help shape the individual and his/her values and customs.

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