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Guest Blogger: Dominique

Young People and Social Media

Boyd in Chapters 1 and 7 makes fresh and creative observations on youth online participatory behavior and positive affects that being digitally literate in the social media age can produce. In Chapter 1, she brings up the transitional meaning of identity on and offline with teens. Boyd focuses on teens adjusting to their new identities in the front stage/backstage world and establishing a new identity based on online communities. Boyd explains that when teens interact with social media they regularly contend with contexts and invisible audiences as a part of everyday life. Boyd analyzes teen behavior on social media, explaining that teens often imagine their audience to be apart of their own network regardless on who is viewing their profile. Privacy settings allow teens to limit the people that they intend to reach. Teens' behaviors differ between specific social media platforms. Boyd highlights teens’ mental model of their online audiences, explaining that they are often not aware of public vs. private concept of online communities.

This is why social media literacy is extremely important to the development of teens’ participation on the Internet and awareness is needed. Social media brings multiple social contexts; ultimately confusing teens that are not yet well versed in how various social media platforms run or familiar with their own personal identities. These multiple social media platforms tend to be difficult for teens to manage, and most teens do not realize their personal site is publicly accessible. Boyd confronts the issue of identity within Chapter 1, displaying the intricate dynamics of identity portrayal online and the introduction of choosing to self-brand. Boyd states that many teens go online to socialize with friends they know from outside the online world, which encourage greater continuity between teens’ online and offline worlds.

The diversification of identities

Boyd explains to the reader that teens’ identities are not all uniform, that most teens use a plethora of social media services as they vary from different relationships and contexts. The distinct practices on different platforms might suggest they are trying to become different people or represent themselves a different way from how they would perceive their identity offline. Boyd observed that teens respond to what they perceive to be social norms of online identities. She introduces self-branding and creation of an online identity. Boyd believes that the content of specific social media platforms is more important than the social media site. Social media sites are easily transparent, with a particular group of youth.

The Importance of Digital Literacy and the terminology that follows…

In Chapter 7, Boyd focuses on the awareness of online identities for both digital natives and digital immigrants? In this Chapter, Boyd explores the question, “What is the divide between digital natives and digital immigrants?” “Are these definitions based on a spectrum? Are these definitions non-monolithic?”

Even though teens who are brought up as digital natives, there are teens who do not know as much about the internet and social media platforms, so how can people classify every teen as a digital narrative? Is there any room for transparency?

Boyd analyzes the ideology of American techno-idealism, which is the beginning of the emergence of the digital native. She deciphers the differences between native vs. immigrants. She features a quote from Barlow; expressing his opinion of adults must adapt the native responsibilities presented to them. I appreciate the close analysis of discourse between languages. Even though there are obvious limitations to the terminology digital natives/immigrants, Boyd highlights the fact that youth are young active people who are powerful and influential in shaping the online community today. Boyd stressed the importance of teens being immersed in a technologically mediated world, and the role that digital media literacy plays on fully understanding technology in a learning environment. By learning critical skills that media literacy advocates, they will be able to understand the biases in adversities and invasion of privacy. Few teens have a basic understanding and knowledge of how the computer systems they use everyday work.

 

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