Monday, October 05, 2009

danah boyd @ Wilmette Junior High

Danah Boyd
Image via Wikipedia
danah boyd (yes, there are legally no caps in her name), social media researcher, is coming to speak to parents and the rest of the community at Wilmette Junior High School on Wednesday, October 7th at 7pm. See if she really speaks for the youth!

Here is an excerpt from a recent interview she gave to make it better, an online journal for Chicago's North Shore community.

Does social networking broaden our children's social circle? If so, how?

Typically, no. Youth primarily use these sites to communicate with the people that they already know from school, church, summer camp, etc. There is no doubt that these tools strengthen social relations, just like the phone or any other channel of communication. But the focus is not on strangers; it's all about friends.

What are the appropriate concerns for parents about social networking? What, if anything, should we watch for that could lead our children into trouble?

Risky offline behavior like drinking, drug abuse, isolation, emotional distress, etc. Online at-risk behavior is directly correlated to offline at-risk behavior. The Internet actually makes at-risk behavior more visible than ever before. It's rarely the cause of it. So if you're seeing something that haunts you online, it would be really helpful to focus on where it's coming from rather than focusing on the technology as the root of the problem.

1 comment:

ShirleyR said...

I found danah boyd's interview very interesting. Her answer's are hardly what the "typical" adult would say; furthermore, the closely mirror my own opinions about scial networking, just a different version of what already exists.

However, I do see one problem with social networking that the interview did not bring up. The possible, relative, loss of face-to-face time between peers. Perhaps most people merely supplement their social interaction with social networking, but some may simply replace it.