Understanding the use of social media by the next generation

BoingBoing has an article linking to danah boyd’s now public PHD thesis on Teen Sociality online.
What I have read so far has been very interesting, I was looking forward to seeing it as I got to meet danah at the Handheld learning 2008 event where she made some great points around the evolving of the generations coming through with social media as part of their discovery of who they are in the world.
Why is this relevant? Well for anyone who is a parent understanding the difference and the dynamics of social media in the context of teenage development should be understood. Also for those in business the emerging workforce will have experienced what danah has researched. To look upon all social media (and include virtual worlds) as irrelavent friend gathering frippery misses the point that the socialization of these young people is occurring in these environments. To extrapolate some of the conclusions for the enterpirse audience. They are not places to be demonized (as were the physical spaces when we were growing up) fill in you own parents worst nightmare, snooker halls, discos, amusement arcades, shopping malls, skate parks. The reason being that these virtual places, and the skills to understand them, negotiate and establish social norms will also be the skills of enterprise 2.0.
danah also makes the point that people are growing up with these environments, it is how they establish their pecking orders and social mobility, as opposed to many adults who are busy trying to translate their current order into the current social media.
Anyway, just as with the byron report I suggest you have a look at this serious piece of research, combine it with tribes and Tapscott’s grown up digital. Then start to work out what that is going to mean for us all.
danah has been snapped up by Microsoft Research (which had already happened back when I met her), so I wish her good luck in her career there.

One thought on “Understanding the use of social media by the next generation

  1. I enjoyed reading your post; I am running a small website on video conferencing I am a beginner in this business. I don’t know much about it but I am searching around for material that can increase my knowledge

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