Coffeechug Reads It’s Complicated by Danah Boyd

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Coming from a background where I am a huge advocate of student voice and working with students to help them establish a positive digital footprint on social media, I just had to read this book from Danah Boyd. This book was a must read for me to learn more about teens and the implications of social media. I come from the standpoint that social media is here to say no matter what you think about it. The apps and tools will change as things evolve, but the premise of having an online network of friends and people to collaborate with is somethings that many of us cannot fathom not having in our lives.

I flagged many passages in this book(if you folllow on Twitter or Instagram you would have seen all the tabs). In the end I think she hits on a key point that as society has evolved from the days where we fended for ourselves and created our own networks of play that adults feared when we hung out on playgrounds, the mall, and other public places to the world of today where every moment is scripted and we would not dare leave our kids out of our sight they have no choice but to create new ways to connect. Social media has filled that void. It gives them a place to be connected. One sentence really stood out to me when she wrote that youth are not addicted to technology, but they are addicted to each other. They just want the same things we wanted as kids, but it is provided in a new way.

As an educator I really believe that it is our job as educators and parents to teach the youth. This means that adults need to learn. We need to stop complaining and get over our fears to learn. We need to learn the ins and outs. Youth are digital natives they are digital naive. They can post and like, but they don’t understand all the parameters. We need to teach them and provide them a safe place in schools to work through this process. It is one more element that we need to consider.

This is a great read. You may not agree with it all. You may agree with many points. The stories of youth worked well. I was more interested in their voices as well as all the chapters. I have a massive note typed up in Evernote and will be working through this book again. This is book to read twice. I will be also moving to having conversations on this book online and connecting with others about this book. It is an important book to read to either confirm your ideas, make you think different, or just to expose you to a world that we as adults need to understand. They are not doing bad things. They just want to connect and feel part of something. It is the same thing we wanted when we were young. Don’t forget what it is like to grow up and if you do this, then this book makes complete sense.

You can buy the book here and check out here website http://www.danah.org/

If you have read the book reach out to me as I want to connect with others.

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