It's Complicated The Social Lives of Networked Teens danah boyd

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
22 Jan 2015
ISBN:
9780300199000
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
296 pages: 210 x 140mm

An essential read, written by a leading expert, for anyone who wants to understand young people's use of social media

What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens' use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity.

Boyd’s conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. Offering insights gleaned from more than a decade of original fieldwork interviewing teenagers across the United States, boyd concludes reassuringly that the kids are all right. At the same time, she acknowledges that coming to terms with life in a networked era is not easy or obvious. In a technologically mediated world, life is bound to be complicated.

danah boyd is Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, Research Assistant Professor at New York University, and Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She lives in New York City.

"danah boyd . . . is one of my favorite people to talk with about teenagers and technology. That’s not because I agree with her all the time. . . . But danah is the best kind of sparring partner because she always tells me something I didn’t know along the way. That holds true with her new book, which offers interviews with teenagers in communities across the country. By filtering them through her distinct danah lens, she gleans valuable insights."—Emily Bazelon, Slate


"Based on a decade of research and interviews with adolescents from the suburbs to the inner city, It’s Complicated is a persuasive anti-alarmist polemic that should help ease parents’ concerns about all sorts of Internet bogeymen."—Randye Hoder, TIME Health & Family


"The key point is that social behaviour is adaptive, and people in power (i.e. parents) rarely understand the coping strategies being used by others. When adults start worrying about our children’s use of the internet, we should also ask what we can learn from our children—and then look in the mirror at our own behaviour too. And have the courage to give kids more freedom physically to roam in the 'real' world— alongside their travels in cyberspace."—Gillian Tett, Financial Times


"The book took a decade to complete, and cites sociologists including Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman, but it’s the voices of the 166 teenagers Boyd interviewed across America that make it a truly enlightening read."—Jane Mulkerrins, The Sunday Telegraph


"It’s Complicated, a new book about teenagers and digital technology by the media scholar danah boyd, places today’s smartphones, iPads and laptops in the context of this perennial power struggle between adolescents and parents. In doing so, it adds much to our understanding of a young generation of hyper-connected, hybrid consumer-producers – a cohort whose behaviour often unites parents, educators and investors in collective bewilderment."—Gautam Malkani, The Financial Times


"[T]here is something marvellously sensible about Boyd’s resolutely academic style. . . . Boyd’s anatomy of teenage life is penetrating."—Jane Shilling, The Sunday Telegraph


"boyd’s new book is layered and smart . . . It’s Complicated will update your mind."—Alissa Quart, New York Times Book Review


"Students, parents, and educators will find this a comprehensive study of how technology impacts teens’ lives and how adults can help balance rather than vilify its inevitable use."—Publishers Weekly


"[T]here are. . .a lot of interesting observations here: that most teenagers aren’t “digital natives” as we like to believe."—Carole Cadwalladr, The Observer


"It's Complicated champion[s] a rich, complex idea of what youth is about, and view[s] with horror the way adult discussions so often reduce the young to mute metrics."—Simon Ings, New Scientist


"Boyd’s slim academic study makes a compelling case that today’s teenagers are more adept at navigating [the] dilemmas of the social media age than we old crusties aged 20 and over."—Helen Lewis, New Statesman


"In It’s Complicated, [boyd's] detailed new anthropological inquiry into the internet habits of American teenagers, she does much to dispel many of the alarmist myths that surround young people and social media. Boyd has spent over a decade interviewing teens about their use of social media, and in the process has developed a nuanced feel for how they live their online lives."—Jacob Mikanowski, Prospect Magazine


Winner of the 2015 Educators Book Award given by the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International


"In explaining the networked realm of teens, boyd has the insights of a sociologist, the eye of a reporter, and the savvy of a technologist. For parents puzzled about what their kids are doing online, this is an indispensable book."—Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute, author of Steve Jobs


"If you want to understand the digital worlds inhabited by today's young people, this is the book to read."—Howard Gardner, coauthor of The App Generation


"Boyd has done her homework and listened well. She is a high-tech medium translating the language and meaning of teenagers and social networking."—Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and In the Body of the World


"I want to get this publication into the hands of every teacher, parent, policy maker, and journalist. Thoughtful in her analysis and adept at skewering the most common misunderstandings and anxieties about teens' online lives, boyd is the best possible person to write a book like this, and this book does not disappoint in any way."—Henry Jenkins, coauthor of Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture


"Astute, nuanced, provocative and hopeful, boyd does it all in this must-read treatise on teens and their digital lives."—Stephen Balkam, Founder and CEO, Family Online Safety Institute



‘My favourite work book this year is danah boyd’s It’s Complicated. Myth-busting, assumption-challenging and eye-opening, it brings real evidence to a crucial field. Well written, academically rigorous and enjoyable, it makes important points for adults as well as teens.’—Paul Bernal, THES.