[Air-l] teens and myspace

Mark D. Johns johnsmar at luther.edu
Tue Feb 28 09:58:05 PST 2006

Nancy Baym wrote:
>>Is Facebooking just another thing that "kids" grow out of? JS
> This adds a whole other dimension to the issue -- for instance, many 
> of the students I interviewed described instant messaging 
> disdainfully as "so teenage" and were proud of themselves for 
> maturing enough to use it less, which I think sheds a different light 
> on recent findings that young people are using IM and not email.

My undergrad seniors in an Advanced Research Methods seminar meet on 
Monday evenings, and we are working on a facebook study. Last night they 
were lamenting the announcement by facebook.com that the barrier between 
high school and college facebook domains is being brought down. Their 
consensus is that a bunch of high school kids running around among the 
college crowd, making "friend" requests is going to be the death of 
facebook. The college crew will move elsewhere to avoid the younger 
participants. So there's a generational component, a desire for a 
certain exclusivity, but I wonder if there isn't also a fad component. 
Facebook is "in" right now. Everyone on campus is doing it. But once it 
goes mainstream and is no longer a site of campus identity (and, God 
forbid, once faculty start showing up), it's time for a new fad.
Mark D. Johns, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Communication Studies
Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
"Get the facts first. You can distort them later."
     ---Mark Twain

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