[Air-l] teens and myspace

Mechthild Maczewski mecht at uvic.ca
Tue Feb 28 10:10:38 PST 2006

I also think these issues are fascinating. A few more

 From doing interviews with young people who frequently use the Internet 
and Cell Phones, I’m noticing that young people tend not to think of 
'online', e.g.as a poor substitute for meaningful face to face 
interactions, but that they are in the process of integrating the 
technologies into their lives as different forms of interaction and 
communication. The opportunities and drawbacks are recognized and 
appreciated differently depending on who you talk to and their life 
contexts. Being together in a group was still talked about as a richer 
and preferred means of hanging out, with IM or cell communication often 
used to organize these.

What communication medium to choose, when to use it, what to say and how
to say it, seemed to emerge from the interaction of many different
factors, like location (school, home, on the road, etc.), purpose, their
relationships with the other people and their own personal preferences.
Embarassment seemed to pop up, when the use didn't really "fit" - for 
example, when the cell phone goes off in class or movie theatre and 
everybody turns around and looks. It will be interesting to follow, how 
and if these situations will change.


Mechthild Maczewski
Interdisciplinary PhD Student
School of Child and Youth Care &
Department of Computer Science
University of Victoria, BC, Canada

Nancy Baym wrote:

>>The "generation" concept is interesting. We had a discussion last night
>>in my New Com Techs and Society class about MySpace/Facebook. My
>>students are grad students, but have gone straight to grad school from
>>undergrad, so they're in their early/mid 20s. They admit being
>>"addicted," but also considered it a juvenile pursuit; they were
>>embarrassed to say they were members of that community.
>>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.
>It's the embarrassment factor that interests me. Do teens feel or 
>express no embarrassment about their online socializing? If not, will 
>they come to as they age or are the days of being embarrassed about 
>online socializing over?
>I appreciate Andrea's comments about the granularity, that it's 
>differentiating amongst online pursuits that is important, rather 
>than online versus offline. I do think though that this is true for 
>adults as well -- adults are less embarrassed or ashamed when they 
>talk about maintaining mailing lists to keep the extended family in 
>touch, for instance, than they are when they talk about, say, 
>spending time on discussion boards with people they don't know 
>offline. For most adults though, the online/offline distinction 
>(false as we net scholars know it to be) is still perceptually 
>salient. If that is not the case for youth, that's really 
>interesting, and does raise the question of whether it's a 
>distinction that will no longer be relevant to anyone in a few years 
>time, or whether they will eventually come to see a difference as 
>they age and the social norms surrounding their interactions evolve 
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