[Air-l] teens and myspace

Ellis Godard egodard at csun.edu
Tue Feb 28 16:03:33 PST 2006

Sounds like the young folks have an unemcumbered, objective understanding of
the medium: "simply" a different form of interaction contextually integrated
into their lives. Horrah! :)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org 
> [mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of 
> Mechthild Maczewski
> Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:11 AM
> To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
> Subject: Re: [Air-l] teens and myspace
> I also think these issues are fascinating. A few more
> thoughts:
>  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
> **********************************
> 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 
> >accordingly.
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