A review by Tara Brabazon in Times Higher Education

Danah Boyd’s latest book is a strong text in the dire field of new media studies. The introduction, however, does not bode well. Boyd states that her purpose is “to describe and explain the networked lives of teens to the people who worry about them – parents, teachers, policy makers, journalists, sometimes even other teens”. While framed as a guide to understanding young people (these days), her introduction does not do justice to her research.

In the eight chapters that follow, the book is at its best when probing privacy, danger, bullying and literacy. While these digital folk devils could have overwhelmed the argument, the research is sound and the interview material rich. Boyd’s goal is clear: to capture and express “the voice” of “teens”. The problem with such an aim is that technology is not generationally specific. People of all ages use YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. There are distinct sociologies of platform use, but age is merely one factor to consider.

You can download a full PDF of the book.

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