Media & Press Media - Text

[MEDIA] Contribution re Teenagers and Mental Health for @ChurchTimes

The other week I was asked to provide maximum 600 words re teenagers and mental health for The Church Times. Obviously my specialist area of knowledge is the digital, so I took that as my angle, and it appeared in this week’s edition.

Thanks to my mum for the spot, and the social media crowd who sent me screenshots, etc.

Digital Event

[SPEAKER] Workshop in Bucks: Raising Children in a Digital Age

This evening’s slides for an event at Cores End Church, focusing on ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, particularly teenagers:

Youth Matters: Evening Event from Bex Lewis

Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015 (Pew)

pew-research73% of teens have or have access to a smartphone; 91% of teens go online using a mobile device, and 24% of teens say they go online “almost constantly”

Fully 73% of American teens have, or have access to, a smartphone and 30% have a basic cell phone. Our survey of more than 1,000 teens finds that 92% of teens report going online daily – including 24% who say they go online “almost constantly.”

The study also finds that Facebook remains a dominant social media platform for the bulk of American teens, with 71% of all teens reporting use of the platform. Instagram and Snapchat are also quite popular with teens, especially girls. 61% of girls use Instagram compared with 44% of boys, and 51% of girls use Snapchat, compared with 31% of boys.

For more, read or download the full report.


[BOOK REVIEW] danah boyd It's Complicated


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.


Myths about young people and social media via @Zephoria #DigitalParenting

itscomplicatedAn interesting piece on Five Myths About Young People and Social Media

Teenagers have always been attracted to public spaces where they can hang out with friends, find new friends, and talk endlessly with peers about matters that concern them, away from parents and other authority figures. Such gatherings are crucial to human development; they are how teenagers expand their social horizons, share views on issues that matter to them, experiment with different versions of their personality, and develop the sense of independence from parents and other adults that they must in order to become adults themselves.

Until rather recently, the places where teens would find one another were physical, geographical spaces, but today they are more often located in cyberspace. Many adults are puzzled, and some are apppalled, by the amount of time teens spend online and by what they seem to do there. A terrific new book by danah boyd (who spells her name without capitals), entitled It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, helps us make sense of it.

Read full piece which deals with:

  1.  Myth #1:  Technology creates social isolation.
  2. Myth #2: Teens are addicted to technology and social media.
  3.  Myth #3: Teens these days have no appreciation of privacy.
  4. Myth #4: Social media put teens at great risk from sexual predators.
  5. Myth #5:  Bullying through social media is a huge national problem.

All myths that I’ve debunked in my book too  (with more of UK focus) .. looking forward to reading danah boyd’s book!