There is not exactly a million research books on the topic of social media and teens and how technology affects the growth of social media. This is just mostly because of the fact that we, as a society, are still growing because technology is still advancing. A lot of the articles out there are about how the internet is killing the social abilities of teens, how we actually do not have privacy, and how they are changing our views and morals – not necessariliy for the better either.
My main reference is a book by danah boyd that is a large collection of teen interviews. Danah boyd interviews a large number of teens about a lot of problems that people have assumed about teens and social media. She talks about how the obsession with technology really is not an obsession with technology but teens being obsessed with each other and with the idea of being social and knowing the most up to date information. Adults also claim that teens spend too much time on their phones and on computers, Boyd theorizes that parents are at fault. She itnerviewed a girl who’s mother had scheduled her to have music lessons, sports practice, and other extra cirriculars that would prevent her from having time with friends. The only way she could keep up to date with people she care about is through facebook.
Another big topic she covers is why have teens begun to spend so much time inside? As a kid I would spend all the time i could playing outside with friends. We would bike up and down the streets and play tag outside or learn to skateboard or go to the park and run around. My younger sisters, on the other hand, spend so much time inside I don’t think they have ever gone outside. Both are glued to their iPad and laptop. Boyd’s idea about this is because of parents again. Because of overprotective parents who do not want their child to be hurt playing games or looked at by strangers, they keep their kids inside. There is stranger danger in the park and parents think that the events in crime shows are very possible when in reality they are not. The sad thing is, there are also strangers on the internet as well. So if there are threats in both situations, why not just let your kid go outside and play with his friends? I understand the safety matter but the logic does not make sense to me.
Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together is also an important book that I will be referencing. I’ll be using a few sections from it. Turkle makes a lot of good points in her book. Both authors use an interview method and we discussed a lot of it in class. But she focuses mainly on how the obsession will affect us as a society. So having a robot programmed to love and play the role of a human is an actual possibility and how that takes affect on our emotions as humans.