It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
danah boyd, the founder of the Data & Society institute, spent the years 2005 to 2012 criss-crossing the United States observing and talking to youth from a wide range of socioeconomic and ethnic communities. It is filled with stories by teens, themselves, on their experiences on social media.
Teens use social media to meet in an informal and unmonitored environment, in contrast to the highly structured and supervised face-to-face opportunities in classrooms, after-school activities, clubs, and prearranged in-home visits. Teens are often housebound, unless their parents have the time and willingness to drive them to friends’ houses or meeting places. Their lives are heavily programmed with after-school programs, sports, music and dance lessons, and extra academic classes. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are not just new public spaces: they are in many cases the only public spaces where teens can meet freely with their peers.
“danah boyd . . . is one of my favorite people to talk with about teenagers and technology. That’s not because I agree with her all the time. . . . But danah is the best kind of sparring partner because she always tells me something I didn’t know along the way. That holds true with her new book, which offers interviews with teenagers in communities across the country. By filtering them through her distinct danah lens, she gleans valuable insights.”―Emily Bazelon, Slate
“Based on a decade of research and interviews with adolescents from the suburbs to the inner city, It’s Complicated is a persuasive anti-alarmist polemic that should help ease parents’ concerns about all sorts of Internet bogeymen.”―Randye Hoder, TIME Health & Family
“The key point is that social behaviour is adaptive, and people in power (i.e. parents) rarely understand the coping strategies being used by others. When adults start worrying about our children’s use of the internet, we should also ask what we can learn from our children—and then look in the mirror at our own behaviour too. And have the courage to give kids more freedom physically to roam in the ‘real’ world— alongside their travels in cyberspace.”—Gillian Tett, Financial Times
“The book took a decade to complete, and cites sociologists including Michel Foucault and Erving Goffman, but it’s the voices of the 166 teenagers Boyd interviewed across America that make it a truly enlightening read.”—Jane Mulkerrins, The Sunday Telegraph
“It’s Complicated, a new book about teenagers and digital technology by the media scholar danah boyd, places today’s smartphones, iPads and laptops in the context of this perennial power struggle between adolescents and parents. In doing so, it adds much to our understanding of a young generation of hyper-connected, hybrid consumer-producers–a cohort whose behaviour often unites parents, educators and investors in collective bewilderment.”—Gautam Malkani, Financial Times
“[T]here is something marvellously sensible about Boyd’s resolutely academic style. . . . Boyd’s anatomy of teenage life is penetrating.”—Jane Shilling, The Sunday Telegraph
“boyd’s new book is layered and smart . . . It’s Complicated will update your mind.”—Alissa Quart, New York Times Book Review
“Students, parents, and educators will find this a comprehensive study of how technology impacts teens’ lives and how adults can help balance rather than vilify its inevitable use.”—Publishers Weekly
“An exhaustively researched study of how teens use technology . . . and a manifesto on how parents as individuals and society as a whole let young people down when they insist on protection and paternalism over media literacy and critical thinking. Even readers who are not parents, or teens, may well find this one of the most interesting books of the year.”―Amy Benfer, Los Angeles Times
“A passionate, scholarly, and vividly described account of the reality of young peoples’ use of networked technologies in America today. Painstakingly researched through interviews and close study for more than a decade, boyd’s book is the most important analysis of networked culture I’ve yet to read.”—Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
“It’s Complicated is both a report from the front lines and a larger social analysis. . . . It probes much deeper than just the latest fads in Twitter gossip or Snapchat goofiness . . . On one level it is designed to counter the paranoia and anxiety that many parents still feel about their children’s engagement in social media. . . . But on another level it is a poignant critique of contemporary civilization . . . The briefest possible summary? The kids are all right, but society isn’t.”—Andrew Leonard, Salon
“A fascinating, well-researched and (mostly) reassuring look at how today’s tech-savvy teenagers are using social media.”—People
“boyd’s extensive research illuminates the oft-misunderstood world of teens today, where social media is an extension of life. . . . Thorough information interwoven with common-sense advice from teens and the author enable readers, particularly parents, to relax a bit regarding this new media age. . . . Comprehensive new research that illuminates why and how social media is important to teens.”—Kirkus Reviews
Winner of the 2015 Educators Book Award given by the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International
“In explaining the networked realm of teens, boyd has the insights of a sociologist, the eye of a reporter, and the savvy of a technologist. For parents puzzled about what their kids are doing online, this is an indispensable book.”―Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute, author of Steve Jobs
“If you want to understand the digital worlds inhabited by today’s young people, this is the book to read.”―Howard Gardner, coauthor of The App Generation
“Boyd has done her homework and listened well. She is a high-tech medium translating the language and meaning of teenagers and social networking.”―Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and In the Body of the World
“I want to get this publication into the hands of every teacher, parent, policy maker, and journalist. Thoughtful in her analysis and adept at skewering the most common misunderstandings and anxieties about teens’ online lives, boyd is the best possible person to write a book like this, and this book does not disappoint in any way.”―Henry Jenkins, coauthor of Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture
“Astute, nuanced, provocative and hopeful, boyd does it all in this must-read treatise on teens and their digital lives.”—Stephen Balkam, Founder and CEO, Family Online Safety Institute
‘My favourite work book this year is danah boyd’s It’s Complicated. Myth-busting, assumption-challenging and eye-opening, it brings real evidence to a crucial field. Well written, academically rigorous and enjoyable, it makes important points for adults as well as teens.’—Paul Bernal, THES.
— Paul Bernal ― THE Published On: 2014-12-18