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Transcript of Youth Online
"Hanging Out," "Messing Around," and "Geeking Out"
Friendship-driven learning and participation
Kids explore and experiment with tools and techniques
Youth Culture, Youth Practices
What are the differences that matter between youth with different experiences and backgrounds?
The Participation Gap
Reexamined by Jenkins, Ito, and boyd
The issue isn't lack of access to tools, so much as it's disinterest in participation in the activities
"We need to avoid normalizing assumptions that suggest we simply need to help poor and minority kids to have more access to the things that middle-class and white youth are doing, rather than exploring diverse and alternative models for what participatory culture might look like within these communities"
The rise of net-based activism
The MacArthur Foundation's Youth and Participatory Politics research has found "relatively few differences across race in terms of the likelihood that young people would use digital media for political purposes.
"The racial gap in terms of engaging in participatory politics is much narrower than the gap in voting...there are also some signs that those who participate online in political discussions are substantially more likely to vote in the future" (71).
The concept of
To understand the diverse ways in which the youth were taking up networked and digital technology
"As teens have embraced social media, both parents and journalists have started to use generational rhetoric to describe- and dismiss- young people's technology use" (31).
"Twentieth-century parents were simultaneously afraid of and afraid for youth" (32).
"Whether comic books were morally corruptive or video games made kids violent mattered less than the ability to drive fear through the heart of parents by suggesting that any new media would ruin their children" (32).
"Throughout the twentieth century, ideas about youth culture and the practice of youth continued to evolve, but what stayed consistent was the notion that an age cohort of people could be segregated from the rest of society for either economic or social purposes" (32).
Nothing new under the sun?
Who are "the youth culture"?
"Self-identified geeks, freaks, and queers" (34)
"The young people who most urgently needed alternative channels of social connection and personal expression...those who were least well served by current institutional practices" (37).
"You are required by law to be there every day, yet you are subject to bullying, your social life is organized by principles of exclusion and humiliation, and you often cannot find others who share your passions or interests."
"I often hear people claim that the internet was the first communication that young people were able to grasp before their parents and this is simply not true" (39)
"Young people...[seek] a space outside of adult supervision, outside of the constraints of their local community, where they could find others who saw the world the same as they did" (39).
"This is often what fuels the cycles of moral panic that surround the introduction of any new expressive medium" (40).
The worry that "premature knowledge will destroy childhood innocence or damage children's respect for their elders" (40)
Technology as a scapegoat?
"Many parents I've met genuinely believe that the youth today are more at risk than in previous generations because of technology."
"For better or worse, studies regularly show that no increase or decrease in bullying is associated with the internet." (From a 2012 study)
"Parents often want to 'solve' the problem by making it less visible - by restricting children's access to social media or pushing for companies to scan for negative content. But this doesn't actually curtail bullying. It is only a Band-Aid on the fear" (44).
"Youth can be exposed to new ideas and new people, not just in the abstract, but through direct interaction. Some see this as a good thing, but plenty of parents do not want their children to be exposed to or interact with children who aren't raised in the same way" (41).
The term "native" used to imply something grandiose but, historically the native has been the one enslaved
Conversely, "The myth of the digital immigrant generally gets framed in the opposite way: immigrants don't belong; they will never fully assimilate into the digital world; they will ever engage with digital media as effectively as their children will" (48).
"We'd never accept these assumption today if you were talking about actual immigrants....We clearly need to add some more nuance to them...[they] are incredibly loaded metaphors, and both come with a history of marginalization and unequal distribution of power" (48-49).
[it's not about age]
It's about refusal to participate
"I don't know what these kids are doing. I hope it's okay. I'm not going to touch that part of their life and therefore I have no accountability for it"
Or, "I can't use this, so you shouldn't either."
"Senior citizens form one of the groups that moved most aggressively into a networked culture" (49).
No one is too old to learn: age should not mean "immigrant," youth should not mean "native."
It's worth the risk
Learning requires failure, "When people talk about creating a 'safe' internet, there's an implication that it's possible to protect youth from every negative experience"
"Teenagers need opportunities to learn how to interact in a healthy way in public and with strangers. They need to lean how to take measured risks and face the consequences of their decisions" (53).
"One does not become Yoda simply by becoming old."
Sharing or Oversharing?
"We talk about young people as being obsessively peer oriented and socially self-conscious without looking at how grown-ups are incredibly status and peer conscious as well" (54).
Surprisingly, teens are far less revealing
"Many young people are actively looking to participate in public, but they don't necessarily want to
public. The subtle difference is important because it means that they spend a lot of time making content available, even while the meeting is rendered invisible" (56).
"When there are teens who are exhibitionists or engaging in risky behaviors, they're not representative of the whole cohort" (57).
Gaps and Genres in Participation
Using "messing around" as a jump-off point into finding a genuine interest. Driven toward specialized knowledge, but in reality a small minority, compared to "hanging out"
"It's not stereotypically privileged kids who are doing the most anymore...black and Latino youth tend to lead in engagement with popular media."
Digital technology is not synonymous to elite power
A new generation of civil rights leaders are emerging
"In less privileged environments...I was astonished at how often teens had developed broad strategies for finding new proxies, breaking through censor walls...marginalized youth often went to great lengths to find a way around any restriction placed in front of them" (75)
The Danger Sidekick
"Many of those who would become digital activitists first acquired skills in production and digital sharing trying to share pictures and videos with families still in Latin America" (76).
How do we fix this problem?
Maker Space and Hacker Spaces
"Community run places where people can have access to tools to create things, find supports for learning, and connect with mentors" (79-80)
Jeff Sturges-- www.mtelliotmakerspace.com
"We have to focus on building more capacity, entry points, and pathways to opportunity" (80).
"Geek and nerd culture is complicated because, while it is tied to academic and technological privilege, it doesn't have high status in youth culture, where interests like music or athletics are more dominant...The kids who do engage deeply in civic, creative, or academic interests and who form close bonds with teachers and other adult experts often get marginalized as the nerds, geeks, creative freaks...." (83).
Discussion Question #1
Vlogging, Teens, and Literacy: Engaging Youth
Is this a valid concern? In what new ways must parents now be aware of their kids, and how are they able to monitor?
"Ways of framing expectations and categorizing media based on style and other conventions" (60).
People raised in different economic or racial/ethnic communities may have different degrees of access to cultural materials or practices. They may be encouraged to define or discouraged from defining their identities in certain ways, may be more or less likely to express certain fantasies or desires, and thus are going to be more or less likely to enter specific communities of practice. (81)
Discussion Question #2
Do you think that the invisible barriers are things that can be surmounted? Can this appreciation be taught, or does it need to come independently?
"For many teens, vlogs are the medium of choice when it comes to gathering information on popular culture and the latest news and trends."
One size does NOT fit all
Vlogging as an ephemeral art
Discussion Question #3
What are the implications of vlogging on the Entertainment industry?
Vlogging as a return to oral tradition?
The things we traditionally understand as text are changing
Emojis instead of words
Tweets- messages with a character limit
Pictures instead of posts
7 second Vines and Snapchats becoming hugely popular
"Youth don't want my MTV"