megan avery and….

my web 2.0 class @ FSU

response to cool read: “why youth (heart) social network sites: the role of networked publics in teenage social life”

http://www.danah.org/papers/WhyYouthHeart.pdf

this article was completely engrossing. and it made me rearrange my thinking in so many areas. to be brief, it’s a study on kids 14-18 and mainly about how teenagers have been gradually forced into their own segregated spot (historically & hypocritically) and how they have come to use online social networks. about how they are so IN to them, as a means of self-expression, but precisely because there aren’t many options for them in terms of ‘safe’ public places to hang out. in what public place would you feel comfortable having your child interact with others without your supervision? exactly. and even if you didn’t care, there’s just not much out there that is appealing to teens. so a lack of these places is a major reason why they seek online spaces. it’s a chance to learn via that social collide or feedback, that shapes our perceptions of self and aides us as we figure out others and ourselves. exactly what teenage time is for. it’s not so much about replacing the physical world, it’s about extending it, pushing those boundaries and having both good and bad experiences. about socialization. which is a marvelous and key part of development.

anyway.

so why does this matter to me? the hypocrisy of how we treat this age-group and their ‘public’ space, is rather illuminating. the same thing happens in the workplace, generally speaking. the chance to talk to others, to socialize, is not considered ‘getting to work.’ and especially not online! how many times have you stopped a conversation when the boss walked by? of course, there are lots of times when you were probably not talking about work related issues, but is it possible that that was in response to the constant pressure of ‘work work work’ and no play at all? work is work and not a public space, so to speak. yet it is. we spend so much of our time there! is it possible that you would, if given the time to have social time placed into and called ‘work’, and also in a web 2.0 framework, that you would actually use it for fun but also that it would stimulate you to other work purposes? hm-m-m. i lost count of the number of times i’ve been grateful for someone that was so very social, that pulled me out of my focused little world, and made me interact. it’s refreshing, stimulating, and highly motivating when i turn back to my work, to say the least. in the workplace, as in other places, the effects of this have been extraordinary.

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1 Comment»

  Anch wrote @

A well take on the article, Megan!
I agree with you about the separate space of work and play. I feel that sometimes I really cannot combine these two spaces. That is why the virtual space and social network is so confusing to me when colleagues at work mix with “friends.”


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