Gated Social Networks

Friday, August 03, 2007


Teenagers are always ready for the next hip social networking site, many hoping that class barriers in the real world will vanish online. But after months of interviewing American teenagers, danah boyd has found that socio-economics help determine which site teens choose.

Comments [7]

Luke Duncan from Detroit, MI

I think one reason people like facebook is that it has more privacy than myspace. Everyone complains that it's closed, but that's why I ditched myspace and went to facebook. Myspace is like the old geocities. It's slow loading, filled with ads, most of the people who contact you are trying to sell you something, and most of the pages people build are annoying. That's why facebook is growing. Ive written about this before for anyone interested:

Aug. 09 2007 04:29 PM
Emman from Abuja, Nigeria

This is a useful interaction. Thanks.

Aug. 08 2007 04:39 PM
Jacques Cousteau from montreal

birds of a feather flock together. old news.

well done, little girl.

Aug. 07 2007 12:03 PM
Andrew Karre from St. Paul, MN

Provocative piece . . .

Is this still really a common narrative for teenagers, though? "These are kids whose parents didn't go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school."

I'm inclined to think that the divide is not _whether_ you will go to college, but _how_ you approach college. Is college a cultural rite of passage and a family tradition, something where you look for an experience on the way to inevitable transition from middleclass childhood into middle-class or better adulthood? Or is it a place to acquire useful skills, preferably as quickly and inexpensively as possible, on the way to the more tenuous transition from working class to middle class?

To me, college seems more akin to a retail good with several discitnct forms than something that is exclusive to a particular social class.

Aug. 06 2007 11:23 AM
America Jones from Albuquerque

Thanks for putting on a great show. When you mentioned that the military has banned MySpace, but permits the use of Facebook, it made me wonder what you might know about the possible connection between Facebook and In-Q-Tel. After all, DARPA gave us the Internet...

Aug. 05 2007 06:51 PM
Zansibar Eggnog from Of the planet Whiperstream

Point taken to thought Mr. M, I wonder how far a stretch it is between lamenting about a condition and speaking intolerantly about the condition.

Aug. 04 2007 06:46 PM
Michael McConnell from Coconut Creek, Florida

While the actual facts of Ms. Boyd's report were of great interest to me, i.e. socio-economic differences between Facebook and Myspace, I was very disappointed to hear her trotting out the old - and never, ever valid - hypothesis that human beings should be but,
to her great disappointment, are not naturally egalitarian and universally tolerant across class lines.
She gave her reasons for not publishing her study in an academic journal. A better reason is that her unfounded suppositions about what should be - as opposed to what is - in human behavior, should have no place in an academic study.
In the entire history of vertebrates there has never been any evidence that there exists an ideal state of mutual tolerance and brotherhood which is naturally achieveable.
While it is a nice thought that she wishes it could be so, I don't see that there is any place for a personal assumption as the basis for a study of human behavior.
The story would have been just fine without her lament at our human failure to achieve universal equality through the internet.
Michael McConnell
Coconut Creek, Florida

PS. Love your show. You are the best on the airwaves.

Aug. 04 2007 05:17 PM

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