The Young and the Digital

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The Young and the Digital

Many have been researching the various problematic assumptions and ideas of youth and the social media, but few have actually been able to prove that youth and technology could be helpful or harmful. S. Craig Watkins and Danah Boyd have accomplished the task of studying youth and social media, and have come to the conclusion that social media has given youth a different perspective on life. In The Young and the Digital article, we see many believe that technology has been shaping our kids. The question remains, whether the social media such as MySpace and Facebook are affecting the way teens' and young people view racial classes? MySpace than was the big talk of social networks and now MySpace is not even in the picture anymore; Facebook and its privacy issues has taken the spot of being the big talk of social networks.

Watkins has studied the gap between Facebook and MySpace for quite some time, and he found that Danah Boyd's studies and research compare to his studies. Boyd's informative essay about the digital divide in the social networks apprises many about what the digital world is all about. Her research that she has been studying for years has shown her that Facebook and MySpace are the most popular networking sites there are. She states that there is a big digital gap between the two sites. "Facebook kids come from families who emphasize education and going to college," a blogger writes. Boyd on the same line mentions that Facebook is normally where white middle class kids and student’s network, and it has been said that they are predominantly "preps" and "jocks". On the other hand, MySpace is on the other side of the culture divide in which mostly African Americans and Latino's socialize. From her research, she has seen that MySpace users are from families who are of the working class. They are more worried about getting a job at the age of 14- 18 and finishing high school, and less worried about getting ready for the college life. Boyd says that ever since the technological world has spread, the divide between the "technologically rich" and "technologically poor" has grown. In Watkins findings, we can say that more Caucasian, African American and Asian use Facebook more than the Latino race. Watkins (2010) proved this by his statistics finding, he find that in a survey, 84% of white students said they use Facebook most often among all social networking sites (SES). In comparison, Latino students were more likely to use MySpace. 80% of African American students use Facebook as do 84% of Asian students” (Chapter 4 - Digital Gates: How Race and Class Distinctions are Shaping the Digital World, Para. 2). Most of the Caucasians stated that MySpace is trashy and uneducated while Facebook is clean, private, and college oriented. This information is important because it shows you how technology has allowed us to perceive the world a different way. It isolates us from the world and the people around us, making us incapable of socializing in person with others. Race and class distinctions have been formed throughout the social media, and by this the community has been gated. Watkins makes a statement about the gated community, he says that the social media "reasserts the real world," making many see the digital gates that have been formed by the social networks. These gated communities are basically communities in which people are connecting with others who are like them, and they expect a certain relationship with those people. Danah Boyd has also been studying the youth networking sites and has come to a point where she believes that “Americans are not so good with talking about the race and class distinctions that we see online. Hargittai's past studies of children and teens' usage of computers, television, and video games are very similar to the results for when...
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