- Hardcover: 296 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; 1 edition (February 25, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300166311
- ISBN-13: 978-0300166316
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 120 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens 1st Edition
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"[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
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The ways that Boyd constructed her arguments throughout the book were honest and open-minded. In the ‘Danger’ chapter, Boyd stated: “As always happens whenever adults obsess over child safety, restrictions emerge and fearful rhetoric abounds (pg. 103).” I did notice how Boyd used absolutes like this throughout the book that weren’t always accurate. To say that something ‘always happens’ is an unrealistic extreme. I know parents who are overbearing when it comes to the safety of their children and they focus their fears by having healthy conversations, not automatically imposing restriction. Overall, the ways that Boyd argued were very fair in addressing both sides of the issue and giving teens a fair say in what was expressed. I found her stories to be engaging and accurate.
One thing that I wished Boyd touched on more throughout the book was the issue of safety from a privacy standpoint for teens on the internet. A fear that I have for young people comes from the horror stories of young girls or boys getting involved with adults online and getting taken advantage of in vulnerable ways. I admit that this is an aspect of the digital world that I do not fully understand so I do want to know how I can better equip young people to not fall into those traps. I found it interesting when Boyd said: “When parents choose to hover, lurk, and track, they implicitly try to regulate teens’ practices. Parents often engage in these acts out of love but fail to realize how surveillance is a form of oppression that limits teens’ ability to make independent choices (pg. 74).” I see what Boyd is talking about here, but I do wonder how to achieve the balance of having some sort of surveillance without making teens feel limited. It would have been nice for Boyd to elaborate on this more.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this read and appreciated Boyd’s refreshing style of writing that provided clarity and perspective on a prevalent topic in our society today. I would recommend this book to be read by educator’s and parents who desire a holistic understanding on the social lives of networked teens. Boyd creates awareness about many aspects of the online world while also helping eliminate misconceptions that adults might have. If we are to better reach our students today, I think we need to be more like Boyd and try to understand their desire for an online presence from their point of view.
One would almost conclude that the author sees it as a mandatory avenue along with academic education and community which teen agers need in their development.