- 1. With advances in technology and media convergence, teens today are growing up in a much different world than their parents did. The Internet now serves many teenagers as a place to hang out, without needing a ride to the nearest mall. Chapter 2 of Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out focuses on how young people build, maintain and develop friendships (Ito 114) through social media.
2. Staying socially connected Several teens surveyed throughout the US admit that, engaging with social media is important for developing and maintaining friendships with peers (Ito 79) Teens use social media to keep in touch with their friends, classmates, and peers when getting together is not possible (Ito 79) 3. SNS(s) Allow teens to extend interactions beyond physical boundaries conversations dont have to stop! Encourages peers to socialize together vs. small groups or one- on-one interactions Allow teens to have more privacy with their communication through SNS but also with mobile phones and IM 4. Why youth network: Negotiate identity Gossip Support one another Jokey for status Collaborate Share information Flirt Joke Goof off Hang out 5. Friendship-Driven Motive Friendship plays a central role in SNS use Youth turn to social media to maintain friendships This motive supports the kind of social relations that center on: Popularity, romantic relationships and status How technology plays a role in friendships online Establishing Reinforcing Complicating Damaging 6. Peers & Friendship Making friendships is a key component of growing up as a competent social being and young people need to be immersed in peer cultures from an early age Teens flock to social media to play out means of status negotiations when they are away from the school yard (Ito 93) 7. Communication via SNS Encourages a smaller, close knit group of friends referred to always on type of communication. This occurs through mobile phones and IM Larger peer groups are connected via SNS Online / offline are not separate worlds, just different settings essentially Teens use social media to do what they have been doing (Ito 85) 8. Making Friends Social media theoretically allows teens to move beyond geographic restrictions and connect with new people (Ito 88) Can develop relations with people who are different from them Most teens connect with people they already know or are already loosely connected with Can turn acquaintances into friendships Teens make friends by choice Their choices are influenced by social, cultural and economic conditions around them Homophily is the likelihood that people connect to others that share their interests and identity, such as similar age / shared interests / values 9. SNS can also be an outlet for teens who are ostracized or outcasts in their own social setting These teens find a sense of comfort in developing friendships online. The anonymity of communicating without facing social consequences helps provide that comfort. While many teens find comfort in communicating online, the act of meeting people online is stigmatized in society for a number of reasons. And the amount of friendships made online is much smaller than those made outside the online world. Dangers and stigmas associated with online communication are: that it is dangers, risky, stranger danger notion, teens may have issues getting along with peers at school or socializing normally 10. Performing Friendships Friendships outside the online world are often never actually confirmed as real friendships, social media however reinforces the notion of friendships by putting a label on just about everything Buddy Lists, Friends on Facebook are all ways in which friendships are confirmed or made official online These lists are also made public, again reinforcing the fact that they are real Friends label all articulated friendships, regardless of intensity or connection type 11. Friend lists also serve 3 major purposes: 1) An address book of contacts 2) Privacy settings and control 3) A way to display social identity and status SNS(s) allow users to determine their own boundaries concerning who they accept and who they reject as friends Teens enjoy this option because it allows them to be private, have a deeper sense of connection with the people they do communicate with and to be safe 12. FriendshipHierarchies MySpaces Top 8 or Top Friends feature allow users to pick a selected amount of friends to be featured in their top spots which appeared publically on their profiles This feature proved to be very controversial for many users, especially youth. The feature forced users to pick certain friends over others, often causing drama or fights between friends Structural aspects of software can force articulations that do not map well to how offline social behavior works (Ito 103) 13. Status, Attention & Drama SNS and mediated forms of communication can be a great place for youth to develop and build friendships throughout their formative years, but communicating online comes with the territory, especially for teens. The Internet is home to the struggles that often occur as a natural part of the aging process. 14. Common problems that occur for teens online include: the fact that friendships are made extremely visible which can extend or amplify drama beyond school gossip travels faster over the Internet making it a catalyst for teen drama online stalking the News Feed which allows users to constantly keep up with their friends at all times bullying or cyberbullying The public, persistent, searchable and spreadable nature of mediated information affects the way rumors flow and how dramas play out (Ito 112) 15. Conclusion Social media and social networking sites allow teens to be more carefully attuned, in an ongoing way, to the lives of their friends and peers (Ito 113) Teens use social media to build, maintain and to develop friendships with their peers. As a way to share ideas, cultural artifacts and emotions with one another. And mainly, to strengthen connections Common practices associated with SNS(s) use of teenagers are: gossiping, flirting, joking around and hanging out Technology, especially social media, has the ability to mirror or magnify teen friendship practices either by enhancing or intensifying situations