Note: I interviewed a few different teens and one was particularly sarcastic. So take that into account when reading.
What do you use social networking for?
Teen 1: I like seeing what my friends are up to and finding interesting things to watch/share. Sometimes I play games on Facebook for fun. (instead of shooting it up in the bathroom) Interviewer note: This was the sarcasm, this teen never “shot it up” but instead feels “adults” see youth and social media in a negative light. This response does show that teens take the “friend me” on facebook very personal. If you are on their page you are a “friend” and that comes with expectations and it’s own set of social and cultural rules.
Teen 2: For advertising art, posting prices, etc. Art pages and personal pages are separate. One page for personal account, one for art, one for cars talk. Interviewer note: This teen expressed online as multi level, one for her desire to promote and make money from her art, and other layers for different “groups” of friends. Her personal page, able to be viewed by adults was more guarded, Other pages, like the one about cars was more opinionated and vulgar. This showed that youth understands the need to separate according to social networked audiences.
On social networking sites, what posts are you most likely to pay attention to, from most to least?
Teen 1: idk, posts from my close friends, posts from bands, pages or stores I like, posts from family, posts from other classmates
Teen 2: Memes, Short videos, short posts and longer video or posts I don’t have time for. Interviewer note: This was good information. Keep it short, to the point and make sure it is interesting. In other words if they don’t really “know you” the content you post has to make a personal connection to them or they won’t give it a glance.
Do you think online time should be limited?
Teen 1: Hell no.
Teen 2: No
Interviewer note: Digital media is part of their culture. It is like requiring students not to talk in class and then saying, don’t talk on the bus either, or at lunch, or in the halls…..
Do you ever use social networking for educational pursuits?
Teen 1: I once saw my teacher post boob pics….Not really. Some of my clubs/activities at school have Facebook groups so we can keep in touch. Sometimes classmates and I will message each other if we have questions on assignments. A few of my upper level classes have used Facebook groups as well. Interviewer note: Again this was sarcasm and a way to point out that most adults think “worse case scenario” when it comes to social networking.
Teen 2: Once for working on classes with a friend. Interviewer note: I can safely gather that if education and social networking is used in the same sentence, peer involvement is essential.
At what age do you think social networking should be used?
Teen 1: I guess whenever you can be smart about it.
Teen 2: anytime. Interviewer note: Again this speaks to the culture of social networking as part of the language, it is no longer an effect of the digital age, it is a cause.
What are the benefits, and what are the risks as a teenager?
Teen 1. There are a lot of people on social networks and it can be difficult to keep your information private. But it’s easy to talk to friends and find things to kill time looking at.
Teen 2: online bullying, you can’t take what people say seriously. Interviewer note: These comments show that youth are aware of the dangers, the need for separation and are also aware that social networking is a surface activity, hence what is seen online is not always the same as offline.
Do your friends use social networking sites.?
Teen 1: Everyone I know uses some type of social network.
Teen 2: Yes
Do you feel they have the same habits and beliefs as you concerning social networking?
Teen 1: Some of them don’t like them so they barely use them or have deleted their accounts. The other extreme can’t stop updating their statuses and tend to overshare about everything. So there is a lot of difference in how people use them.
Teen 2: if not I unfriend them. Interviewer note: This shows two basic ways to handle the differences online, one accepts them without any further thought and the other uses social networking tools to isolate themselves from those who do not align with their interests.