Thursday, April 17, 2008

Boyd: I am a media creator

When Boyd addresses the question what people do in Myspace I felt as though she made it very clear that Myspace was a way for teenagers to enter into a community of their own where they can control what they do and who they are. Throughout the entire day teenagers are told what to do and what not to do, they are surrounded by adult that are concerned for their safety and therefore feel the need to regulate what teenagers are involved in. Myspace is a way for teenagers to hang out with their friends without having to go through the trouble of telling their parents what they are doing, where they are going, and who they are with, because that is the last thing that teenagers want to bother to tell their parents. Participation in Myspace allows your friends or even complete strangers to see every angle of you at once. It’s almost like a shortcut into your friendship, because instead of sitting and having a conversation with someone about one thing and then moving on to the other, you can just cover all of the bases and get a brief glimpse in 5 minutes what someone may not know until you hung out with them 5 times. In this way communication is applied. People can see what you like and then have something to talk to you about instead of just trying to make small talk and figuring out what you like. But with Myspace you have to be careful about what you say because like Boyd says you are “writing yourself into being.” Your Myspace is the only thing that people who don’t know you get to see, therefore you ARE your Myspace; your physical features are represented by your pictures and your personality is only words and maybe a song. In fact, on Myspace you can be a totally different person than you are in real life and nobody would know other than the people that are already your friend.
I feel as though youth cultures go against adult cultures just because neither knows what’s really out there. Adults are overwhelmed by the amount that is on the internet and the ability to access certain information that they weren’t able to access before, which can scare them whereas youths are intrigued by what is out there and want to learn and participate more in this new age of media. These are the things that make youth and adult cultures clash. Since kids understand more of the internet culture they want to just go out and explore by making Myspace accounts or chatting online, but being online is like being outside in public and parents don’t want their kids walking around in areas that they aren’t familiar with or have heard bad stories about. My mom used to bug me about my Myspace all the time and she wanted me to delete it because she didn’t want “weirdos” looking at my pictures or knowing where I live, but at the time I didn’t think about what could happen to me because like most teenagers I assumed an online predator was ridiculous. Adults just want to protect teenagers and teenagers don’t feel like they need protection so they push adults away and play in the areas that adults say are dangerous just simply to find out, what is so dangerous? So now the more that I think about it, the less I think that it is entirely a clash of cultures, but it is just the way that teenagers and adults interact. However, with the addition of the internet there is that slight cultural clash.

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