As the boundary between school and home has blurred, that one-world reality has brought middle and high school students’ online and offline lives into sharp relief. In this always-on convergence culture, boundaries for behavior have blurred. As students text or post or hang out online, often working on school assignments together, they are sending messages and content that they would never share at school, often using language that they would never say to someone’s face, language that, if used with classmates at school, would lead to disciplinary action. This is the newest extension of the troubling gap between how young people relate in class, in school, and with faculty and staff during the school day, and how they relate online.
We know that technology itself is not to blame. Instead, our focus should be on children’s inexperience, naïveté, and curiosity about the power they wield on those networked platforms and sprawling public spaces.
Immersed in life online like the followers of 4chan or PewDiePie, we start to imagine that nothing matters – even racism, misogyny and resurgent fascism.
“When we tweet everything we are experiencing in a conversation, concert or gathering of likeminded people, does the very activity of tweeting somehow take away from our ability to enjoy the bigger activity?”
Well worth reading the entire post. It’s changed how I’m using social media.
For a while, “popular on social media” was an oxymoron — anyone who cared enough to build a “following” online was, by definition, a loser in real life. But as our digital lives merged with our “real” ones, so did the two forms of popularity. They aren’t one and the same — not yet — but digital popularity has at least enough currency to alter social dynamics in every other medium and space.