Itś Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens

Larry Wallace, Wayne State University Update 04/06/2016 EST 11:02 AM

In Feb 2014, Social Media Scholar and Youth Researcher Danah Boyd published a book titled ¨Itś Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens.¨ Throughout the book, Boyd entices the reader by revealing some of the major myths that deal with teens’ use of Internet and social media sites. Boyd also challenges the readerś belief surrounding this topic by discussing the privacy, safety, danger and bullying that occurs through online communication.

In the beginning of the book, Boyd instantly tries to prove her credibility to readers by describing herself as ¨one of the first cohort of teens who grew up online in the 1990ś. One of the strongest points Boyd describes is when she explains some of the main reasons why teens/young adults are making the decision to turn to Internet for entertainment. She mentions the reason why so many teens are spending countless amount of hours on social media is because how narrow and circumscribed many of these teens’ lives have become. For instance, being closely watched by parents, being grounded, not allowing to ride on a bus unchaperoned, etc.

Throughout the book, one might notice how Boydś writing style comes off as very academic and scholarly. She even uses ¨properly, formal conducted¨ interviews with teens. The authorś writing style really made the piece of writing seem like a research paper or thesis instead of a normal book. This will come across as a weak point because some readers might instantly get bored or fed up with Boydś writing style after reading a few chapters. Another weak point in the book would be Boydś failure to describe the social media apps she was discussing. Some readers may not know what an Instagram or Whatsapp is. But, the book definitely would have been better if she took the time to explain and even give a brief history overview of each app.

All in all, the book was very informative and helpful.

Related reviews:

It´s Complicated By Danah Boyd 

Itś Complicated review-´online space is teenagers’only public space 




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