An Old Fogey’s Analysis of a Teenager’s View on Social Media
danah boyd

I’m a trend analyst, and for the past 5 years my work has often focused on youth culture. My husband if a philosophy professor in NYC at two of the most diverse schools in the U.S., one of which is based in a low-income community. I bring this up because we often discuss the disparity among the research that I come across on a daily basis and his real-life experience with a massively diverse community of students. His experience trumps my daily access to media and “research” precisely b/c what Danah mentions in this piece. The way in which trends and demographic categories are portrayed in the media is very much a one-sided racial / class story. Additionally, it’s also coming from the creative / marketing / advertising industries (first-hand knowledge) that perpetuate these single-lens views b/c most of the industry is made up of the techy middle-upper white class segment. I’m not just getting a one-sided view from media but it’s also my co-workers, my peers, whom I discuss these topics with everyday. It’s of course not their fault, but I often wonder if our discussions are viewed in a silo without us even realizing it. I think it’s important to be conscious of race, class and diversity b/c if we don’t, we’re overlooking the massive potential of the next generation of thinkers and leaders.