31 October 2009

Totally Wired; Anastasia Goodstein

Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online by Anastasia Goodstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a difference two years makes... and doesn't make. In 2007, MySpace was bigger than Facebook by sheer virtue of the fact that FB was a "closed" community; today, some of my FB friends are my parents age (my mother's cousins seem to have embraced it). In that regard, Totally Wired feels a little dated.

However, once you get past the Name Brands (has anyone Xanga'd recently?), the message is alarmingly the same as the message in the parenting books my mother used to read: kids will be kids, either in Real Life or Online Life. Deal with it. They'll experiment with a sense of self, they'll bully, they'll test limits, etc., all the things I did years ago and that my mother did decades before that. What's changed is the 24/7/365 instantly on quality of it all - teens can't always hide from a bad choice, and the effects of those choices are far greater than they were in my day.

I'd love to see this updated because I can see parents reading it, using the wrong terms (or product names), leading to their children tuning out the important messages about considering who you are Out There. And I'm amused by the thought that this generations midlife crises will be to simply unplug - how very peaceful their lives will seem.

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