Monday, October 05, 2015

Anderson Cooper hosts documentary "#Being13: Inside the Secret World of Teens"

Tonight, Anderson Cooper hosted “#Being13: Inside the Secret World of Teens” on CNN, one hour, link
The documentary covered the way young teens use social media, especially Facebook. Data was collected from a carefully monitored sample. There is a paradox in the way teens use social media for “social combat”, compared to my use.  They accept the idea that you have to succeed in the real world of social hierarchy, but they believe it is reflected online (and idea right out of the movie “The Social Network”).  My use of social media is for broadcast (without a gatekeeper) and assumes I won’t compete socially in a conventional manner.  “Older” people may sometimes use social media the way I do.  So "online reputation" contains a lot of paradox for teens. 
One of the most surprising items was that not being tagged in a photo is seen as a personal affront by some teens.

Adults, however, might not want to be identified in photos as associated with certain others.
Generally, the more accomplished a teen is in the “real” world (of sports, music, drama, academics, scouting, church, almost anything that provides expression and recognition by others), the less superficial the attitude toward social media is.  But it is hard to be accomplished at 13 (except maybe in music), when teens are physiologically just turning into adults, with their brains still needing another decade to develop.

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