AISL 2014 Board Book: It’s Complicated by danah boyd

The 2nd annual AISL Board Book social took place on Thursday, April 24. Although it had been a busy and full day, many Dallas conference attendees joined the board for food and drinks, and took the opportunity to discuss the 2014 Board Book selection It’s Complicated by danah boyd. 2013’s event was a great success; in Baltimore we discussed I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did by Lori Andrews, which covered similar topics to boyd’s book.

It’s Complicated is an in-depth look at teens, and how they use the internet: their social media choices, their different personalities in different contexts online, their perception of privacy, and their interaction with their peers in an online (and offline) context. The book was generally well received by attendees, who felt they were seeing these issues on a day-to-day basis in their libraries and schools. The author, danah boyd, is a well-respected academic whose research focuses on how young people use social media as part of their everyday practice. It’s Complicated is based primarily on interviews boyd undertook with teens about their social media behaviours.

Attendees discussed a series of questions put together for the group by CD McLean (AISL president) such as:

  • What does social media add to the quality of teens’ social lives, and what does it take away?
  • What do you think about the idea that teens are more ‘digital naives’ as sociologist Hargittai calls them, than ‘digital natives’?
  • What do you think of the quote by Mark Zuckerberg, “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”?
  • Have we as adults become socially rude? Culturally rude? How do you define privacy?
  • Have teens redefined the nature of privacy online?
  • How do we as faculty judge teens?
  • Parental rights versus privacy / child rights. Where do you stand on this? Where does your school stand on this?

Thanks to my tablemates (Brenda Ferrell, Amy Cunningham, Tricia deWinter, and Joan Tweedie) for the interesting discussion! Although we didn’t always stay on topic, we had a fascinating conversation about teens, privacy, school social media use policies and the digital footprint / shadow that many of our students are creating.

Please consider joining us for next year’s Board Books Discussion at the 2015 Tampa conference. If you read any titles between now and then that you think would make for great discussion with AISL conference attendees, let us know!