Audio Reading of post attached here
danah boyd clearly has a strong grasp upon social media of today. Her book, It’s Complicated, has a thorough and detailed analysis of the affects the Internet and social media specifically has brought upon the youth of this generation. One of the key points of the second chapter of the book, entitled Privacy, is the idea of social steganography. The concept is, in simplistic terms, hiding messages in plain sight from adults in order to convey messages to other friends and members of groups without the overtly watchful parents being aware of what is being said. While I hear and appreciate most of what boyd says in this section, I do have certain points where I disagree. Primarily of which is with the idea that these types of subtle messages and in-group sayings are used through social media as a form of privacy.
I understand that this whole chapter is set to revolve around privacy, hence why boyd is framing the issue that way, but I see it from a different angle. While the Internet has provided our generation with a lot of ways to come into ourselves and to be private in regards to our interests and communication, I feel the circumstances which boyd talks about are more of a uniting situation than a covert one. For myself personally, I have interests that are not widely popular, the types of music and films I am a fan of are typically not regarded as very standard or popular. So through social media forums such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit, I indulge in those interests with others who share them. You could describe these conversations I have about Ghost BC or Pinkly Smooth or Darren Aronofsky on these social media outlets as private in-group discussions, but the point of them is not to be secretive.
The Internet allows for people to explore and connect with others all around the world that think, feel, and like similarly. At times, that may result in some people using particular phrases and mottos that only other fans would know, but that is not necessarily for super secrecy from others. Social media has brought like-minded people of our generation closer together than ever before, not because teenagers don’t want their parent’s to know what they’re doing, but because teenagers can really connect with these like minded people in a way that can really only be understood by each other, and that is a very cool prospect to me.