The first thing that sparked my interest in the article White Flight in Network Publics? How Race and Class shaped American Teen Engagement with MySpace and Facebook, by Danah Boyd, was the details about the spread of social networks. The article specifically states that MySpace was originally used by young adults and older generations and spread to teenagers through friends, family, bands; word of mouth. Individuals joined MySpace because their friend had joined and that is how they hear of it. Of course new technologies are still shared by word of mouth today but more so through other social networks or online technologies. We’ve talked about the popular phone game Flappy Bird. Games like Flappy Bird are spread through word of mouth but also gain popularity due to social networking of the game. I can’t even tell you the number of people that posted their Flappy Bird scores on instagram and twitter to complain or brag. When I saw their scores I was wondering why everyone was freaking out over this game which caused me to download it to answer my question. I hated it but this is an example of how we communicate and network through the virtual world. The article talks about the riding of MySpace in exchange for Facebook because friends and family had switched which caused other individuals to make the change. Today, there are several large social networks that can all connect. How many non-social network programs or websites do you access that you can link your Facebook too? How many game requests do you receive through Facebook from “friends”? What we used to share in conversation we now share online.
The other smaller detail that captured my attention was the slight mention of teen safety on these online networks. MySpace started as a network for adults but soon found it’s way to teenagers. I remember having a MySpace and my parents telling me to be really careful. This was the beginning of the large social networking world we live in today and at that time everyone was learning how to stay safe. My parents did not want me to have one because I was only in middle school at the time I believe, and they insisted on not talked to strangers online. It definitely creeped me out to think of weird people talking to me and my parents basically scared the **** out of me making up stories about what could happen. I actually think that I may have made a MySpace and kept it secret for a while. I used to think my parents were nuts when they told me to watch who I talk to and watch what type of things I post but now that I am older I realize that they were right. I now look at younger generations on social networks and shake my head at the things these kids are posting! My parents taught me what was right and wrong and now that I am about to enter the professional world I am more aware of my posts and how I can use my social networks to an advantage. I’ve gone through my feeds and deleted and cleaned up my networks because they are only a few years old and I can go back through everything. I see 9 and 10 year old’s all over instagram and they don’t know that what they are posting might effect them in the future.
The article focuses on racial differences between users of MySpace and Facebook. Users of MySpace were described as “more ghetto” by a student. There were notable differences in that more African American individuals were using MySpace than Caucasians and Asians who were using Facebook. Like I was talking about before, people learn about networks through their friends and family. If none of your friends are using a specific social network what would be the point of you using it unless you wanted to meet strangers? I believe the notable differences in use have to do with cultural differences. An individual is not going to judge their MySpace use on whether it is ghetto or not but rather by where their friends and family are gathering. We tend to be associated with people of the same race because our cultural beliefs, values, and traditions are similar. We identify with those of the same race which creates a relationship but that does not mean we are racist by any means. Similar cultures have similar interests which helps explain the difference in demographics for different social networks.