My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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Archive

‘Selling Out’ Is Meaningless: Teens live in the commercial world we created

In the recent Frontline documentary “Generation Like,” Doug Rushkoff lamented that today’s youth don’t even know what the term “sell-out” means. While this surprised Rushkoff and other fuddy duddies, it didn’t make me blink for a second. Of course this term means nothing to them. Why do we think it should? The critique of today’s teens has two […]

Whether it’s bikes or bytes, teens are teens

(This piece was written for the LA Times, where it was published as an op-ed on April 11, 2014.) If you’re like most middle-class parents, you’ve probably gotten annoyed with your daughter for constantly checking her Instagram feed or with your son for his two-thumbed texting at the dinner table. But before you rage against […]

Why Snapchat is Valuable: It’s All About Attention

Most people who encounter a link to this post will never read beyond this paragraph. Heck, most people who encountered a link to this post didn’t click on the link to begin with. They simply saw the headline, took note that someone over 30 thinks that maybe Snapchat is important, and moved onto the next […]

TIME Magazine Op-Ed: Let Kids Run Wild Online

I wrote the following op-ed for TIME Magazine. This was published in the March 13, 2014 issue under the title “Let Kids Run Wild Online.” To my surprise and delight, the op-ed was featured on the cover of the magazine. Trapped by helicopter parents and desperate to carve out a space of their own, teens […]

blatant groveling: please buy my book

In less than a month, my new book – “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens” – will be published.  This is the product of ten years worth of research into how social media has inflected American teen life.  If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ve seen me talk about these issues over […]

Keeping Teens ‘Private’ on Facebook Won’t Protect Them

(Originally written for TIME Magazine) We’re afraid of and afraid for teenagers. And nothing brings out this dualism more than discussions of how and when teens should be allowed to participate in public life. Last week, Facebook made changes to teens’ content-sharing options. They introduced the opportunity for those ages 13 to 17 to share their updates and […]

thoughts on Pew’s latest report: notable findings on race and privacy

Yesterday, Pew Internet and American Life Project (in collaboration with Berkman) unveiled a brilliant report about “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy.” As a researcher who’s been in the trenches on these topics for a long time now, none of their finding surprised me but it still gives me absolute delight when our data is so […]

How Parents Normalized Teen Password Sharing

In 2005, I started asking teenagers about their password habits. My original set of questions focused on teens’ attitudes about giving their password to their parents, but I quickly became enamored with teens’ stories of sharing passwords with friends and significant others. So I was ecstatic when Pew Internet & American Life Project decided to […]

Risk Reduction Strategies on Facebook

Sometimes, when I’m in the field, I find teens who have strategies for managing their online presence that are odd at first blush but make complete sense when you understand the context in which they operate. These teens use innovative approaches to leverage the technology to meet personal goals. Let me explain two that caught […]

Facebook & helicopter parenting

I recently received an email from a teen that I speak with that piqued my interest. I thought I’d share it with you: My friend (17 yo girl) isn’t allowed on Facebook because she has helicopter parents.  She has one anyway under a pseudonym. She is also battling depression and has been going through many […]