Danah Boyd is a researcher at Microsoft Research New England (yes, something good can come from Nazareth) and a fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society. I don't trot out people's credentials here very often. They don't mean very much to me, but I do so here because her approach is not what I would have expected from someone from MS or Harvard. There are a lot of researchers, CEOs, and administrators who are very concerned about controlling social media. What we can't control, we fear; and we make myths about what we fear. We try to contain our fears with our imagination. We attempt to reduce our understanding of what we fear into terms that we can control whether or not there is any justification or truth to that reduction (e.g. gay marriage will destroy heterosexual marriage; comic books, beat poetry, or dancing will lead to communism, etc.).
Dr. Boyd is writing a book about internet myths. She posted a question to her blog:
"What are your favorite news articles that reinforce these widespread beliefs?
- Myth #1: The digital is separate from the “real” world.
- Myth #2: Social media makes kids deceptive.
- Myth #3: Social media is addictive.
- Myth #4: Kids don’t care about privacy.
- Myth #5: The Internet is a dangerous, dangerous place.
- Myth #6: There’s nothing educational about social media.
- Myth #7: Kids are digital natives.
- Myth #8: The Internet is the great equalizer."