Got Facebook? Investigating What's Social About Social Media

author: S. Craig Watkins, Department of Media Studies, University of Texas at Austin
published: June 29, 2010,   recorded: May 2010,   views: 3971

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Watkins has been researching young people’s media behaviors for more than ten years and he teaches in the departments of Radio - Television - Film and Sociology and the Center for African and African American Studies. His recent book, The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future, explores young people’s dynamic engagement with social media, online games, mobile phones, and communities like Facebook and MySpace. A few short years ago Facebook was widely viewed as a site for college students who used the platform primarily for social purposes - making new friends, stalking each other, and posting pictures from a weekend of partying and drinking. Watkins’ talk will show how young people’s participation in Facebook is actually more complex than the popular images and myths suggests. Drawing from both survey data and in-depth interviews with current college students and recent college graduates the talk considers how the use of Facebook evolves across the young life-cycle. The talk also discusses the question: what’s social about social media?

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