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Your Tweens, Teens & Social Networking

danah boyd presents Meeting of the Minds: Youth, Social Media and Education

Danah Boyd presents at "Meeting of the Minds: Youth, Social Media and Education"

VIDEO: What is really going on with youth and social media? Are there benefits—educational and life-long—to young people’s use of social media? Find out in this discussion featuring danah boyd, social media researcher and guru, and a panel of experts, as they discuss how social media, technology, and education interact and enhance learning both in and out of the classroom. Reactor panel:

  • Barry Joseph, Director Online Leadership Program, Global Kids
  • Jessica Hochman, Assistant Professor, LMS, Coordinator, Pratt School of Library and Information Science
  • Linda W. Braun, Educational Technology Consultant, Adjunct Faculty, Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science
  • Program Facilitator: Jack Martin, Assistant Director of Public Programs / Lifelong Learning, The New York Public Library


Tweens and teens use social networking to connect. They create, collaborate, and converse using this technology. Why? Because it’s easy and fun and provides opportunities to take part in activities that might not otherwise be possible.

In many ways web-based social networking isn’t that much different than what tweens and teens have always participated in. For example imagine:

  • A 12-year old loves to read. She joins the library’s book discussion group so that she has a chance to talk with her friends about books. In the social networking world that same 12-year old might join the library’s virtual book discussion group or participate in discussions via a site like Good Reads or even discussion on Facebook.
  • A group of 15-year olds decide to make a movie. They get together to write a script, plan the filming, get their friends to act in it, use a video camera to record, and when done have a showing in the apartment of one of the teens involved. When the showing is over everyone talks about what they liked, what was funny, etc. Then, the movie gets posted on YouTube and even more people get to talk about it.

These are just two ways that web-based social networking expands the ways in which tweens and teens get to create, collaborate, and converse.

Of course Tweens and teens need to learn how to use social networking tools safely. With that information in hand they then get to take part in activities they love in ways that are fun and exciting.

You can read more about social networking and youth at and – Each of these sites provides information on how and why tweens and teens use social networking and how to keep help them safe when in the social networking world.