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ClassLiving and Learning in the Digital Age$
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Sonia Livingstone and Julian Sefton-Green

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479884575

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479884575.001.0001

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Identities and Relationships

Identities and Relationships

Chapter:
(p.85) 4 Identities and Relationships
Source:
Class
Author(s):

Sonia Livingstone

Julian Sefton-Green

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479884575.003.0005

While young people’s experiences of life at home or school are greatly influenced by parents and teachers, they have rather more control over their friendships. Chapter 4 explores how the teenagers experiment with different aspects of their identity, trying out possible selves and finding ways to build relationships under the radar of the adult gaze. We found the young people to be rather cautious and sensible in building their friendships. They prioritize face-to-face communication as a still manageable, highly valued and private means of connecting with others. Despite having many contacts on social networking sites, those whom they called “friends” comprised a handful of people well known to them and trusted by them. This is not to say that digital communication played no role in their lives—far from it. But rather than a simple online/offline boundary, the young people were exploring ways of relating to others in different social situations, each of which span the online and offline in particular ways, depending both on the nature of particular online platforms and on the interests or motivations of the young people. Different social networks and online spaces allow young people opportunities to explore and experiment with aspects of self that may not be visible to their teachers or parents or, even, most of their peers.

Keywords:   Facebook, Friendships, Identity, Twitter, Tumblr, Social networks, Online and offline, Face-to-face communication, Privacy, Intimacy, Online gaming, Self, Visibility

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