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In The Young and the Digital, S. Craig Watkins skillfully draws from more than 500 surveys and 350 in-depth interviews with young people, parents, and educators to understand how a digital lifestyle is affecting the ways youth learn, play, bond, and communicate. Timely and deeply relevant, the book covers the influence of MySpace and Facebook, the growing appetite for “anytime, anywhere” media and “fast entertainment,” how online “digital gates” reinforce race and class divisions, and how technology is transforming America’s classrooms. Watkins also debunks popular myths surrounding cyberpredators, Internet addiction, and social isolation. The result is a fascinating portrait, both celebratory and wary, about the coming of age of the first fully wired generation.
“With thorough research, deep thinking, and lively prose, Watkins adds enormously to our understanding of how the combination of new media and a new generation is changing the world. Read this refreshing book to understand our future!”
–Don Tapscott, co-author of Wikinomics and author of Grown Up Digital
“Why does Facebook have the same appeal as gated communities? Is distraction more concerning than addiction? How do video games like World of Warcraft value friendship? Bracing yet reassuring, often surprising, and always substantive, Craig Watkins acts as an honest broker, testing the contradictory claims often made about young people’s digital lives against sophisticated fieldwork.”
–Henry Jenkins, author of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
“The Young and the Digital is the best and most nuanced report yet from the digital frontier. Watkins tells us not only what is happening with today’s ‘digital natives,’ but what it all means and where it may be taking us as a society.”
–James Paul Gee, Mary Lou Fulton presidential professor of literacy studies, Arizona State University, and author of What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy
“New communication technologies are usually one step ahead of our ability to understand their social and political implications. By using a mix of methods, Watkins convincingly captures the digital world inhabited by today’s young adults while illustrating what the digital landscape means for our future.”
–Michael X. Delli Carpini, dean, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania