luciano petullà

systems and dimensions of new communication

danah boyd and the adolescent probes Describing the socio-cultural context in which communication technologies are situated and used is an evident merit of danah boyd, a very polyedric American social researcher, herself digital native, scholar and professionist – at moment Principal Researcher at Microsoft. Consequently, her works are not easily summarizable through slogans. In the case of her last work, a book gathering a long series of researches on teens’ sociability, the warning comes immediately from the title. In effect, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens can be interpretated in two ways: the difficulty to understand social media uses thinking only in terms of social destiny determinated by technological aspects, and difficulty of people to act, among opportunities and challenges, in the new and interactive digital environments. On the other hand, although focused on teens, author sees teenagers as an ideal-typical case because, whether they are advantaged in handling and switching accross media, on the challenge-side they suffer for lack in life experience and social power. The counterpoint about the real and problematic issues of their digital lives balances narratives describing teens as human beings highly facilitated by digital technologies. In effect, while the digital migrants are engaged…

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+Digital Literacy-Digital Divide A recent discussion appeared on very prestigious newspaper and magazine pushes us to advance some considerations about how people envision critically the new communication platforms and media. More specifically, about the best approach to manage their increasing complexity given that, in front of a such innovative effervescence, we will always remain in a defective position. My consideration is simple and evident  but still hard to be accepted by someone: digital communication flowing and building itself through innumerable and changeable  software on fix and mobile network became – and will remain – an important and inevitable condition  for our existence.  Being an ubiquitous and connective element/environment, and a product of a continuous and unstoppable development, we need to understand how to hear it, how to face its will (see Kevin Kelly’s provocation), but even and more better, how to personally engage it to increase human agency (see Howard Rheingold). The uncertain status of digital divide The cited discussion focuses on a ICT classical topic as the inequality of digital access and uses by people living in different regions – and, in an extended but more undefined meaning  – and/or have different social status. On the other side, the…

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