According to Boyd(2007), social network cites develop significant cultural resonance amongst American teens in a short period of time, and they continue to be an important part of teen social life. He have found that race and social class play little role in terms of acess beyond disenfranchised population. Poor urban black teens appear to be just as likely to join the site as white teens from wealthier backgrounds - although what they do on there has much to do with their level of Internet access. In addition, Bryrne(2000)states that for young people, participating in dedicated social networking sites is especially important because they can be useful vehicles for strengthening their cultural identities, for teaching them how to navigate both public and private dimensions of their racial lives, and for providing them access to a more globalized yet unfixed conversation about their community histories. I think it is important because minority youth must have access to dedicated online spaces, not just mainstream or "race neutral" ones.
Boyd also mentions that by interacting with unfamiliar others, teenagers are socialized into society. Publics are where norms are set and reinforced, where common ground is formed. Learning society's rules requires trial and error, validation and admonishment; it is knowledge that tenagers learn through action, not theory. Their social identity is partially defined by themselves, partially defined by others. Learning through impression management is key to developing a social identity.
Therefore, teenagers must determine where they want to be situated within the social world they see. I think that social network sites have positively changed our lives in terms of our identity.
Boyd, Dana. (2007). Why youth love Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life." Youth, Identity, and Digital Media. Edited by David Buckingham. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Available at
Byrne, Dara N. (2008). The future of (the) ’Race’: Identity, Discourse, and the Rise of Computer-mediated Public Spheres." Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media. Edited by Anna Everett. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 15–38.