“The Young and the Digital
What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future”

S. Craig Watkins
Associate Professor of Radio-TV-Film at The University of Texas at Austin and the author of Hip Hop Matters

S. Craig Watkins

S. Craig Watkins

Wednesday, December 8, 2009
5:45 p.m. – Networking Reception
6:30 p.m. – Presentation

For the first time in over fifty years, television is no longer our dominant medium: young people are now spending an average of six to eight hours a day online. Watkins contends that most teens and twenty-somethings migrate online to share their lives with friends—something television simply cannot offer—and the ubiquitous presence of cell phones, laptops, and iPods places them at the center of our evolving digital landscape.

In The Young and the Digital,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.

“The best and most nuanced report yet from the digital frontier.” ─ James Paul Gee, author of What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy