Not long after I started researching cyberbullying I came across the concept of ‘drama’ in a conference paper by Alice Marwick and danah boyd. Unfortunately, I can’t find much more on drama in scholarly literature. Nuts. I’m familiar with drama from my own teen and undergrad years (and even as an adult. Sigh.). But that was before social media really exploded. Drama seems so closely tied to cyberbullying to adults, but also something else altogether to teens.
Marwick and boyd (2011) describe drama as “the language that teens—most notably girls—use to describe a host of activities and practices ranging from gossip, flirting, arguing, and joking to more serious issues of jealousy, ostracization, and name-calling.” (p. 2).
In a recent report from Pew Teens, Social Media, and Privacy, drama was cited as one of the main reasons teens are less enthusiastic users of Facebook than they once were. Reading this report and a New York Times op-ed by boyd and Marwick (2011) interested me even more in how teens define ‘drama’ and ‘cyberbullying’. What terminology should be used as a researcher? I feel that I’m missing something important by not using the words that teens use to define their experiences.
Now I have some questions to think about:
- How can I incorporate theory into cyberbullying research? There is a definite lack of it in cyberbullying literature.
- How can public librarians empower teens through digital citizenship and encourage empathy in teens? We don’t have access to teens the same way that school media specialist, teachers, administrators, or parents do.
- How much of cyberbullying is really anonymous? the perceived anonymity/non-anonymity of cyberbullying is fascinating to me. On one hand, most of the cyberbullying takes place within a social circle. These teens know one another. On the other hand, its hard to know how far the bullying or drama has spread. How many people? How far outside that circle?
What to Read:
~Obviously I’m really into danah boyd’s work at the moment.~
boyd, d., & Marwick, A. (2011, September 22). Bullying as true drama. New York Times, pp. A35. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/opinion/why-cyberbullying-rhetoric-misses-the-mark.html/?_r=0.
Marwick, A., & boyd, d. (2011). The drama! Teen conflict, gossip, and bullying in networked places. Presented at A Decade in Internet Time: Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society. Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/abstract=1926349.