ShareSoMe Webinar on Understanding Youth and Technology

Recently, ShareSoMe partnered with Cornell’s ACT for Youth Center of Excellence to present a webinar on how to understand digital technology use among young people.

For parents, educators, and youth-serving professionals, keeping up with how adolescents are using mobile apps, social media sites, and other digital technologies can seem impossible.  They’re always moving from one hot app to the next, and it’s sometimes difficult to know why a certain app or site is popular.  One way to understand new apps and sites as they emerge is to understand what kind of features they have, and what makes these features popular among young people.

Our recent webinar discussed several important features of popular technologies, as well as the risks and benefits of using these technologies for young people.  For example, the photo-messaging app Snapchat is hugely popular among young people.  One of the features that makes it popular is ephemerality – the fact that pictures, videos, and text sent via the app disappear after a set period of time.  Teens love this feature because it means they can send informal, silly messages to each other without worrying about the content being shared too widely.  However, ephemerality has both risks and benefits.  While it’s great for building and maintaining close relationships, it can also facilitate the sending of harmful content.

Cornell Social Media Lab graduate students and ShareSoMe team members Franccesca Kazerooni and Pamara Chang, along with research aide Jessie Taft and moderator Amanda Purington, discuss Snapchat, ephemerality, and many more apps and features in the webinar.  If you weren’t able to attend, the link will be posted soon.  In the meantime, you can find the slideshow here: Webinar Slides.  As always, if you have any questions about our work or about sharing and support in social media, please contact us!