Exploring youth engagement in a digital age
Was wondering if anyone had had experience of the site, or chatted with young people about it?
After recently reading Danah Boyd's blog entry about formspring.me
I had a chat with some young people that use the site to see what they thought. It seems to be gaining popularity here and one girl loged on and showed me the comments/questions she had been getting.
I don't normally find a huge amount to surprise me in my work with young people, (as age increases so do cynicism levels) but the levels of bile and quite spiteful (even hateful) comments appalled me.
We chatted as a group about whether her page was typical, and generally the rest of the group agreed. Some had deleted their profile, another's father had seen it and made her delete. The girl who shared her page with me had conversations with her mother and seemed to have a healthy attitude to it. Others just thought the site was a laugh and didn't take it seriously.
Colleagues I've spoken with don't really seem to have heard about the site so I've suggested they just ask about it among the young people they work with.
Given the panic around more mainstream social networks like facebook, it seems likely that similar (and worse) will follow if formspring becomes similarly popular. A quick google news search brings up a few Oh My God type articles.