Cracking the Teenage Code

Dr. Danah Boyd studied at Brown, got her masters from M.I.T, got her Ph.D from UC Berkeley, and worked at Google, Yahoo, and Tribe at the same time. So in other words she is very well educated and experienced at what she does. Dr. Boyd considers herself to be a media scholar and a youth researcher and advocate. Dr. Boyd believes that the internet is a great platform for teenagers to share their thoughts, feelings, etc. She believes that online counselors and mentors would be very beneficial, especially to those teenagers going through really difficult times. She is opposed to making the internet a restricted place for teenagers and says that the “sexual predator panic” is a misconception. Dr. Boyd has a very unconventional look and this is possibly one of the reasons why she is seen as a rock star in the eyes of her teenage followers. She dresses like her youthful subjects and rocks a pierced tongue. These teenagers have subscribed to her Twitter feed and added her on Facebook. The fact that she is an advocate for the youth and that she is trying to bring change in order to improve teenage lives also plays a role in the way her teenage followers see Dr. Boyd. Dr. Boyd understands teenagers and how they feel and she makes it pretty clear that she is on their side. Dr. Boyd is “an anthropologist who comes from the tribe she’s studying”. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way foundation¬†aims to create a braver, kinder world for youths, create safe spaces, promote the learning of life skills, and provide opportunities to improve their local communities. This is achieved by “shining a light on real people, quality research, and authentic partnerships”. This work is relevant to Dr. Boyd’s activism because Dr. Boyd is advocating for the internet to be a safe place for teenagers to really express themselves. By providing online counselors and mentors to teens, this can help promote the learning of life skills, create a safe space, and provide opportunities for teens to improve their local communities. Dr. Boyd also helps run the research arm of the Born This Way foundation.


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