Danah Boyd, a PhD candidate at the University of California – Berkeley, has written a soon-to-be-published academic paper examining the trend of affluent, future-focused teens aggregating on Facebook, while social outcasts and the non-college bound stick with MySpace. There’s an interesting argument, among many, that claims that class divisions in the U.S. are based more on social networks (in the non digital sense), geography, and other factors, rather than income levels. Perhaps Cory Doctorow’s second novel, Eastern Standard Tribe, with the central conceit of people organizing themselves into classes/groups based on their time zone, was more realistic than I thought when I first read it.
If for no other reason, read the article for the terms “hegemonic teens” (“good” kids playing in the system, focusing on education) and “subaltern teens” (everyone else, but especially the fringe), which conjures an image of teenagers self-dividing into Eloi and Morlock. MySpace will definitely be the social network of choice for Morlocks.