If kids can’t socialize, who should parents blame? Simple: They should blame themselves. This is the argument advanced in It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, by Microsoft researcher Danah Boyd. Boyd—full disclosure, a friend of mine—has spent a decade interviewing hundreds of teens about their online lives.

What she has found, over and over, is that teenagers would love to socialize face-to-face with their friends. But adult society won’t let them. “Teens aren’t addicted to social media. They’re addicted to each other,” Boyd says. “They’re not allowed to hang out the way you and I did, so they’ve moved it online.”

It’s true. As a teenager in the early ’80s I could roam pretty widely with my friends, as long as we were back by dark. But over the next three decades, the media began delivering a metronomic diet of horrifying but rare child-abduction stories, and parents shortened the leash on their kids. Politicians warned of incipient waves of youth wilding and superpredators (neither of which emerged). Municipalities crafted anti-loitering laws and curfews to keep young people from congregating alone. New neighborhoods had fewer public spaces. Crime rates plummeted, but moral panic soared. Meanwhile, increased competition to get into college meant well-off parents began heavily scheduling their kids’ after-school lives.

The result, Boyd discovered, is that today’s teens have neither the time nor the freedom to hang out. So their avid migration to social media is a rational response to a crazy situation. They’d rather socialize F2F, so long as it’s unstructured and away from grown-ups. “I don’t care where,” one told Boyd wistfully, “just not home.”

Don’t Blame Social Media if Your Teen Is Unsocial. It’s Your Fault | Wired Opinion | Wired.com (via brutereason)

And also everything is expensive. There’s nowhere to go for cheap thrills.

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[T]they want so badly to be “hard” and “edgy” but most often the results are sour, false and cheap. DC Comics is in danger of becoming the literary equivalent of Axe Body Spray.

Steve Bennett on DC Comics (via cooltrainershells)

This comparison is both so good and so obvious that I’m amazing nobody’s come up with it before.

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I mean, what kind of a narcissistic society is it that ­people want to put out there, This is my life, and this is what I did yesterday? I mean … good grief. Doesn’t that strike you as strange? I think it’s strange.
Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, admitting he doesn’t have many Facebook friends (via maxistentialist)

If I’m applying the First Amendment, I have to apply it to a world where there’s an internet, and there’s Facebook. And there are movies like The Social Network, which I couldn’t even understand.
Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer (via maxistentialist)

V-chips won’t work?
Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, wondering if TV technology can be used to censor violent video games (via maxistentialist)

Well, I didn’t — I wouldn’t think that. I thought, you know, you push a button, it goes right to the other thing.

Does it say: ‘Your call is important to us, and we will get back to you?’
Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, asking what happens when a text is received at the same time another is sent (via maxistentialist)

The court hasn’t really ‘gotten to’ email.