Fascinating discussion on the Association for Internet Researchers list about shifts in perceptions of online interactions among teens (broadly defined), the gist of which is that there is less distinct characterization of (and thus stigma related to) online interaction per se, and more granularity of value for different activities (IM, MySpace, etc.). This is consistent with growing familiarity and ubiquitousness of the medium (media, really) -- these kids were born into it. I found comments by bloggers Dana Boyd and Angela Thomas especially insightful.
The conversation made me think of something seemingly unrelated: speculation a few years back about how the increasing ability to ape "reality" with (e.g.) cinematic special effects might lead us to question the verity of experiences outside cyberspace as well -- and which leads one to further ruminations about epistemology and what one considers to be real anyway.
The aforementioned teens don't make that real/unreal -- offline/online distinction so much as they evaluate the quality of the experience, it seems. Will they be better or worse epistemologists?
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