Against Technologization: Young People's New Media Discourse as Creative Cultural Practice



Educators, businesspeople, and journalists–all of them adults–seem very preoccupied nowadays with young people's supposed lack of “good” communication, leading to evaluation of their communication “skills” against standards of appropriateness and usefulness shaped by the needs of the market rather than everyday social and relational needs of communicators. This technologization of communication comes to a head in commentary (read: complaints) about young people's new media discourse, where concerns about “literacy,”“employability,” and “social order” are refracted through adults' often-conflicted feelings about technology. Whether young people are being lauded as ‘wired whizzes' or pilloried as ‘techno-slaves,’ invariably overlooked is the situated, meaningful, and creative nature of their communicative practices–precisely what the papers in this special issue demonstrate.