From the moment new communication technologies began to infiltrate American homes, young people have been among the early explorers and early adopters of computers and the Internet. Today, teens and young adults are credited for the ascent of social media platforms like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube. The social web has been variously characterized as empowering, participatory, and communal. Drawing from original research including survey data and in-depth interviews this talk considers the rise and use of social media. Designed more as a public discussion about the steadily evolving role of social media technologies in our lives the paper considers three questions. First, how dominant is social media in young people's lives? Second, what are young people doing with new communication technologies? The third question considers the social impact and consequences of social media.

Prof. Watkins's talk about his work on YouTube: link