In the Life section of today's Poughkeepsie Journal I came across a really intriguing AP interview with a woman, Danah Boyd, a Principal Researcher from Microsoft Research who has done some extensive digging into today's social media and it's relation to and effect on teens.

Well, she has written a book, It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, and, if the interview is any indication, it's a must read for every parent of every social media obsessed and overly involved teenager out there.

Yale University Press

I currently live with a teenager, Jagger or the 'JG' as I like to call him, who, though not as immersed as other teens, is still online with a group for his gaming. This small sense of community that he has with these gamers is soon to branch out and grow as he searches to widen this group of 'friends.' His own over involvement with the rest of the social network universe is coming and I will take any tool that can help him, and me along the way.

Danah's book is available at the usual spots like Amazon and Barnes & Noble but what is really refreshing here is that she has made the book available for free at her website, The fact that she views her extensive research and resulting book important enough to offer it for a free read tells me that she feels it can be a vital tool for every parent who is trying to understand this new social world, the pressures of it and their children's part in it.

I will be reading this book.