The conclusions are based on interviews with many teenage users of the social networking sites by PhD student Danah Boyd from the School of Information Sciences at UC Berkeley. Broadly, Ms Boyd found Facebook users tend to be white and come from families who are keen for children to get the most out of school and go on to college. Characterising Facebook users she said: “They are in honors classes, looking forward to the prom, and live in a world dictated by after school activities.” By contrast, the average MySpace teenager tendeds to come from families where parents did not go to college, she said.
She wrote: “This division is just another way in which technology is mirroring societal values.” In some ways, Ms Boyd wrote, social networking sites are helping teenagers cope with the stresses of 21st Century life. “Teens are using social network sites to build community and connect with their peers,” she said. “And through it, they are showcasing all of the good, bad, and ugly of today’s teen life.”