Danah Boyd: How Teens Navigate Public and Private

As Boyd discusses the value of a public stage to experiment with self expression, she makes a really interesting distinction that “just because teenagers want to be IN public does not mean that they want to BE public.” They therefore have figured out how to negotiate a privacy within the public realm. This is possible because we no longer define privacy as the control of information. Information is free flowing. Shared knowledge is more valuable than competing in a zero-sum intellectual property game. Instead, privacy is gained by controlling the boundaries of who participates in your ideas and who understands your ideas. Teens use "’social steganography,’ which happens when teens choose to post something very publicly knowing the meaning is completely lost on anyone who is not in-the-know.”

What do public and community gathering spaces look like with this definition of public and private? How can teens to be in public and yet create boundaries of meaning? What does “social steganography” look like in physical form? Or is a combination of physical space and digital communication?