Adolescents’ Digital Worlds: An Introduction

  • Kaveri Subrahmanyam
  • David Šmahel
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


Adolescents today live enmeshed in digital media, such as computers, video games, cell phones, and other hand-held devices. Often referred to as digital natives, many have lived their entire lives surrounded and immersed within digital worlds. These new technologies are undoubtedly popular among adolescents, but parents and other observers often see them as negative influences. Are these concerns justified or are media more benign and helpful to adolescents? Which technologies do teens use and what do they do with them? Does adolescents’ use of technology help them navigate the challenges of adolescence or does it only complicate matters? Are digital worlds giving rise to new behaviors or are we seeing the transfer of traditionally adolescent behaviors to digital worlds? What are some of the opportunities, challenges, and dangers that come with technology use? How can we ensure that young people use technology safely? We tackle some of these questions in this book, and hope to leave the reader with an understanding of how youth influence and are influenced by newer forms of interactive technologies. In this chapter, we describe the digital landscape surrounding adolescents, including the technologies and online applications that they use as well as the salient aspects of the communication environment inherent to most newer digital media. The chapter concludes with the specific goals and organization plan of the book.


Virtual World Social Networking Site Digital Medium Bulletin Board Chat Room 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State UniversityLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Social StudiesMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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