Advertisement

Digital Technologies and Adults: Social Networking, Holding Environments, and Intellectual Development

  • Smith M CecilEmail author
  • Lindstrom Denise L
Living reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter is concerned with understanding and describing how digital technology tools for communication – specifically, online social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) – may support and contribute to adults’ cognitive development (i.e., verbal skills, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities). We draw upon a theory of adult intellectual development – constructive developmentalism (Kegan, R. In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994) – that describes how adults make sense of increasingly complex environments and how their interactions with digital environments may support or enhance meaning-making in everyday life. The concept of “holding environments” is used to explain the digital space created both by what the social networking site affords and the users’ decisions about how to design and use their social network (i.e., for information, entertainment, discussions). The qualities of the holding environment play a significant role in users’ participation in online networking sites and what they may gain from such participation, in terms of cognitive skills. Implications for education around learners’ uses of digital tools are discussed.

Keywords

Adult development Social networking sites Holding environment 

References

  1. Alloway, T. P., Horton, J., Alloway, R. G., & Dawson, C. (2013). Social networking sites and cognitive abilities: Do they make you smarter? Computers and Education, 63, 10–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barthel, M., Mitchell, A., & Holcomb, J. (2016) Many Americans believe fake news is sowing confusion. Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life. http://www.journalism.org/2016/12/15/many-americans-believe-fake-news-is-sowing-confusion/
  3. Backonja, U., Hall, A. K., & Thielke, S. (2014). Older adults’ current and potential uses of information technologies in a changing world: A theoretical perspective. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 80(1), 41–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burke, M., Marlow, C., & Lento, T. (2010, April). Social network activity and social well-being. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1909–1912). ACM.Google Scholar
  5. Boyd, D. (2008). Why youth (heart) social network sites: The role of networked publics in teen social life. In D. Buckingham (Ed.), Youth, identity, and digital media (pp. 119–142). Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Boyd, D., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cattell, R. B. (1971). Abilities: Their structure, growth, and action. New York: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN:0-395-04275-5.Google Scholar
  8. Chowdhry, A. (2017, March 3). Facebook launches a new tool that combats fake news. Forbes Magazine. https://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2017/03/05/facebook-fake-news-tool/#5001bf8f7ec1
  9. Clark, D. B., Tanner-Smith, E. E., & Killingsworth, S. S. (2016). Digital games, design, and learning: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 86(1), 79–122. doi: 10.3102/03465543115582065 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coiro, J., Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D. J. (2008). Central issues in new literacies and new literacies research. In J. Corio, M. Knobel, C. Lankshear, & D. J. Leu (Eds.), The handbook of research on new literacies (pp. 1–21). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  11. Donath, J., & Boyd, D. (2004). Public displays of connection. Blue Tuesday Technology Journal, 22(4), 71–82.Google Scholar
  12. Drago-Severson, E. (2008). 4 practices serve as pillars for adult learning. JSD: The Learning Forward Journal, 29(4), 60–63.Google Scholar
  13. Duggan, M., & Smith, A., (2016). The political environment on social media. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/10/25/the-political-environment-on-social-media/
  14. Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2007). The benefits of Facebook “friends”: Social capital and college students’ use of online social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), 1143–1168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ellison, N. B., Steinfield, C., & Lampe, C. (2011). Connection strategies: Social capital implications of Facebook-enabled communication practices. New Media & Society, 13(6), 873–892.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Evans, B. M., Kairam, S., & Pirolli, P. (2010). Do your friends make you smarter? An analysis of social strategies in online information seeking. Information Processing and Management, 46(6), 670–692.Google Scholar
  17. Facer, K., & Furlong, R. (2001). Beyond the myth of the ‘Cyberkid’: Young people at the margins of the information revolution. Journal of Youth Studies, 4(4), 451–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fanning, J., Mullen, S. P., & McAuley, E. (2012). Increasing physical activity with mobile devices: A meta-analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14(6), 161–172. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2171 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gil-Or, O., Levi-Belz, Y., & Turel, O. (2015). The “Facebook-self”: Characteristics and psychological predictors of false self-presentation on Facebook. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 99. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4330900/
  20. Greenhow, C. (2011). Online social networks and learning. On the Horizon, 19(1), 4–2. doi: 10.1108/10748121111107663 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Greenhow, C., & Robelia, B. (2009). Old communication, new literacies: Social network sites as social learning resources. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 14(4), 1130–1161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hampton, K., Goulet, L.S., Rainie, L, & Purcell, K. (2011, June 16). Social networking sites and our lives. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. http://www.pewinternet.org/2011/06/16/social-networking-sites-and-our-lives/
  23. Hargittai, E., & Hinnart, A. (2008). Digital inequality: Differences in young adults’ use of the Internet. Communication Research, 35(5), 602–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Helsper, E. J., & Eynon, R. (2010). Digital natives: Where is the evidence? British Educational Research Journal, 36(3). doi: 10.1080/01411920902989227
  25. Jenkins, H., Purushotma, R., Weigel, M., Clinton, K., & Robison, A. J. (2009). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Reports on digital media and learning. The John C. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  26. Jones, S., Millermaier, S., Goya-Martinez, M., & Schuler, J. (2008). Whose space is MySpace? A content analysis of MySpace profiles. First Monday, 13(9). http://firstmonday.org/article/view/2202/2024
  27. Kegan, R. (1994). In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Kegan, R. (1982). The evolving self: Problems and process in human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Krashen, S. (1990). How reading and writing make you smarter, or how smart people read and write. In J. E. Alatis (Ed.), Georgetown University round table on language and linguistics 1990. Linguistics, language teaching and language acquisition: The interdependence of theory, practice and research. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Knobel, M., & Lankshear, C. (2007). Sampling “the new” in new literacies. In M. Knoble & C. Lankshear (Eds.), A new literacies sampler (pp. 1–22). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  31. Lapowsky, I. (2017, June 17). In a fake fact era, schools teach the ABCs of news literacy. Wired Magazine. https://www.wired.com/2017/06/fake-fact-era-schools-teach-abcs-news-literacy/
  32. Lenhart, A., Madden, M., Smith, A., Purcell, K., Zickuhr, K., & Rainie, L. (2011). Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Retrieved January 30, 2017 at: http://www.pewinternet.org/2011/11/09/teens-kindness-and-cruelty-on-social-network-sites/
  33. Mitchell, A., Gottfried, J., Kiley, J., & Matsa, K. (2014). Political polarization and media habits. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.Google Scholar
  34. MMS Education. (2009). A survey of K-12 educators on social networking and content sharing tools. MCH Strategic Data, MMS Education. Retrieved January 30, 2017 at: http://www.edweb.net/fimages/op/K12Survey.pdf
  35. Morris, M. R., Teevan, J., & Panovich, K. (2010, May 23). A comparison of information seeking using search engines and social networks. In Proceedings of the Fourth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, Washington, DC. (pp. 291–294). Menlo Park, CA: AAAI PressGoogle Scholar
  36. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 42 U.S.C. § 18001 (2010).Google Scholar
  37. Pew Research Center: Internet and Technology. (2017, January 11). What social media platforms are most popular. http://www.pewinternet.org/chart/which-social-media-platforms-are-most-popular/
  38. PBS NewsHour. (2016). Did fake news influence the outcome of election 2016. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/daily_videos/why-is-it-important-for-news-sources-to-be-trustworthy/
  39. Perrin, A., & Duggan, M. (2015). Americans’ Internet access: 2000–2015. As Internet use nears saturation for some groups, a look at patterns of adoption. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/06/26/americans-internet-access-2000-2015/
  40. Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of. (1996). H.R. 3734 – 104th Congress.Google Scholar
  41. Piaget, J. (2008). Intellectual evolution from adolescence to adulthood. Human Development, 51(1), 40–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Posner, G. J., Strike, K. A., Hewson, P. W., & Gertzog, W. A. (1982). Accommodation of a scientific conception: Toward a theory of conceptual change. Science Education, 66, 211–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives: Partnering for real learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  44. Purcell, K., & Rainey, L. (2014). Americans feel better informed thanks to the Internet. Pew Internet Center Research and Technology. http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/12/08/better-informed/
  45. Purcell, K., Heaps, A., Buchanan, J., & Friedrich, L. (2013). How teachers are using technology at home and in their classrooms. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.Google Scholar
  46. Rainie, L., & Smith, A. (2012). Politics on social networking sites. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.Google Scholar
  47. Schaie, K. W., & Zanjani, F. A. K. (2006). Intellectual development across adulthood. In C. Hoare (Ed.), Handbook of adult development and learning (pp. 99–122). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Shapiro, L. A. S., & Margolin, G. (2014). Growing up wired: Social networking sites and adolescent psychosocial development. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 17(1), 1–18. doi: 10.1007/s10567-013-0135-1. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Smith, A. (2014). Older adults and technology use. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.Google Scholar
  50. Stanovich, K. E. (1993). Does reading make you smarter? Literacy and the development of verbal intelligence. Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 24, 133–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Taylor, K. (2006). Autonomy and self-directed learning: A developmental journey. In C. Hoare (Ed.), Handbook of adult development and learning (pp. 196–218). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Taylor, K., Marienau, C., & Fiddler, M. (2000). Developing adult learners: Strategies for teachers and trainers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  53. Thurlow, C. (2006). From statistical panic to moral panic: The metadiscursive construction and popular exaggeration of new media language in the print media. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(3), 667–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Treas, J., & Hill, T. (2008). Social trends and public policy in an aging society. In M. C. Smith & N. DeFrates-Densch (Eds.), Handbook of adult learning and development (pp. 763–783). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  55. Walther, J. B., & Parks, M. R. (2002). Cues filtered out, cues filtered in: Computer-mediated communication and relationships. In M. L. Knapp & J. A. Daly (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (3rd ed.pp. 529–563). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  56. Winnicott, D. W. (1973/1992). The child, the family, and the outside world. New York: Perseus Books.Google Scholar
  57. Wellman, B., Haase, A. Q., Witte, J., & Hampton, K. (2001). Does the Internet increase, decrease, or supplement social capital? Social networks, participation, and community commitment. American Behavioral Scientist, 45(3), 436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Education and Human ServicesWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies, College of Education and Human ServicesWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

Personalised recommendations