Authors: Howard Gardner and Katie Davis, Authors

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 978-0-300-19621-4

Both authors of this dynamic book are Harvard PhD’s. (2013, inside back cover) Doctor Gardner works in the Cognitive and Education Department in the Harvard School of Education. He is the Hobbs Professor there. Professor Gardener is the Senior Director of an educational research project titled Harvard Project Zero. He has penned twenty-eight books and been highlighted in Foreign Policy and Prospect as one of the one-hundred “most influential public intellectuals in the world”. Doctor Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is his most well-known body of work.

Doctor Davis is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Information School where she researches the role of digital media technologies and the influence on adolescent lives including socially, academically, and morally. (2013, inside back cover) She is a graduate of Harvard University. She sits on the “advisory board for MTV’s digital abuse campaign, A Thin Line”.

This study and work takes into account the impact of Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of digital media as they affect adolescents. Technology has made the world a much smaller place and connected us with eachother in ways that were never thought possible. Doctors Gardner and Davis have delved into how this context has defined today’s youth.

Previously it was felt and believed that “…generations have been increasingly defined by sociological considerations”…and that those “…defining characteristics of a generation echo the dominant events of the time…” (2013, p.23) Does this theory still hold true? How has social media changed those dynamics? And are our people better off or not?

Doctors Gardner and Davis state that “When we think of a child or an adult employing an app, we shift our perspective from technology to psychology--…” (2013, p.25) In this light they share inferences about infants and reflexes. Then on to actions represented by culture and environment where the rewards are intrinsic and/or extrinsic. These actions begin to construct habitual behaviors that are transmitted from one person to another. Habits can be bad or good. Where does the social media habit fall in that spectrum?

I believe that social media is here to stay and that if we, as a society, want to continue to move forward we must continue to become adept at the use of our technologies, but also remain cautious and vigilant about the implications of having our lives become open books. Never before have people lain out their intimate thoughts for the world to see and read as we reveal in our social media studies. For an interesting perspective on this nuance and how it is shaping the lives of our younger generations please read this book. I enjoyed it and believe you will too!

Follow Here To Purchase The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World