When I was in high school, cell phones were pretty new. We emailed and IMed, but we didn’ tweet or reblog things. Sometimes I’m really glad that Facebook didn’t exist when I was a teen.
For better or for worse, technology and social media are a huge part of teens’ lives today. So if you’re writing contemporary YA or MG, you need to deal with these issues at least a little–how does your main character keep in touch with friends? Does he have to pay for his own cell account? Does she have a vlog?
If you’re wondering how your main character might actually use social media and gadgets, check out this study on how teens view their digital lives. There’s even a neat infographic with some summary. One point I found interesting is that almost half of teens would prefer to talk to their friends in person. It’s not like everyone is hiding at their computers. They want interaction, but texting and Facebooking can also help teens keep in touch when they’re not together.
It’s not like you have to make you main character attached to his cell phone, but it’s good to recognize and these things have some kind of impact on teens lives.
0 thoughts on “Cell Phones, Blogs, and Writing YA”
I agree with what you’ve said here. I sometimes get frustrated when the author always has the characters face to face at any time of day/night. They do this in movies, even with smaller kids. Times have changed and our kids don’t always live next door to one another so we need to remember to write that way. Great advice, thanks!
Teens? LOL, my vampires use more technology than my teenager does. Micah and Anselm study Google Earth Street View while plotting to raid someone’s house. The vampire government’s yearly meeting is streamed live over their website. Their Archives–with documents going back 3,500 years–have all been scanned and indexed and anywhere in the world vampires or their humans can log into the website and search for whatever they want. Newsletters are e-mailed, and even the humans have their own online dating service
I generally try not to mention products or services by name too much, though, because that can date your book in the future.