After uploading my two-part vlog, "Juvenile Hall: Connected!", I was pondering the practical impact that social media technology has had on the lives of teens that previously would have lived isolated, remote lives. Today, many kids across the globe can interact and develop real friendships with other like-minded kids, regardless of where they are.
First of course, is the ease of communication, which extends from all of the usual social networks, to Skype-type face-to-face chatting, to collaborating on all kinds of projects, from writing to web creation to music and video. It's really not a big deal anymore. Even video conferencing with several participants isn't a problem. For some, YouTube forms the center of that communications hub.
Engaging in Multi-player games isn't exceptional, anymore. A kid in Los Angeles may be just as likely to be playing with friends from his school as friends in England.
Of course, not everyone has the high speed connection necessary to make such interaction routine - but that world is growing everyday.
I can't help but wonder where some of these kids would be without the means they have to communicate with the world. It's intriguing to imagine that creative talent, personal confidence and a promising future might have been otherwise unattainable if not for the age in which we're living. In my vlog, I told the story of a boy in juvenile hall who found community online - and I have to wonder how his life might have been different if that community had been there all along.