STREAMING: Volume 1; #Social Media, Mobile Lifestyles, written by Dr Marcia Forbes, artfully combines relevant and often humorous short stories to explain and support her research findings about what youths do online. Here, 'online' refers to the Internet and cellphones. Hundreds of 17 to 30-year-olds from across four countries describe how they use Facebook and Twitter and what their mobile phone means to them. Dr Forbes' book gives a deep insight into youth culture, the concept of mobility and the social ecologies of virtual spaces. It is available in hard copy format in Jamaica and as e-book. Kindle version: http://amzn.to/ILciaf. ePub version: http://bit.ly/LlsmKk.
Speaking of cyber-slacking, three guidance counsellors from mixed-gender, inner-city schools corroborate that it's "mainly boys" who engage in this. This may somewhat relate to the ways in which Jamaican society expects boys to be distracted and even to perform poorly in school, based on socialisation practices.
Influence of culture
In a culture of 'tie the heifer, loose the bull', girls are tied down to schoolwork, while boys roam freely. A Jamaican male must be a 'bull', a 'stamina daddy', a 'long-distance stulla'. The last two taken from the highly popular dancehall music: All three expressions are references to a man's sexual capacity and prowess.
Burden of being male
This burden of performance is especially heavy on a male if his 'pocket is not strong', meaning he is not financially secure. What he lacks in money, he has to make up for in his ability to attract females.
Facebook as survival strategy
It is not unexpected, therefore, that among the most financially challenged males the conversations centred on the use of Facebook to secure relationships with females who can offer some level of financial or material support in exchange for virtual sex or even simply 'sweet talk' ... . For many poor boys, therefore, Facebook is not a distraction. It is not a time-suck. It is simply one more strategy for survival.