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March 7, 2007

Book Notes - Anastasia Goodstein ("Totally Wired")

Anastasia Goodstein understands both the power of the internet and how its younger users utilize this tool. Her book, Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online, explores this interaction, and offers common sense tips for parents to help their children make the most of their internet use (and stay safe), while offering a glimpse into how children spend their time online.

In her own words, here is Anastasia Goodstein's Book Notes contribution for her book, Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online:

Totally Wired is about how today’s teens and tweens have grown up using technology, setting them apart from previous generations. I argue that while all of this technology – the internet, cell phones, iPods – has transformed the way they go about being teens, the essence of being a teenager is the same as when we were teens. And just as music was central to my teenage life growing up in Nashville, TN, music is just as important to teens today – even if they are getting most of it for free online or from their friends on burned CDs. Unfortunately, I did most of my writing in silence, occasionally turning on the radio or one of Comcast’s music stations (Sounds of the 70s) in the living room. But I do write about music in the book, what I listened to, a little bit about what today’s teens might be listening to, and about the reality of illegal downloading and the questions it raises for parents. My soundtrack combines my own teen tastes with what’s popular now.

David Bowie, Rebel Rebel – This song pretty much sums up my teen years. I worshipped David Bowie, had my Changes One poster on my wall throughout high school and even asked my classical guitar teacher to show me how to play a song from Bowie’s less well known album Low.

Kate Bush, The Big Sky – I was so into Kate Bush in 10th grade, I suggested we name our literary magazine The Big Sky, and we did.

Led Zeppelin, D’yre Mak’er – I had a ZoSo bumper sticker on my Buick 1976 Century and stayed up all night one night to record every Zeppelin album off the radio. Why I didn’t just buy them all, I have no idea…Houses of the Holy was my fave.

The Cure, Boys Don’t Cry – I played this tape to death as a teen. The Killers’ vocals remind me a bit of Robert Smith. He was just so playful and sad – early Emo?

Jane’s Addiction, Jane Says – I saw lots of live shows growing up in Nashville. The best live show ever? Jane’s Addiction at The Cannery on the Nothing’s Shocking tour. A lot of us first saw them as the opening band for Iggy Pop, but when they came to town the second time as headliners, we all knew every word to every song. Plus I kind of identified with “Jane.”

Midnight Oil, Beds Are Burning – Second best live show I saw back then at The Cannery. It was summer and the humidity was thick and steamy. There was no air conditioning yet we all sweated and sang “How do we sleep while our beds are burning?”

Gwen Stefani, Holla Back Girl – Gwen is no young thing and No Doubt has been playing music for a long time, but I think Holla Back Girl introduced her to a whole new generation of teen girl fans.

Maroon 5
– I think they’ve cooled along with “The O.C.,” which just had its series finale, but these guys were definitely hot with teens for awhile.

Daddy Yankee – Today’s teens are the most diverse generation in history. Kids of different races hang out together, date each other and listen to each other’s music. The iPod has offered freedom from any particular genre and teens have embraced this. Reggaeton reflects this fusion of styles – rap and reggae.

The Fray – Dr. McDreamy saved this band from oblivion when their single became the Grey’s Anatomy theme song. Teens love Grey’s Anatomy.

The Black Eyed Peas – When I heard my niece (who is a tween) singing about “all that junk inside your trunk” I almost had a heart attack. You got to admit though, it’s catchy.

The Killers – Everything old is new again. This band reminds me of a cross between The Cure and The Hoodoo Gurus. They’re white hot and have been playing in every teen oriented retail store I secretly shop at.

see also:

the book's website

SFist interview with the author
the author's essay at the Huffington Post
San Francisco Chronicle profile of the author

Previous Book Notes submissions (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2007 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2006 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2005 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2004 Edition)


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