It's Complicated: the social lives of networked teens is a swell book by danah boyd, "Principal researcher at Microsoft Research, Research Assistant Professor at New York University, and Fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society." So, despite the lower case in name and subtitle, this book has gravitas. And, it is a lively read.
The main point is this: let's not get ourselves into a lather about the internet and related matters, because in many ways this is simply a continuation of teens' desires to congregate and create community with one another. Yes, there is cyber-bullying (blown somewhat out of proportion in terms of number, though serious in each instance). And yes, there are some concerns when people only only only stare into screens. But, most teens are not doing that, even when we see them texting at football games. Rather, they are reaching out and saying stuff like "hey, where are you? the game is starting."
Another main point is that the whole darn thing changes very very quickly. Teens move from favored approach to the internet to another quickly. There are aspects of race and class that shape this and are worth knowing. And, even boyd, who is not a geezer, might be a geezer in some ways as her early internet life was quite distinct from that which is predominant in her study -- or now.
A main theme: the networked public. This is what teens (and others) are creating. And, really, this is not awful -- in fact, it is a form of sociality worth supporting. No, it is not and ought not be the only kind, but it is not itself ontologically or inherently bad.
By toning some of the melodrama down, boyd allows her readers to look at a phenomenon that is changing our world. And, she is pretty forthright, even handed, and easy going. Would that we all were.
For Shimer, this is a good place to look to consider calmly the changes that technology is bringing to our world(s).