There has been a huge gap since the last episode as life, work and then Covid got in the way. I will be putting out a few episodes over the next few weeks which have all been recorded recently with the exception of this first interview with Mark Wong. This was recorded in 2019 and was intended to be the first of a series which I didn’t manage to do at the time. But Mark’s work is fascinating to reflect on in 2021 as he has done fascinating work on “Hidden Youth”, that is, young people who spend all or most of their time at home engaging with other people solely online.

This has been a familiar experience to many people over the last 18 months or so which makes Mark’s research and insights more important than ever. Mark tells me about this growing phenomenon and the experiences of people he spoke to which challenge some of the perceptions of people who spend much of their time physically alone at home. The “Hidden Youth” are not necessarily isolated or disconnected, rather, they are highly connected with others and well-informed about cultural issues and trends. Also, in many cases digital communication facilitated more meaningful and emotional engagement and connection.

Central to Mark’s work is a comparison between “Hidden Youth” in Scotland and in Hong Kong and we talk about some of the differences between these two contexts.

Mark Wong is a Lecturer in Public Policy and Research Methods in the School of Social & Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

You can read Mark’s article on “Hidden Youth” in New Media & Society and in his university repository.

You can follow Mark on Twitter @UoG_MarkWong

You can listen to this episode on the Anchor website (via the link below) or app by searching for “Digital Sociology Podcast” on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts or wherever you usually get your podcasts.