I personally think that socialization is often meant as "acting like the popular kids act" (though it doesn't sound like you're using it that way) and as my kids grow up, I am regularly shocked at how crappy kids are to each other. When I was a kid, I thought all the homeschooled kids I knew were weird, but they just acted like the adults in their lives, and without exception, they all turned into well-functioning adults.
Despite my negative take on socialization, though, we are also very liberal with technology. We just have high standards for their behavior, and don't think that following trends is good for it's own sake.
> socialization is often meant as "acting like the popular kids act" (though it doesn't sound like you're using it that way)
My usage is more a matter of "understanding the social skills that are not formally taught". In particular, I'm talking about things like understanding social cues, when/how to be supportive, etc. There are absolutely negative social skills that can be learned this way, so you're correct there. But even a gang of jerks has social structures and interactions, and someone that never got much practice/exposure at those will struggle to even succeed in joining a gang of jerks. (Not that doing so is such a great aspiration)
> I am regularly shocked at how crappy kids are to each other
Totally. I recall previous articles (I believe on HN) about how parents hate the shows on the Disney channel because they demonstrate/teach terrible social skills for tweens. (Bratty children, idiot parents, etc).
Putting kids in a group won't teach them how to be good people and I didn't mean to imply that. It _will_ teach them to be a social group. These ideas are orthogonal.
I mostly wanted to provide a countervailing anecdote rather than any sort of fixed rule.
I would say that I definitely had success, by your definition of social. I've never had a problem making friends, but socialization as a kid didn't benefit me long term because being social with pre-teens and teenagers is useless training for being social with adults in a professional environment, which is where I now spend most of my time. I basically had to learn to be social all over again.
So I guess I take issue with the idea that people need to be around their peers to learn to be social at all. I agree that social skills are not formally taught, and that they need to be learned, but I think all that is required to accomplish this is that children are around people who interact with them. If they have that, I think the cost of them not being involved in whatever kids these days are doing is not that high, and definitely not as high as they might think it is in the moment.
I don't think I agree, but I've been spending some brain churn on this since you posted it so I'm not 100% settled on it.
It's definitely an interesting element to consider, thanks for going to this depth!