Here’s some things I read this week worth checking out:
1. Micro-blogging the next big thing for advertisers? via the private life of a girl. I don’t believe it too.
2. Is that big sofa really necessary? — This article written in the 80’s is so relevant today! We got rid of our sofa and don’t plan on replacing it anytime soon. It’s a long story so I’ll write more on this later.
3. I’m currently reading American Girls: social media and the secret lives of teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in psychology and feminism and required reading for any parent (in my humble non-parent opinion). Nancy Jo Sales talks about the quantification of social capital in the form of “Likes”, its effect on self-esteem, body image, and the pressure on girls to sexualize themselves. She describes common social media phenomena such as, every high school’s “slut page”, “finstas” (fake instagrams) use in social maneuvering, and what boys and men say to pressure girls to send “nudes”.
I found the piece about narcissistic parenting on social media most compelling. By the end of her 2 1/2 years of research and after interviewing over 200 teenage girls to write this book, the author decided to change the way she used social media. She took every picture of her daughter that she had ever posted off the internet. Wow! Cool! In this interview with NPR, I was struck by how she declined to answer the question regarding her daughter’s reaction to this. It was an awkward moment in the interview but gives us all a pause. Oh wait a minute — we don’t have to share everything and that’s OK!
Have you ever wondered what effect parents posting pictures of their children online will have on them? It seems like it’s becoming the norm nowadays, but I wonder what message it sends to young girls. A young girl learns very quickly what will make mommy happy; she might think I need to pose and look cute for mommy so she will post my picture on facebook; she’ll be happy with me if she gets over 100 likes for it. What about parents that portray a perfect family life online through pictures, but who are inevitably imperfect in real life? What message does that send to young developing minds about being real and how do they learn to feel authentic and themselves? And what if this child grows up to be a private person? Should it be her decision about whether or not the world can see her childhood pictures?