Social Media and The Bling Ring


Social media empowers us as individuals. For the lonely and awkward - and millions of teens fall into both categories - it's an opportunity to reach out and connect without actually having to meet in person. We read much about internet forums being a predators' playground but not nearly enough about how they've helped children build confidence and make friends.

Apparently a new movie came out surrounding celebrity stalker websites and the effects and personalities that come out of the always connected world of today... in a nutshell, and the SMH decided to report on it in Entertainment news. Nice that they also took the opportunity to refer back to an old article from 2010, of course.

The above quote I have no issues with, it's more than clear that for most introverts the internet is an empowering factor, allowing us to make connections and express ourselves without having to deal with most of the factors that may have a crippling effect face-to-face, but I'm not sure about the areas of the article like this:

Statistics show that adolescent tweeters are twice as likely to be female as male, which confirms the suspicion that most tweeting teens are simply online followers of Justin Bieber (he has 37.9 million).

Of course, the article also says that teens use the internet in excess, but don't actually create any content for it, and don't have anything original to say or share - well, like I can talk. My last two posts merely link back to another blog and this post just discusses an article I found and am quoting... again in excess.

Regardless of people's opinion of teenagers, on the contrary they are capable of generating huge amounts of content. Of course, whether any of it is deemed original is another matter, but from the people I've met online even just in the past few years, there is no shortage of creative talent that is constantly interesting in putting their work out there for people to enjoy. They shouldn't just be relegated to a mindless crowd only hanging on for Beiber tweets... well, some of them anyway. But let's face it, they're not all teens anyway.

As for that old study:

A teen that texts more than 120 times a day is more likely to drink, smoke or have sex [..]. Texting so much might suggest that the individual has become sucked into a social network that is unhealthily obsessive and compulsive. This can warp the personality. According to a University of Winnipeg study, people who text more than 100 times a day are 30 per cent less likely to say that being ethical was important to them than people who text less than 50 times a day. The conclusion: absorption in social media can turn youngsters into careless zombies. No wonder that the US National Institutes of Health found that people in their twenties are nearly three times more likely to exhibit narcissistic personality disorder than Americans over 65.

I'm probably about as far away from narcissistic personality disorder as you can get. So despite the media making us feel crappy about our appearances and our bodies and wanting us to have warped perceptions of ourselves, we somehow manage to get to this stage where we love ourselves to the extent or narcissism... it's interesting insight.

I take great delight in posting the highlighted text on Twitter, linking back to the article. Highlighting mine.