Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 04/13/2011

Perez Hilton and Bullying

Over the past few years, the news has been inundated with tragic stories of teens and cyberbullying. There were the stories of Phoebe Prince and Megan Meier, who after being tormented via social media sites and texting, resorted to suicide. The advent of formspring isn’t alleviating the now all-too-common cruelty of bullying, either. It seems that adults look at our generation and wonder if our obsession with vampires, warewolves and other beasts is actually due to a feeling of kinship.

There are probably a lot of causes for the advent of cyberbullying, which I’ve ruminated on before. But one cause I hadn’t really given much thought to before was the influence of a bullying media, specifically thanks to stimulating reality shows like the Real Housewives and nasty bloggers …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 01/3/2011

Teens and Technology: A Feminist Issue

The media would like you to believe that every time you log on to Facebook or – god forbid – the evil black hole of narcissism that is Twitter, another nail is inserted into the coffin of your general ability to function as a capable, well-rounded human being. Every time you update your status, every uploaded picture taken of yourself on your macbook, every “100 Things You Didn’t Know About Me!” note you write, a modicum of self-awareness and empathy seeps from your pores. Essentially, the social networking sites that virtually our entire generation frequently uses are turning us into self-obsessed, unfeeling robots who will contribute nothing of worth to society.

Now, I don’t know that this is entirely true. But if I see one more teaser for the 11:00 …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/4/2010

Formspring and Cyber Bullying

My first interaction with Formspring (for those who don’t know: Formspring is a site where people can comment anonymously about eachother) occurred just this past year when a girl a year younger than me from a nearby school became relatively famous amongst local high schoolers because of her formspring. Other “anonymous” commenters (mostly girls from her school) began leaving notes implying (in a tone that could be called just about anything besides subtle) that they thought she was a slut. She announced via formspring that she would not be returning to that school next year.

I watched this incident with pretty fervent, yet detached, disgust. Almost every Formspring profile I’ve viewed was used to express hateful comments, some verging on actual threats. It seems that when one adds teens plus …

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