For this week’s blog I have decided to look at some articles about social media and it’s affect on today’s generation. I wanted to look at articles written by both an older generation and by the generation under the microscope. I thought it was important to keep in mind what David Penberthy was saying in his article and compare my research to other articles and see if there is any truth in it and/or any opposing opinions.
My first article was ‘Social Media, Sexualisation and the Selfie Generation’ from ABC news online by Vanessa Gorman in 2013 and it accuses today’s generation of all being narcissists. The article provides definitions of twerking, sexting, tweeting, selfies amongst others and then proceeds to criticise the generation for doing so. Already, this seemed as though it was encouraging the readers to condemn the generation as being sexual self obsessed creeps. If the article needed to explain what the definitions of each pop culture reference then the readers following along at home must likely be of a certain age and certainly one that is far from the age of relating to today’s generation. I found it interesting that Gorman writes ‘a generation whose self esteem was continually bolstered in the name of good parenting and healthy psychological development’. Not only does she believe that today’s generation are all self absorbed no-hopers, she believes it’s caused by the older generation’s ‘good parenting’.
A contrasting article was Birdee Mag’s ‘Sexting ain’t so bad’. Birdee is an online blog predominantly for young girls aged 15 – 22 and is written by that of the same generation. Birdee states that although after a study was conducted in Australia of years 10 to 12, 48% said they said sent a sexually explicit text message and more than half had received one. Although these numbers may be concerning, the study also proved that today’s generation is less sexually active than when it was conducted 5 years prior. Birdee states that older generations are ‘freaked out by what they do not understand or cannot be a part of’. The article also likens the concern about today’s social media and the adolescents that use it to a time when the internet did not exist and parents were nervous about ‘their kids hanging out at cinemas or shopping malls without them. Kids still want to connect sexually and socially, it’s just a different platform now’.
Another interesting article I came across was on socialmedianews.com.au by G Fernando in 2012 called ‘‘Sex, n00dz and narcissism: The social media generation’. The source is a news site that monitors newsworthy social media related issues and interests. The article states that it has become outrageously easy to send sexts in today’s society and that people follow what celebrities are doing and what our sex driven media is portraying. However, Fernando also talks about the responsibility still being down to the individual. If you are stupid enough to send a text and not realise everything you are risking then that’s on you, the entire generation should not be written off because of other’s epic mistakes.
I found a plethora of articles from older generation’s point of views which side with Penberthy’s message. Being from a generation that grew up with no smart phones and a very basic dial up internet, I feel as though I can see both sides. People have been given the outlets to conduct inappropriate behaviours such as sexting, but it really starts within doesn’t it? Now people who are interested in sending these types of communications just have an avenue now to do so. And it doesn’t really just lie within today’s generation does it? For example Ricky Nixon and Shane Warne aren’t from the generation the articles speak of yet they have both been involved in inappropriate sexting scandals. Narcissism existed before social media came about and appears both are here to stay.
Birdee Magazine ‘Sexting ain’t so bad’ 2014, http://www.childadolescentbehavior.com/Article-Detail/sexting-and-social-media-in-todays-adolescent-peer-norms-problems-and-provider-responsibility.aspx
Fernando, G 2012 ‘Sex, n00dz and narcissism: The social media generation’ http://www.socialmedianews.com.au/sexting-n00dz-and-narcissism-the-social-media-generation/
Gorman, V 2013 ‘Social Media, Sexualisation and the Selfie Generation’ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-23/gorman-the-selfie-generation/4974132
Lutz, B 2014 ‘Why Generation Y isn’t catching car fever’, Forbes Magazine http://www.forbes.com/sites/boblutz/2012/07/06/why-generation-y-isnt-catching-car-fever/