Young Women and Social Media

I’m currently reading a lot about the way teenagers use social media, partly for my thesis, and partly based on fascination. One of the aspects that interest me in this context is the connection of speech/voice and space in relation to the new possibilities of the internet.

I just finished danah boyd’s great new book It’s Complicated, an in-depth study of kids’ social media use.Teenagers are increasingly isolated by “overprotecting” parents. As danah boyd argues, a result is that physical space where young people can just hang out with peers is vanishing, and the social media platforms give them an alternate space to socialize.

There is also an argument to be made that thanks to social media, “youth as a protected space” is evaporating, it is changing everyone’s self-consciousness. Sady Doyle discusses this aspect in a recent article at In These Times, and points out that young women aren’t “unarmed” in the “social media wars.” Young women are often uniquely equipped to handle the different pressures; for them, the Internet is home turf, they don’t know a world without it. Social media does have good things to offer, creating pro-girl resources like Rookie Mag, Scarleteen, and numerous tumblrs.

It’s complicated.

why do you only

have

a problem

with poetry structured like this

if it’s a teenage girl

who feels it makes her writing

seem more profound

when men in their forties

do this sort of thing

all

the fucking

time

you bunch of vapid shitstains 

So who is a bigger problem? Who’s the bad guy? The pimp or the john? I think in terms of business, the demand side of any industry is what keeps it going and what keeps it profitable. We’ve started seeing pimps slowly being held accountable and being prosecuted, but we have so far to go towards seeing johns as a part of the problem. People get that pimps are violent, but the idea that these regular men are villains… These are fathers and brothers and husbands, we know them, we work with them, we go home to them, and yet they’re going out and buying girls and women for sex.

Girls For Sale! Changing The Conversation On Exploited Kids In The U.S. – Forbes

Insightful interview with activist Rachel Lloyd, founder of GEMS, about the harsh reality of commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of teenage girls in the US. Important read.