Adult’s Perspective on Our Teenage Culture (SSR)

If you’ve got the time, I would encourage you to read these two blog posts here. It’s extremely intriguing to see one woman responding to our teenage culture while the other responds to her about the very same thing. There is a large perspective shift between these women’s ideas and parenting.

FYI (if You’re a teenage girl)

A Response To Mrs. Hall: Teaching our boys respect and self control

Now after reading these, let me tell you what I gathered about these two women from their ‘About Me’ pages on their blogs.

Mrs. Hall grew up as a missionary child in Zimbabwe. She went to a Christian school and met her wonderful husband. She was a coach for the UNC volleyball team for seven years before becoming a mother, and now her and her husband have been joined by two sons and a daughter. They are currently residing in Texas and continue to do work in ministry.

Rebecca Hains holds a Ph.D. in mass media and communication from Temple University in Philadelphia, as well as a B.A. from Emmanuel College and an M.S. from Boston University. She lives with her husband and two sons in Peabody, Mass. She is a children’s media culture expert. An associate professor of advertising and media studies at Salem State University, in Salem, Mass., her research focuses on girls and media. There isn’t a lot on here about her past, just her achievements and books.

It’s easy to see why they feel the way that they do about our teenage culture, just based on their lifestyles. What’s humorous to me is that from a teenager’s perspective, they are both right and wrong at the same time.

I must agree with Mrs. Hall that males are very visually-oriented and if that’s what is being put on social media for them to see, then that is how they will see you. I agree with her that it shows nothing about who someone is, and it’s a bummer that they are being represented that way. How I see it? Many times, I don’t think girls realize what seeing provocative pictures can do to a guy. All the girls see is the attention that the boys will give them after the fact. I also don’t think many girls realize that their pictures are provocative at all. Something that may not seem like a big deal to a girl may be a huge deal to a guy.

But this is where I agree with Rebecca. It’s true! Media has taught us that way of life. We’ve been shown through countless magazines and shows how to look, how to dress, and how to pose for pictures. Media has shown us how to present our lives to others via media. That’s not typically something that parents think to show their children how to do properly, because when they were growing up, they didn’t have computers! To us born in the nineties, it’s a weird concept to think that they didn’t get home from school and begin tweeting. They didn’t have to worry about nude photo scandals or being tagged in a party picture that they look sloshed in on Facebook. All that we know about displaying our lives on social media naturally comes from what we see in the media.

Now this isn’t true for everyone. Some people do have tech-savvy parents who lead by example in displaying their life on social networking. Some parents do go through internet safety and discretion for what you post. The problem is when kids have parents that ask, “Are you tweeting from that FaceSpace thing again? Or Insta-vining on snapchat?” clearly they’ve heard the terms, but have no idea what their kids are really up to.

So anyways, I just found their perspective very interesting. While neither of them are teens and both of them are mothers of sons, they have very radically different ideas on who is to blame for disrespectful teens. The most interesting part is that they both agree that social media courtesy is a lesson everyone needs to learn, and hopefully it won’t take being blocked by Mrs. Hall or having scandalous photos resurface in the later years of life to learn that lesson.

LADIES: Don’t post things that you wouldn’t want your children to see. Or things that you know will get a boy excited. Cleavage selfies and twerking videos won’t seem like such a funny and great idea twenty years down the road. Post things that represent you, not your body. You’re worth WAY more attention than what your body can get you. Outer beauty can and will fade, but you will always be you. You are more than that. ❤ These same things apply to how you talk, dress, and act.

GENTLEMEN: Don’t oogle over these things but forgive girls with grace. Forgive them for testing your respect towards women. Don’t objectify them because they’ve posted some dumb things, because generally they don’t realize how it can affect you. Like Rebecca said, practice self-control, because you can! But it can be hard sometimes, and ladies need to be understanding of how your brain works. Same thing goes for girls who present themselves this way in person. Try to realize that they have more to them than what they’re showing off. Give ladies attention who show of their skills and brains when they talk, dress, and act, and more ladies will act that way. Give them the attention of the respectful gentleman that they deserve. ❤

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