Adolescence and Social Media

While I was reading Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed And Danah Boyd’s It’s Complicated, I thought that Boyd made a convincing case on why it is so hard to live the way Ronson thinks people should. He said, “A lot of people move around in life chronically ashamed of how they look, or how they feel, or what they said, or what they did. it’s like a permanent adolescent concern. adolescence is when you’re permanently concerned about what other people think of you” (pg. 158). Ronson’s stance on how ease an individuals adolescence is that we should all try engaging life in the way a dog. He states, “A dog doesn’t lie. A dog doesn’t feel shame. A dog lives in the moment…We should be like dogs” (pg. 159). A way of achieving that shame-free lifestyle is method created by Blad Blanton, Ronson’s associate, is called “‘Radical Honesty”‘ (pg. 158). Essentially, radical honesty is a person admitting or following through with whatever is on his or her mind, no matter how weird or crazy the thought and that it is the only way to build real relationships.

In Boyd’s book, she talks about a past conversation she had with these two young girls Ashely and Abigail and recalls when Abigail told Boyd that their mom had treated the Abigail better than Ashely because of the way Ashely acted. Boyd recalls Ashley mentioning things that happened in her school such as “when boys mocked cheerleaders for their eating habits. Gossip about who might be pregnant, who was hooking up with whom, and who did what while drunk appeared to be standard fare” (pg. 130). Boyd then goes on to talk about how the way teens and young adults go about life, can really impact the way others live their lives. Boyd says, “the rise of social media has prompted tremendous concern about “cyberbullying.” Although the data suggests otherwise, the assumption among many parents and journalists is that social media radically increases bullying” (pg. 130).

The connection I want to make between the two authors is yes, Ronson has a good way of engaging life and it is probably the way everyone should try to live, but in today’s times with social media increasing and generations changing, it is very hard to live life using “radical honesty”. Personally, I think that using radical honesty or living in the moment is a hard thing to do because the times have changed and its harder to be a teen growing up then it was in the past. I chose the quote about all the high school things because it is a perfect example of the things teen and young adults think about now and with social media around, its easier to get those things out in the open. The one thing I don’t agree with about radical honesty is that there are levels of appropriateness that people should reach as they grow in life and radical honesty might now allow people to understand that.




Author: Jay B

I'm a junior at the University of Delaware majoring in english and playing on the club lacrosse team

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