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Up a Pole or Draw a Line in the Sand …Teen Girl Choices in a Changing Culture … or Not

A parent asked me recently about her daughter, “Do you think that social media is like going to the mall to hang out … she will shake it off as she grow older, right?

I wish I could so believe that the will survive its own circuitry messages based on materialism, hyper sexuality, ego worship, and adult role-play that will hopefully develop into more logical, deductive thinking skills.

How does the adolescent brain beget information?

The learning process cannot be relegated to the mall or cellphones as singular acts soon enough forgotten. Our brain creates a mental map of its environment with triggers for learning from to It builds networks of , and , encodes and , where breaking fixed assumptions and routines is hard to reset.

What are neuronal pathways? (The Brain from Top to Bottom)

Neuroscientists and psychologists explain how are physically wired from your actions and emotions based on what you do repeatedly; both good and bad, which are strengthened with repetition.

Therefore, if you want to change how you think or act, you need clear steps to break out of the habit, to experience and stimulate different neuronal pathways.

Most people understand the brain has an amazing adaptive quality known as neuroplasticity that persists over a lifetime. Teenagers will undoubtedly change as they mature, intact with long term memories and new explorations.

How will the current environment help or hinder them?

Last year, at least 100 million people witnessed the Superbowl Pepsi Half-time Show with very talented singers and dancers with some lusty performers who were 40 years old and older. The one male singer strode around proudly, appearing to be dressed from neck to toes in a silver trench coat, baggy pants with even a helmet to cover his head. The women had free flowing hair and dressed in skimpy outfits flouncing a tableau of every kind of sexually suggestive movement imaginable. One actually climbed a pole and performed a style of with the briefest thong visible in a costume.

So, here are four questions:

Is this s of gyrating and twerking women a matter for only one night’s entertainment or is it setting icons?

Or is this an acceptable common and for our young teen girls to copycat their idols for public approval?

Or is this for young teen boys viewing such as a desirable epitome of womanhood, worthy to emulate in a mate?

Or is there any kind of from social norms, or does it even matter that we may have crossed the line to no-return to civility?

Why has our cultural narrative changed so much?

It seems our cultural norms are normalizing this female objectification with accolades for this kind of performance. Overt sexual displays by beautiful women have nothing to do with character over time for mutual affirmation. Thoughts, feelings, or relationships afforded to love are now manifested on very popular reality TV shows with pretty young women finding their idealized husband line-ups, a cattle call, of handsome, rich eligible bachelors or one night playboys on the beach. At one time, love was based on the right to courtship, trust and the test of time where family values could be nurtured.

The silent majority have experience, insight and wisdom but may be intimidated or anxious not to be overwhelmed by mass media. Reality is twisted to suit the influencers when untruths are more important than truth.

I’m not sure it’s easy for teen girls to just “shake it off,” in a changing culture where celebrations of female sexuality can be viewed as relative to bar scenes or porn videos where lonely men and prepubescent males go to watch strippers to satisfy their fantasies along with the thread of misogyny. Girls can also learn to work a pole if celebrities flaunt it.

The latest teen girl pop sensation is described as having a “gothic-horror aesthetic” dressed in a canvas sack whose music represents the Gen-Z generation without gender defining her image and music crying for privacy with anxiety and apathy. Recently, a Gen-Zer, raised on social media, states on a TV interview she sees nothing wrong with spending money on plastic surgery “if it makes you look and feel good.”

And, along the way, new research continues to stream in with studies that now are using to measure online responses with long-term studies now evaluating what happens after a in this grand social experiment.

Association of Screen Time and Depression in Adolescence

Stunning New Facts about Mental Health Conditions Among Teenagers from WHO — World Health Organization (2019)

When Social Media is Really Problematic for Adolescents (New York Times 2019 06/03)

Time to draw a line in the sand but how?

On one side, are our to stay healthy and moral, democratic with trust and consensus, smart with introspection versus distraction, where teen girls have time to create their independent roles into womanhood and motherhood without imposition. On the other side, there will continue to be the influencers with bully pulpits, the wolves in sheep clothing, and the celebrities hanging from stripper poles.

Who will say What superpower force can divert online attention to something more inspiring and meaningful to our society?

When social media can subvert a timeline for young people with wrong choices, my simple solution is for teenagers to learn to respect their one and only timeline.

Why not set up lesson plans to help quantify and qualify Time and how to make responsible choices relative to Past, Present and Future?

Questions and comments are always important. What is your opinion? Has our cultural norms crossed the moral line in the sand? Is Social Media benign or malignant? What tools can young people use to counter this invader and raise their voices for independence?

Annemarie Berukoff
833 471 4661 (please leave a message and best time to chat)

EXCERPT: Teen Girl Faces Time in the Sand … a Timely Tale of Social Media Struggles, Regrets and Survival with Superpower Tool: (plus Kindle)


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Retired teacher — wisdom of Timely Tools for Changes: self-franchise internet marketing, social media attacks, ecology

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