Dr. Eunice Gaerlan-Price’s PhD study focuses on the lives of academically successful teenage girls of diverse socio-economic, racial, ethnic, and school backgrounds, with social media We investigated how they added complex layers to their lives.
Eunice, now a teacher’s educator, was first interested in the impact of social media on girls teaching in Auckland’s secondary school.
“It was this concept of” friendship “and” follow “that originally stimulated my curiosity. What I noticed especially at all the women’s colleges I worked at was that the 13th grade, especially the governor, responded to multiple friend requests from younger students, including those in the 7th and 8th grade classes. ”
Eunice added that he was intrigued by the idea that social media offers older girls some celebrity status.
“One of the governors talked about relationships with young people who became friends through Facebook. We use one-to-many broadcasts (rather than real networking or two-way conversations).
“What this means is a close scrutiny of the lives of these older girls by people in the network, thus increasing the sense of need to live up to expectations and feeling that there is little room for failure. rice field.”
At the time, Eunice says Facebook was pretty new and its impact on teenage girls was just beginning to be investigated, so there were few resources or ways to support it.
“I think the school was in a position to prefer to leave social media out of school. It was commonly used outside of school hours, so I didn’t have to worry too much. Of course, this Was before smartphones became easily accessible and usable devices. Social media was still accessed through computers. ”
A detailed interview for Eunice’s postdoctoral research was conducted on 19 highly educated 13th grade girls. After that, Eunice drafted a collective story from the entire group.
The girls talked about social media as both empowering and losing power.
“When they saw the empowering message, they felt it was fleeting – it didn’t make a trace. The visual nature of things like Instagram has more impact on social respect. Seems to be giving. It internalizes the need for girls to feel that extra effort must be made. ”
Reflecting what she observed as a teacher, Eunice says it’s tied to expectations, you can be a complete package, your social life is as good as your academic performance, and how you are. It was this pressure to show as good as it seemed, and that you were a contributor to society.
“I shared those stories with the participants, and a year later I went back with some of them to unpack the stories, and about the new themes I found and how it resonates with them. I talked, “she says.
Culture of busyness
Eunice also discovered that a culture of busyness began at an early age and continued from girl to female.
Tall poppies and popular culture force these high-performing girls to avoid intellectual identities because of their propensity identities associated with work ethic and the achievement of all-around.
“Intelligent identity is often characterized by a statement of’I’: I am intelligent, talented, intelligent, and have a high IQ. Characteristics of propensity identity “I do” statement: I work hard and make a lot of effort, “explains Eunice.
She says that some people want to move away from their intellectual identity by saying “I worked hard and succeeded” rather than “smart” that leads to Tall Poppy Syndrome.
Eunice says that many of the girls she interviewed were striving to be perfectionists, which affected their quality of life.
“I was telling some girls about getting up at 5am instead of sleeping or working until 2am. Many do extracurricular activities every day and go home at 9pm to study. Then they realized that they needed to scroll through social media, live a social life, show off their bikini bodies, and have an exciting holiday. ”
Eunice states that her work is not a comparative study of the experiences of girls and boys, but she says much research is being done in the field of girls’ generation research.
This article has been reproduced with the permission of the Ministry of Education.
Measuring the impact of social media on busy student life
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