Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Monday, November 28, 2011

Facebook and texting 'exposing girls to cruelty 24-hours a day’

The popularity of Facebook, Twitter and text messaging means many girls are now exposed to a 24-hour-a-day barrage of bullying, England’s communications champion warned yesterday.

Jean Gross said social media and texting had given girls more ways of excluding each other. She said she was concerned that such behaviour was too often dismissed because of the pervading belief that “girls will be girls and will always be mean to each other”.

She called for young girls to be shown films and encouraged to discuss books that dealt with the issue.

Speaking ahead of her address to the Girls’ Schools Association’s annual conference in Bristol today. Mrs Gross said: “Girls can often make each other’s lives a misery in school through communication; through this business of forming of cliques and of being one minute 'you’re my best friend’ and the next day, suddenly, 'you’re not my best friend, I’ve got another best friend’. It happens to every girl, and it’s really cruel.

“Now girls have got even more ways of excluding each other through communication … they used to do it just through verbal language, now they can do it through texting and de-friending and all of those things.’’

Mrs Gross said she believed that girls knew when they were being mean to each other, but added: “I don’t think they know quite how much it hurts, because the people who may be doing it, it may not happen to them.’’ Research suggests that girls are less confident when it comes to speaking out and saying “no” to their friends, Mrs Gross said. “Hence, this is why they’re so vulnerable to exclusion and inclusion … they’re much more conforming, more subject to peer pressure than boys are.’’ more