Ann Moneypenny WIA

Ann Moneypenny of Athens.

Do teenage girls today have things easier or harder, or about the same as girls did when you were growing up?

“I believe it is harder. When we were growing up, your most embarrassing and difficult moments were played out (quickly before just a few people). Today it is played out publicly for hundreds, possibly thousands with the reach of social media. Before you had the good old-fashioned rumor mill that was mostly word-of-mouth in your school; today they can read what people think about them on multiple social media sites. As parents, we aren’t able to keep up with the latest app that allows such postings. As soon as parents are aware of the recent app being misussed, they have moved on to another one.”

– Heather Cozart, 38, of Athens

Health-care director

 

“Harder because of technology.”

– Shawna Young, 30, of Guysville

Teller supervisor

 

“Harder! Social media is in your face 24/7. There are no more secrets or confidentiality, either you, your friends, or unfortunately your enemies are posting your business on the Internet. Bullying and cliques definitely existed in my teenage years but now social media has made it much easier. I am thankful for the convenience and information we have from the Internet, but very thankful that Facebook, Instagram, etc... did not exist because I probably would not have the career I have (today) if my teenage through college years were pictured for everyone to see.”

– Cortney Beymer, 37, of Athens

Social worker

 

“I think teenage girls have it harder than I did. When I was a teenager, social media was just starting. Now it's really taken off and cyber-bullying is a much bigger issue than it was for me. I have heard horrible stories of girls being bullied online and I am glad that I never dealt with that.”

– Katy Shusta, 23, of Athens

Social worker

 

“Hard to believe, but harder. Higher expectation, more ‘eyes’ on them, different ‘role models’ and increasingly busier lives.”

– Christin Tripp, 30, of Athens

Analyst/Econ instructor

 

“I believe teenage girls have it harder than when I was growing up. This world has changed so much since then. Social media, cell phones, the instant, all-day communication you can have with the outside world; I think it’s a huge responsibility that growing bodies and brains can’t quite yet adapt to.”

– Amanda Conrath, 39, of Athens

Accounting clerk

 

“The teenage years are hard for anyone of any gender anywhere. Teenagers in the U.S. were privileged (from a global perspective) in my era in the mid-’70s, and similarly for my daughters in the 2010s. But of course there are differences. My daughters had infinitely more access to the entire world's learning – and the world's opinions! – far earlier than I did. [My daughters] learned more at home and in school, learned it faster and as a result are far more knowledgeable in general than I was at their age… One very interesting change is that (in my opinion) gender itself is less and less a factor in their options (whether as a barrier or as an advantage) than it was in my era.”

– Faith Knutsen, 53, of Athens

Associate director of operations of TechGROWTH Ohio

 

“Easier in some ways and harder in some ways. Overall I think they have more access to resources, they're more educated and savvy about the world around them. It's way easier to be a weirdo. They're exposed to more ways of thinking and being. I could imagine that social media probably only amplifies the self-esteem & bullying issues and relationship drama, but on the other hand the Internet provides teenagers with more opportunities to interact with the world around them which is educational in many ways. But I'll say it again... it's way easier to be a weirdo now. Things that were totally off the wall even 15 years ago are much more accepted, especially in rural places.”

– Sarah Nelson, 30, of Athens

Special education teacher

 

“I think that it varies. Girls are growing up today seeing empowered women and they realize they can do and achieve anything. There are more opportunities now than ever before. On the other hand, rape culture is very real. Victim blaming is very real. Young ladies have to be more vigilant than ever before and are held to a social standard that young men aren't held to. ‘Boys will be boys’ is still an acceptable excuse for poor behavior but if a young lady is raped and is found to have been wearing a short skirt and/or drinking too much, it is said she ‘put herself in that position’ by making poor choices. It's an absurd double standard that, unfortunately, continues to promote a rape culture.”

– Kami Perritt, 38, of New Marshfield

Certified application counselor

 

“Harder, it's always getting harder. Our world seems to get faster and more complex each year. The targeted marketing today is intense and accessible to girls via social media at a younger and younger age. It's harder for parenting to remain the most prevalent influence.”

– Ann Moneypenny, 54, of Athens

Committee chair at Upgrade Athens County

 

“With the rise in social media, I find girls growing up now have a more difficult time. My sister is thirteen and is constantly Snapchatting, tweeting and Facebooking. She is bombarded with images. I remember Yahoo! Messenger and downloading music with Limewire. However, I didn't see as many airbrushed images of women and friends' portrayals. Self-worth does not come from a selfie.”

Carissa Rose, 26, of Athens

Massage therapist

 

“I think it's difficult to be a teenager, in any era. In the years since my high school experiences in the ’90s, the dramatic shift in technology and the level to which students’ lives are public information has changed adolescence forever. I think young people are under a lot more pressure from their parents and face much more negative consequences for making impulsive or ill-considered decisions through exposure on social media. I think that young women still face discrimination and that the voices that women get to have in media and popular culture create unreasonable expectations for young women. The injustices and discrimination that women face are not frequently discussed and casual misogyny is acceptable in public discourse (see Republican debates for examples). I can't say that this is anything new but it's certainly a complicated time for young women to be growing up.”

– Jennifer Dockman, 33, of Nelsonville

Office drone

 

“I have two teenage girls and, so far, their options appear to be greater than what mine were growing up. I had to deal with a lot of social constraints on my choices for a career or mate in ways that my girls don't face, now.”

– Lisa Heinz, 46, of Albany

Doctorate student

 

“Teenagers deal with the same issues throughout time. I think the (harder part) comes in with the prevalence of social media. When I was growing up, if you were bullied at all in school you avoided the bullies the best you could and then went home to a hopefully supportive family where you had a lot of time to recover. Now with Facebook, etc. the bullying never ends and follows the girls home. How sad to not be able to step away from the painful things said and get recharged.”

– Alisa Loudner, 46, of Nelsonville

Sales associate

 

“Oh no, I have a 15-year-old daughter and two step-daughters that are now 19 and 22. Things are far more difficult for young girls these days. More peer pressure, bullying and etc.”

– Jennifer Theiss, 35, of Coolville

Personal assistant

 

“While the issues faced by teenage girls are different from those we faced when I was growing up, I think the impact is basically the same. Some obstacles are harder, others easier, but it's all a wash in the end.”

– Meriah Bond, 35, of Nelsonville

Billing clerk

 

“Things are harder now. When I was growing up, bullying online and via text wasn't an issue. We also didn't have cell phones and cameras to record our every dumb or potentially embarrassing decisions.”

– Anna Stevens, 34, of Millfield

Administrative assistant

 

“I think most things are harder for teenage girls today due to the way the media presents them. Most of them long to fit in, but advertising depicts the typical female teen as very slim. I feel if they can't conform to this expectation their self concept and esteem is compromised. Many are faced with early puberty, which they are not ready to deal with. I'm not sure they value themselves as much as they should; they just want to be important to someone. In some ways things are easier for them because of Title IX. They don't have to fight to get in the safety patrol. There are equal opportunities for them to belong to the debate team or take industrial arts or whatever. There are athletic opportunities as well. Their activities are not limited and underfunded.”

Kim Brown, 68, of Athens

Retired from OU Athletics and College of Education

 

“Harder. I think social media allows some of the difficult social situations that used to take place just at school to follow them home; for example, if a girl is being bullied or facing peer pressure to fit in.”

Evelina Bloom, 32, of Athens

Marketing

 

“I think it is always hard no matter what, but the accessibility to media creates new and interesting challenges when growing up.

– Jessica Fletcher, 26, of Athens

Music therapist

 

“I think some things are easier and some are harder. I'm not that far removed from being a teenager, but even in the short years since, I've seen a lot of progress in terms of diversity, acceptance and tolerance for certain things and a decline in others. I grew up in an age where the Internet and cyber-bullying were new things, and no one in a position of authority knew how to deal with it, but I see girls today who are still struggling so much with that.”

– Caitlin Seida, 26, of The Plains

Writer

 

“I feel that teenage girls have things harder, especially with the advancement of the Internet. I have said many times that I am grateful that Facebook didn't exist when I was in high school. Being a teenager is hard enough (peer pressure, etc.) without social media in your face 24/7 practically. Social media can have a huge psychological impact on all of us, but especially on young minds, I feel. And it is not always a positive impact. And I won't even get into the media and sexual pressure/influence.”

– Karen Radebaugh, 38, of Athens

Student/artist

 

 “The teenage years can be very difficult times for girls on so many levels, especially as they navigate social relationships and try to learn who they are. Bullying is not an uncommon occurrence during the teenage years, and with social media being such an important part of our lives cyber-bullying is on the rise. Cyber-bullying or simply making negative comments via social media can significantly impact a girl's self-esteem and overall level of confidence.”

– Connie Patterson, 36, of Athens

Assistant dean

 

“In many ways it is harder. The popularity of social media and the sexualization of young girls is becoming more and more prevalent all the time. Younger girls are exposed to more sexual content than ever before thanks to social media and the current state of the advertisement industry.”

– Lily, 20, of Athens

Student

 

“Teenage girls today have more wide-open career opportunities than in the 1950s, but well-paid jobs are harder to get. Self-respect and solidarity with other young women are stronger in many circles than they used to be. Different sexual orientations are more accepted, although still shunned by too many. Women as sex objects for men continue to be a major focus in the media, forcing an emphasis on physical appearance as all important. Pressure to have early sexual experience challenges many more girls than in my day. Date rapes and unplanned pregnancies burden many young women. They can result in ‘shot-gun marriages,’ unwanted children and prematurely ended opportunities for higher education and meaningful work."

– Helen Horn, 83, of New Marshfield

Former teacher, counselor, oral historian, writer

 

“I think teenage girls have it harder when it comes to getting jobs and the motivation to do that. When I was a teenager, all I knew was I needed a job to do anything I wanted to do.”

– Amanda Pugh, 23, of Athens

Real estate assistant

 

“Teenage girls have it harder today. Don't tell my teenage daughter I said that! Social media alone makes their lives much more complicated. It is not that social media is all bad, but it adds additional pressures/stress/issues that my generation of girlfriends never would have imagined. Those ugly knee-socks I once wore with a skirt and the hideous perm I had back in 1985 are blessedly not forever stored away in Instagram or FB.”

– Jennifer Schwirian, 40-something, of The Plains, Worker bee

 

“I feel like teenage girls have it easier growing up now, but truly I only have my own experience to reflect upon. It seems like girls these days have better access to resources, education and technology than I did when I was young. When I was a teenager, my parents encouraged me to do whatever I wanted when I grew up, and I feel like teenage girls can and are doing this in 2015!”

– Amanda Sharrai, 38, of Athens

Realtor

 

“Easier in some respects as to technology and information availability, but the same or harder about life issues and learning who they are. Some things will never change.”

– Marcy OBrien, 63, of Shade

Classified employee, OU

 

“I think they have it about the same. I think the main issue in teenage females is that they're pressured into having sex and sending nude pictures. If they don't do any of these, then they are labeled boring or a tease, but if they do follow what people tell them, they are labeled whores. Females can't win without being labeled. I also feel like teenagers are targeted by the media to show off their bodies so as a result, this gives off this vibe that teenage females think it’s OK to show off their bodies. They could end up doing something to ruin their reputations, their images, and quite possibly even a future career. A nude picture can go a long way.”

– Nikki Burcher, 22, of Glouster

Graphic designer

 

“I think teenage girls have it a little harder than when I was growing up. They are facing a lot more pressure these days to be adults before they are ready. Also, social media can make girls feel like they have to prove to the world how perfect their lives are. They are comparing themselves to the seemingly perfect lives of others who post pictures and boast online. It can be depressing when you don't feel like you're living up to the unrealistic expectations of others.”

– Emily Brunton, 29, of Glouster

Optician

 

“I think they have it harder because of social media. People feel much more comfortable saying awful things online that they would never say in person, and it's difficult to keep your personal life private, as everyone has a phone with a camera. I'm really glad that there weren't awkward pictures of me floating around on social media when I was a kid.”

– Erin Nash, 41, of Amesville

Librarian and massage therapist

 

“I don't have a lot of experience with teens but I think every generation has its own unique challenges and advantages.”

– Natalie Eskey, 32, of Athens

Baker/business owner

 

“Easier, more diverse job opportunities, fewer bars to achievement, more awareness of crimes against women.”

– Vicky Mattson, 55, of Athens

Homemaker

 

Has Facebook and other social media enhanced or eroded your relations with other people? 

“I think social media has a place in our society. It allows me to keep in touch with family that lives in another state. However, I feel like as a society we just kind of winged it, and now are trying to set boundaries and guidelines for use. We opened Pandora’s box in one since and now are struggling to put some of it back in the box. There is an old saying: ‘some of the worst things in life were created with the best of intentions.’"

– Heather Cozart, 38, of Athens

Health-care director

 

“Facebook has helped me personally because my life doesn't usually allow time to catch up with family and friends."

Shawna Young, 30, of Guysville

Teller supervisor

 

“I will admit (that) I am addicted to Facebook and I wish I was not. As a mother of two it is my social network. I do not have the time to chat on the phone or hang out with my friends anymore. I can catch up on what everyone is up to and see pictures of what their kids are doing. Of course it is not reality. No one is posting the pictures of their messy houses that they need to clean, or the kids' dirty diaper that needs changed, and definitely not the selfie that shows their double chin.”

– Cortney Beymer, 37, of Athens

Social worker

 

“Facebook and (other) social media have definitely enhanced my relations with other people. I can stay updated and in contact with people I would otherwise not be able to talk to. It's harder to keep up with people now that I am not in college anymore and don't live near a lot of my friends. But I know what they're doing because of Facebook and I can congratulate them or offer condolences and help accordingly.

Katy Shusta, 23, of Athens

Social worker

 

“I like Facebook because I can have contact with my friends during bad weather. I also like being able to discuss world issues.”

– Lea Chiki, 64, of Athens

RN

 

“Enhanced, but not the way you'd think. Because of the veil of connectedness that social media creates I've realized I have to work harder to have actual meaningful relationships with people.”

Christin Tripp, 30, of Athens

Analyst/Econ instructor

 

“Facebook has allowed me to reach out and find past acquaintances that I would not have to opportunity without Facebook. It’s allowed me to stay connected. I think Facebook and social media has changed the definition of friendship. Facebook has made the act of friendship effortless.”

– Amanda Conrath, 39, of Athens

Accounting clerk

 

“I'm a strong proponent of interconnectivity between all people, by whatever means possible. I am amazed and delighted that the little Central African villages where I served overseas in the 1980s now have universal cell coverage, and thus connectivity as advanced as my own in less constrained circumstances. And I remain connected through social media with the international colleagues I've met worldwide, in ways unheard of before that medium arrived. Social media, like any other tool or weapon (and it can be both) is best used with moderation and with consideration. It is, today, far easier to connect quickly and constructively with any other connected being than at any other known time. It is also far easier to connect destructively. Commensurate care is essential with enhanced power.”

– Faith Knutsen, 53, of Athens

Associate director of operations

 

“I don't think anyone will claim Facebook isn't a double-edged sword. I have a lot of friends and family across the country, and I enjoy being able to interact with them on a more regular basis and share our lives even though we're far apart. But yeah, it totally allows us to be lazy... watching someone's updates isn't the same as having a conversation with them.”

– Sarah Nelson, 30, of Athens

Special education teacher

 

“Both. I'm more aware of social issues on a much larger scale and I'm more involved in social service because of the networking that social media allows. On the other hand, I'm continually disgusted with the lack of humanity and empathy in the world.”

– Kami Perritt, 38, of New Marshfield

Certified application counselor

 

“Both. I talk directly to friends less but I’m able to keep in touch with many more people on a regular basis overall.”

– Ann Moneypenny, 54, of Athens

Committee chair

 

“I am one of those ‘smug’ people; I don't have a Facebook. Since I quit a year ago, I find I am more introverted. The relationships I have are richer. I miss the humor though.”

– Carissa Rose, 26, of Athens

Massage therapist

 

“Social media has, perhaps, changed the ways that I interact with people but social media is a tool. If it's become harmful to a person or their relationships, one might consider using it differently. I think technology is a neutral entity that people can use for either positive or negative outcomes. Social media makes it possible to connect with people in different ways. It can open the doors to broader conversations and expose people to ideas they hadn't considered before...but mostly it's for bragging about one's offspring and making celebrities of one's cats. I don't think this affects my relationships one way or the other.”

– Jennifer Dockman, 33, of Nelsonville

Office drone

 

“Facebook and I have a love-hate relationship. I love it for its ability to connect me with people all over the world, including those who are friends only because of Internet technologies. But, I get distracted by the lousy algorithm that changes too frequently. I want to see ALL my friends posts, not only the ones Facebook thinks I want to see, and that technical restriction, I believe, has the potential to erode my relationships, both on and offline. It's embarrassing to have to answer a face to face question about someone's post from the day before with a deflating ‘Well, heck, I didn't see it…’"

– Lisa Heinz, 46, of Albany

Doctorate student

 

“On the flip side of the above question I think it's enhanced my relations. I'm a bit of an introvert so being able to interact with people on Facebook, Twitter, etc. is nice. I have made really good friends on the Internet that I cherish as much as my friends I've known in person for years.”

– Alisa Loudner, 46, of Nelsonville

Sales associate

 

“Enhanced in my world, that is. It has allowed me to reconnect with a lot of my family.”

Jennifer Theiss, 35, of Coolville

Personal assistant

 

“Facebook has both enhanced and eroded my relationships. It gives me insight into the inner thoughts and values of people I might never have known otherwise, some good, some bad. It just provides a different window into their soul.”

Meriah Bond, 35, of Nelsonville

Billing clerk

 

“If anything Facebook has enhanced many of my relationships with people in that I know more about them and communicate with them more often than I would have without it.”

Virginia Dykeman, 40, of Athens

Home-health aide

 

“It has enhanced relationships that are separated by distance. Family and friends are able to easily see the happenings in my life and my son's.”

– Jessann Black, 26, of Athens

Server

 

“Both. It has enhanced my ability to keep up with people I would otherwise have no way to keep in touch with (old high school friends, etc). It has eroded my relations with people because it has become abundantly clear that too many people are racist idiots.”

Anna Stevens, 34, of Millfield

Administrative assistant

 

“It has helped to the extent that I have been able to find people I lost contact with over 50 years ago. It has been fun to catch up with them, but I don't get to hear their voices because they just text. It is too easy to dismiss someone online, and easier to be nasty. I think younger people are not developing the ability to interact face to face with others, causing poor interpersonal skills. This has resulted in probably innocent, but horrendous experiences with store clerks, cashiers, etc. Some seem to think that it is a nuisance to have to put their phone down to help someone, or that you don't mind waiting until they finish their conversation. I can't imagine the future.”

– Kim Brown, 68, of Athens

Retired from OU Athletics and College of Education

 

“I'm not a big social media user, but I do think it helps me keep in touch with my family and friends, especially those who don't live in the area.”

Evelina Bloom, 32, of Athens

Marketing

 

“It has enhanced me catching up with people I may not have continued to connect with, but I have gotten worse about calling to just chat with old friends.”

Jessica Fletcher, 26, of Athens

Music Therapist

 

“Social media gave me a big boost in my career, unfortunately stemming from a negative incident where an image of mine was stolen and turned into a meme. But through social media, I was able to reach out, fight back and learn from others that my story had helped them. That's a powerful thing. Aside from that, all of my family and most of my friends are 500+ miles away. Without social media, I'd be really, really lonely.”

– Caitlin Seida, 26, of The Plains

Writer

 

“I am not on Facebook anymore. I closed my account down almost two years ago, when I realized that it was having a negative impact on my psyche. Once I closed, I can say that I experienced a positive impact. I don't use any other forms of social media. I prefer to talk for ‘real’ and not via a huge server.

Karen Radebaugh, 38, of Athens

Student/artist

 

“Social media has allowed me to stay connected with people and share in the lives of my friends and family around the world.”

– Connie Patterson, 36, of Athens

Assistant dean

 

“Personally, it has enhanced my relationships with others. Half of my family lives out of the country, and without social media I wouldn't be able to keep in contact with them like I can today. Additionally, I am in a long-distance relationship, and social media helps to bridge that gap.”

– Lily, 20, of Athens

Student

 

“Social media I think has disrupted relations with other people. Its a convince and easy to get word out to people when needed, but I think many people take social media too far and like to stir the pot with things. Social bullying has become a problem in today's culture.”

– Amanda Pugh, 23, of Athens

Real estate assistant

 

“In most ways social media has enhanced my relations with others. I can very easily stay in touch with family and friends who live out of town. I love seeing pictures of my family and friends!”

– Jennifer Schwirian, 40-something, of The Plains, Worker bee

 

“This is a tough question. I'd like to say it's enhanced my relationships with others, but I think that wouldn't be accurate. Actually, it's made me lazy with my relationships. Yes, I'm connected to more people than ever before but only on a surface level. The most meaningful interactions I've had in the past year with friends and family have been face to face, heart to heart, not through technology and social media.”

– Amanda Sharrai, 38, of Athens

Realtor

 

“Facebook has enhanced my relations with others. I'm back in touch with people from my younger years, people I'd lost track of long ago. My family and friends are now just a screen or touch away.”

– Marcy O'Brien, 63, of Shade

Classified employee, OU

 

“Social media (mainly Facebook) has eroded my relations with people. Since people are behind a computer, phone, tablet, etc., they think they are invincible and can say whatever they want and that it won't cause any hard feelings. When in reality it does the exact opposite.”

– Nikki Burcher, 22, of Glouster

Graphic designer

 

“I believe Facebook has eroded my relations with people. It is so easy to forget to talk to people in person, when so much time is spent communicating behind a screen. I feel that it distances people from even their closest friends and family members.”

– Emily Brunton, 29, of Glouster

Optician

 

“I think it has helped me keep in touch with far away friends and family. It helps plan events, fundraisers, and I can see pictures and hear what they do in their day to day lives.”

– Natalie Eskey, 32, of Athens

Baker/business owner

 

“Enhanced. I have found old friends from my youth and reestablished friendships. I keep in touch with family and friends from all over the country.”

– Vicky Mattson, 55, of Athens

Homemaker

 

“It’s about the same right now because it’s just as before – drama and playing games; that’s it.”

– Tabitha Rhoades, 24, of Glouster

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