“Facebook has a lot of influence over kids who are mean. They know from their own data that when they tell kids that they've posted something inappropriate [and] they ask them to take it down, those kids don't re-offend. Facebook's line on this to me was that they have a very low recidivism rate, and so to me, that suggests that Facebook can really use its influence to the good with kids in a way it has been reluctant to do so far, because it doesn't want to be seen as uncool.”—Emily Bazelon, the author of Sticks and Stones, tells Terry Gross what Facebook could be doing to help stem cyberbullying.
Is aggression hard-wired? Yes, there’s no question. We wouldn’t want to stamp out aggression. We need aggression. But bullying is a particularly harmful kind of aggression and it is not hard-wired; I think it’s more situational. So then the question is how you change the dynamic in a school so that you get rewarded for being kind and sticking up for other kids as opposed to trying to cut them down?
Great things I read on the Internet this week
I’m For Sale - What happens to a dream deferred? On the perils of indulging creative ambition instead of seeking financial stability, and our growing need as women to redefine fulfillment.
Waking Up on the Wrong Side of a Ratings War and Long Night at Today - If you love inside-baseball TV gossip, read these. Brian Stelter and Joe Hagan take turns delving into Ann Curry’s inelegant ouster from morning TV’s “first family” and how that backstage drama knocked Today off its top-of-the-ratings perch. I watched Today religiously for three formative years in middle school, back before Katie flew the coop and Matt got creepy, and I credit it still with my decision to major in journalism; my residual fondness for the show has made watching its descent into the pits of hell quite the adventure.
The People Who Watch Marathons - In the wake of the Boston bombings, a lovely tribute to the people who wake early and stay late to motivate marathon runners.
How Much Good TV Is Too Much? - Alan Sepinwall tackles the lengthening list of downsides of having so many great things to watch, and how the myriad ways we consume TV are changing which shows we choose to stick with.
The Best Tennis Player I Ever Saw - When Slate columnist Emily Bazelon was 12, she was defeated handily in a tennis match by a hotshot 9-year-old named Lisa Raymond. Now Raymond is a tennis pro, still winning championships after 20 years in the biz, and she chatted with Bazelon about the secrets of her success.
Excuses for Filing Taxes at the Post Office Just Before the Deadline, From People Who Did That - Proof that we are a nation of endearing idiosyncratic procrastinators.
Suddenly, They’re All Gone - On caring for the aging. All the years I was young, the center of life’s drama, I barely saw these people. Now they were simultaneously disappearing and becoming unbearably real to me…
Roger Ebert Hails Human Existence As ‘A Triumph’ - The death of Roger Ebert hit me hard, but this short article from The Onion hit me even harder. Simple, brutal, beautiful work.
For more great reads, check out the tag.
“Adult bullies from talk radio to Congress get constant airtime, and in many quarters their belligerence is applauded. Still, we are shocked when children behave belligerently toward one another.”—Andrew Solomon, The New York Times
“We want to think that empathy is this natural quality we all have, and in fact, almost everyone is capable of empathy. But there are these moments in adolescence where kids freeze out these feelings. I spent a lot of time with some of the girls who were bullying Monique [who is profiled in the book], and in moments it chilled me to listen to how dismissive they were in talking about her. But in other reflective moments they would say things like, ‘You know, I see that she’s walking down the hall with her head hanging down and really doesn’t have as many friends as she used to have.’ So it wasn’t that they were incapable of empathy, it was much more that they were in a culture in which they were being encouraged to be cruel to another kid to enhance their own status instead of really letting their feelings of empathy for her have an outlet.”—Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones, talks to Terry Gross about teens’ capacity for empathy
HEY TUMBLR LISTEN UP
On this morning’s episode of Fresh Air (produced at Philadelphia NPR member station WHYY), Terry Gross interviewed Emily Bazelon, senior editor of Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy, about cyberbullying and social media involving teenagers.
It struck me that a lot of what we discuss here on Tumblr is being touched on, so it’s worth a listen.
Edit: My local station’s airing of this episode has ended. (12:50 PM)
Sticks and Stones: Slate's Emily Bazelon on Cyberbullying
“We want to take this problem seriously because it is a serious problem. It’s linked to depression and anxiety and other long and short term harm, but the question I ask is whether we want punishment to be the driving response we have. Should we always be reacting or should we really be putting our resources and energy into preventing?” -Emily Bazelon
Journalist Emily Bazelon’s new book, Sticks and Stones is about bullying in the digital age. Emily joins hosts Molly Adams and Brian Babylon to talk about cyberbullying and the media’s sensational take on the ‘bullying epidemic’ and its connections to teen suicide.
Caller Jeremy gives us a local connection with the non-profit he works at, Playworks. They try to teach kids healthy patterns of interaction by providing structured play at recess.
Emily Bazelon is a senior editor at Slate, a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, and the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School.
“Maybe we need to shift from fighting over rights to appealing to the communal good. If you are the law-abiding owners of a semi-automatic, Adam Lanza’s horrible act isn’t your fault, and your desire to protect yourself and your family is probably heartfelt. But if you shared in a collective sacrifice of your preferred type of weapon, you could help make it just a little bit harder for the next young man experiencing a dangerous psychotic breakdown to go on a shooting rampage.”—Emily Bazelon, “Can we Finally Disarm the NRA?”
“(A note of dissent from all the praise for another line: “Mitt does not like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point.” Really? Isn't the reason Mitt doesn't talk about his philanthropic giving that he doesn't want to detail how much of it has gone to the Mormon Church, or offer any other accompanying window into his finances?)”—Emily Bazelon, “Ann Romney’s Sales Pitch” on Slate
Navigating the Pink Ghetto, Spilling Red Ink
In this town of writerly goodness, every once in a while an event rolls around that I feel I just can’t miss. Still trying to line up a sitter, but damned if I won’t be there. If anywhere near NYC this Monday night, I strongly encourage you to hightail it to this panel too — which features members of my awesome authors’ group, and the founder of The OpEd Project, the organization I work with.. Here’s the schpiel:
New America NYC in collaboration with the Invisible Institute
presentsNavigating the Pink Ghetto
199 LAFAYETTE ST. SUITE 3B, NEW YORK, NY (JUST PAST SPRING AT KENMARE—AND UPSTAIRS FROM LA ESQUINA!)
JUNE 11, 2012 6:30–8:15PM
Topics around gender politics, family issues and women’s health are crucial mainstays of journalism, so why do issues pertaining to women get sidelined? And how can so-called “women’s topics” get an intellectually sound, politically savvy hearing in a media world that often wants a soft focus on hard issues? Hear from tough women journalists spilling red ink on pink topics, and how they manage the gender divide in serious ideas-based reporting.
Senior editor, Slate
Contributing writer, The New York Times Magazine
Author of a forthcoming book about bullying, Sticks and Stones, to be published early next spring
ANNIE MURPHY PAUL
Author, Origins and Brilliant Contributing writer, TIME magazine Contributor, NPR’s MindShift.com
Author, The Starter Marriage and The Future of Matrimony, Pornified, and Parenting, Inc. Features editor and children’s book editor, The New York Times Book Review
Founder and CEO, The OpEd Project
Author, Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked
See you there!