Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers
On Sale: February 23, 2016
Hardcover / e-Book
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Instagram. Whisper. Yik Yak. Vine. YouTube. Kik. Ask.fm.
Tinder. The dominant force in the lives of girls coming of
age in America today is social media. What it is doing to an
entire generation of young women is the subject of
award-winning Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales’s riveting
and explosive American Girls.
With extraordinary intimacy and precision, Sales captures
what it feels like to be a girl in America today. From
Montclair to Manhattan and Los Angeles, from Florida and
Arizona to Texas and Kentucky, Sales crisscrossed the
country, speaking to more than two hundred girls, ages
thirteen to nineteen, and documenting a massive change in
the way girls are growing up, a phenomenon that transcends
race, geography, and household income.
American Girls provides a disturbing portrait of the end of
childhood as we know it and of the inexorable and ubiquitous
experience of a new kind of adolescence—one dominated by new
social and sexual norms, where a girl’s first crushes and
experiences of longing and romance occur in an accelerated
electronic environment; where issues of identity and
self-esteem are magnified and transformed by social
platforms that provide instantaneous judgment.
What does it mean to be a girl in America in 2016? It means
coming of age online in a hypersexualized culture that has
normalized extreme behavior, from pornography to the casual
exchange of nude photographs; a culture rife with a virulent
new strain of sexism and a sometimes self-undermining notion
of feminist empowerment; a culture in which teenagers are
spending so much time on technology and social media that
they are not developing basic communication skills.
From beauty gurus to slut-shaming to a disconcerting trend
of exhibitionism, Nancy Jo Sales provides a shocking window
into the troubling world of today’s teenage girls.
Provocative and urgent, American Girls is destined to ignite
a much-needed conversation about how we can help our
daughters and sons negotiate unprecedented new challenges.
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