Here is the headline that made the front page of the “Sunday Styles” section of The New York Times on April 14, 2013.
“The Woman with a Billion Clicks”
Who makes most of these clicks? The 13 to 17 set. What do they like so much? YouTube videos by Jenna Marbles. By standing in her bathroom she speaks to a webcam and turns out outrageous videos everyday. Here is a sampling of her most popular topics:
- “What Girls Do in the Bathroom in the Morning”
- “My Favorite Dance Moves”
- “I Hate Being a Grown Up”
Her videos are “laced with profanity.” Jenna tells us “In my mind, my videos sometimes are inappropriate for a 13-year-old. But that’s what they’re watching.”
Here’s the part that caught my eye for this column.
“In videos that typically last five to eight minutes, they talk straight to the camera and riff through head-spinning jump cuts, non-sequiturs and exaggerated facial expressions to court shrinking attention spans and rack up views.”
Huge fan mail goes with this phenomenon, and much of it comes from girls as young as 9. Here is one letter that gave me even more concern.
“Seriously, I’m 13. You need to understand that we watch Jenna Marbles, we swear, we think wrong, we act insane, we have Facebooks, we can’t live without Internet. we can’t live without our phones. THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT IS!!”
Anyone who is a parent of an older child knows these two things:
* Early childhood lays the foundation for later childhood. No one becomes who they are overnight.
* While the teenage years used to seem like a long way off, they have their own way of coming up rather quickly.
If this phenomenon reached only a small number of our teens, that would be one thing. However, this article in the New York Times tells us that
“While few people older than 30 probably know who Jenna Marbles is, her popularity is unquestioned among teenage girls who live on the Internet. She has more Facebook fans than Jenna Lawrence, more Twitter followers than Fox News and more Instagram friends than Oprah.”
A Bouquet of Positive Feelings!
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