Facebook has taken a lot of slack recently, especially when it comes to concerns about how the social networking site is impacting children. There are worries about Facebook promoting cyber bullying, body image problems, narcissism and even eating disorders.
But we have been hearing about another way that Facebook is revolutionizing the lives of teens – especially girls – and we’ve got to admit: We’re kind of jealous. This would have been really helpful back in 1994.
OK, so revolutionizing is not the right word. Compared to Kony 2012 and other social media campaigns, this is pretty embarrassingly vapid. But Facebook is now helping girls avoid the “omg is that the same dress???” anxiety that comes along with that end-of-year fete of Brat Pack film fame, the prom.
And, well, in teen world that matters. For better or worse.
The trend started a couple of years back, when girls began posting their prom dresses-to-be on their Facebook pages. It was a way to stake a claim to a particular frock, a way of letting friends and foes know to back off from the strapless pink number, even a way to get feedback and suggestions for accessories, shoes, and hairstyles.
The trend has grown, according to parents and teens. One mom I spoke to recently told me her daughter has been scouring her classmates’ pages daily, looking to see what dresses were “taken” with the junior prom coming up in a few weeks. Some websites and companies have tried to jump on the trend, setting up Facebook pages where people can call “dibs” on an outfit.
So is this all helpful? Or does this just amplify what is already an overly appearance-conscious society? Does it promote cooperation among girls, or does it smack of catty competition?
You tell us.