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teen singingThey look at Justin Bieber and all his success and think, “I can do that. I can be discovered on You Tube too!”

So they post, upload, pin and tumblr– all in the hope of one thing–becoming famous!

That’s right, a third of teens and tweens surveyed say it is important for them to be famous.

And those kids who want to be famous use social networks. Social networks allow them to create their own image, manage and control it.

According to Temple University psychologist, Laurence Steinberg, social media allows teens to imitate what is like to be famous. He also thinks that adults play into this by posting videos and pictures of their kids on Facebook and You Tube.

Add society, especially reality TV, where the goal is to be discovered and kids think, this is worthy to pursue.

But is this desire to be famous and self-promoting a good thing?

Generally speaking, NO.

First, how many kids will actually make it and are spending valuable time investing in possible fame? Remember those American Idol contestants who actually thought they had the talent to win? Their families and friends were right there encouraging them when they clearly had no talent for singing. Reality check! They were wasting their time on something that would never happen. So if talent and practice are involved in becoming famous, you have to have and do both.But so many teens think it just happens or overestimate their talent.

The pathway to fame now includes:

1) Being arrested. How many shooters and bombers have had this goal in mind?

2) Being born in a wealthy family. Fame is based on entitlement, a problem we see among teens today.

3) Having outstanding physical beauty. Beauty eventually fades, and an emphasis leads to eating disorders and body image problems, both on the rise among teens.

4) Have an affair with someone famous. This is just wrong to begin with, much less getting famous for it.

5) Release a sex tape. I don’t have to explain!

6) Become a reality TV star like Teen Mom or Kate Gosselin who think this is a way of life.

Come on teens, how about goals like serving others, making a difference in the world, being a person of integrity, etc.?

Fame is fleeting and self-serving. And have you noticed how few people handle fame well. Most self-destruct.

Time for a reality check on what is important. Fame doesn’t make the list!

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Yalda Uhis, researcher at UCLA’s Children’s Digital Media Center presentation at the Society for Research in Child Development (April, 21013)

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