Meet the Teen Youtube Sensation: xxAllieCosmeticsxx!

Daniela is a 16 year old from Miami, Florida. She enjoys helping others and writing.  Her favorite subject is psychology because one day she hopes to major in psychology.

 

For those of you who don’t know, Youtube is a website used for more than just searching song lyrics or music videos to your favorite songs. There are people who actually do Youtube videos for a living. I have been watching Youtube videos since around late 2009.  My favorite Youtuber has to be Allie, or better known “xxAllieCosemeticsxx”.  She is a young 16 year old girl from Montreal, Canada.  She is a Beauty Vlogger on Youtube. She started her channel in 2008 and has been making beauty and fashion videos ever since.  Now, almost three years later she has over 30, 000 subscribers on Youtube.  You might be thinking, “Oh, a makeup and fashion channel? That sounds so vain” But in reality it’s not. Allie always stresses the fact that beauty comes first on the inside.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/user/xXAllieCosmeticsxX#p/u[/youtube]

There’s way more to Allie than just make up and clothing. She has inspired me and over 30,000 other viewers with her dramatic weight loss. As a child, I had always been overweight just like Allie stated that she was in one of her other videos “My Weight Loss Story!”. Then people started to send really mean and hurtful messages about her weight to her on the anonymous question and answer website called “Formspring”. She calls those people her “angels in disguise” because they motivated her to lose weight. According to one of her responses on Tumblr, she has lost over 40 pounds. Allie has always been beautiful but now with the confidence that she has earned from her weight loss, she has blossomed into an even more beautiful individual.

I remember the day I saw that video of hers, I felt like I could relate so much to what she had gone through. It was like finally someone out there finally understood how I felt. That video and many others helped me start my own weight loss journey.  On June 13th, 2011 I decided to get healthy. I worked out at the gym over 5 times a week and I completely changed my diet in order to accommodate my healthier lifestyle. Although, I’m not as successful as Allie I have actually lost a good amount of weight. I can see the difference in how I act and how my clothes fit and I owe a lot of it to Allie’s inspiration. As “cheesy” as it sounds, I felt like if Allie could do it than so could I. I could also relate to Allie’s anxiety issues that she has shared with her subscribers on her channel. I know how it feels to be in that position, and even though she lives thousands of miles from me it’s great to know that someone else has faced those same struggles.

I am subscribed to over 200 Youtube channels, and I could honestly say that Allie has been the biggest inspiration to me. Her videos have made such an impact on my life. She has also inspired me to make Youtube videos. I will be starting my own channel soon and I hope to be as successful as Allie. There is no one else that could ever be classified as my “favorite You tuber”.  I also enjoy other Youtubers that are not beauty related. Good examples would be “TimothyDeLaGhetto2” or Timothy Chantarangsu from Paramount, California who makes comedy videos and “CTFxC” or Charles Trippy and Allie Speed from Bradenton, Florida who make daily “vlogs” talking about their life and sharing their life with the world. Both of those Youtubers have over a million subscribers in total and I look forward to their videos every single day.

Formspring: A Hurtful Trend

Abigail is 15 years old from Los Angeles, CA. She likes photography, spending time outdoors and creative writing. She loves English and Art History and hopes to travel around the world when she’s older.

Ask Me!   www.formspring.com

teenwriter2 asked… You’re so pretty! But why do you dress that way? And why don’t you wear any make-up? Why did you break up with him…. how could you be so mean? How could someone ever like you after what you did to her…she was your bestfriend….what’s wrong with you?

BrokenTeenager replied…. :(

 

Formspring, a website based on people asking questions anonymously, has become a huge fad in the teenage culture. Teenagers across America have set up accounts that allows anyone to ask a question in simple honesty. In some ways, Formspring is ingenious. Allowing people to ask questions that they wouldn’t have the guts to in real life behind the hidden mask of the Internet is sheer brilliance. However, this liberty is often taken advantage of amongst teenagers and exploited to such a high degree.

Life as a teenager is already difficult in real life, and adding an online component to the daily drama is absurd. So why do we do it? In some circumstances, it is a reputation one must maintain. Having a Formspring is a way to show superiority and defend yourself in high school warfare. It is a sign of popularity. Depending on how many people ask you questions on your page also factors into your reputation.

In other cases, it’s simply boredom. The worst excuse I’ve heard for having a Formspring is “I was bored over the weekend… so I made one.” Being bored doesn’t justify setting up an account that is pretty much a free invitation for negative comments. Whether one is seeking societal approval or is just “bored”, having a Formspring will be  detrimental to teenager’s self esteem.

However, (surprisingly enough), teenagers, either popular or not, aren’t invincible. They can’t control everything and have feelings that can be hurt. When teenagers have a free pass to write anything they want on the internet in complete secrecy, they abuse the privilege. Formspring’s main purpose (if there really is a purpose for it at all) is to allow people to ask questions in complete confidentiality, not to degrade someone else. I have witnessed horrible things being written on Formspring. Some of these thoughts are truly hurtful. If you know the person has a lot of confidence and he won’t be hurt by the snarly comment you left on his account, you’re wrong. However arrogant and buoyant someone may seem, just remember that we are all the same.

The important first grade mantra that usually causes nostalgic memories of elementary school comes into mind: Treat others the way you want to be treated. This saying usually travels to the back of our minds over the years as we experience bullying and the cattiness of other teenagers; however, as we grow older we can all look back and truly understand what this saying means. Don’t do anything to someone else that you wouldn’t want to happen to you. If you write nasty things on someone’s Formspring, place yourself in their shoes….will you want to be in that uncomfortable position? Would you want to have the gut-wrenching feeling that someone among the sea of students at your school doesn’t like you? It’s a horrible feeling that no one should be put through.

Formspring is a trend that needs to end. On October 16, 2006, 14 year old Megan Meier hanged herself because of some horrible comments a stranger left on her MySpace account. A young teenager, just like all of us, willingly ended her life because of hurtful comments on the internet. The devastation of this event rippled across America. People were astounded that words were so powerful.

Next time you read someone’s Formspring or think about posting, just remember the power of words and never forget the saying that will forever be engraved into the back of your mind, treat others the way you want to be treated.

 

To read more about Megan, click the link below.

http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/

 

Informative websites about cyberbullying

http://stopcyberbullying.org/

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/TheLaw/teens-charged-bullying-mass-girl-kill/story?id=10231357

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdQBurXQOeQ

http://www.radicalparenting.com/2011/01/03/what-should-you-do-if-you-think-your-child-is-being-cyberbullied/

http://www.radicalparenting.com/2011/02/12/bullying-what-doesnt-work-victims-and-bullies-and-more/

 

 

Hey, What Do You Think of Me?

I have noticed that there is a trend of teens wanting to ask each other the question “What do you think of me?” in anonymous forums. We have seen this with a number of recent trends:

1. Facebook’s Honesty Box

The honesty box is an application that kids put on their profiles and friends are able to put in anonymous comments.

2. Formspring.me

Formspring.me, which we have covered in this blog before, is a website where users can post questions to other users and answer anonymously. You can also see one of our teen’s comments about Formspring.me.

3. Failin.gs

Failin.gs is a newer website where users answer the question: “What is wrong with me?” on their friends pages.

A quick search on this site revealed these horrifying comments on some teenager’s profiles:

“ura fat ass and u should stop eating cause ur 2 ugly.”

“no1 likes u even if u think ppl do, hahahahahaahaha. Its bc ur annoying in class and make stupid comments all the time. Ur not fuckin smart dude!”

These comments are devastating—to both adults and teens. When I ask my teen interns about these websites and applications, many admit to having a profile and finding the pull irresistible. One teen boy said, “I feel like I have to know what people think of me. It helps me know which category I fall into at school.” But when I asked him how awful it feels when he gets bad comments, he said, “It’s worth it to see the good comments and you get to know what people really think of you.” This obsession with knowing what other people think speaks to the larger trend of teens using the online world to figure out their own identity.

One of our teen writers said:

“Recently whenever I log on to my Facebook account, many status updates include the words “Ask me questions,” or “Go for it,” associated with the link formspring.me. Like many of my friends, I made the mistake of making a formspring. I thought that my friends or other people that wanted to get to know me better would ask me questions to get to know more about my life, such as what I like to do in my free time, and what my ideal job is, or questions such as those. In the beginning many people asked me NORMAL questions such as, where do I shop for clothes, what my favorite color is, and such. However, after a couple of days I started receiving negative comments about myself from anonymous people. Not questions, but negative comments people were posting anonymously. I thought I was the only one that was getting these negative comments, but then I went to other formspring pages that people had posted on their Facebook accounts, and saw even more drastic negativity people anonymously posted. I have seen very mean things on my own friend’s formspring accounts. Anonymous people will leave comments such as “You’re fat,” and “You’re a slut,” or “You’re ugly, I can’t believe you have a boyfriend.” I have seen even harsher comments than that.

In some cases, the anonymous comments people have posted on other people’s formspring accounts have gotten to such a derogatory level, that the person with the formspring account decided to disable their account. In addition, my friends have been the victims of negative comments and their confidence level has been lowered. Even though they shouldn’t have taken the comments to heart, it is hard not to think about yourself in a negative light after reading comment after comment from people that can be labeled as “Haters,” or people that put you down in order to feel better about themselves, or they are just mean in general.

I believe that formspring.me is an innocent outlet to get to know more about friends, but people, especially teenagers have taken advantage of this service and instead opted to post mean and hurtful anonymous comments about other people, or in some cases their own friends. This is leading to cyber bullying. Anonymously attacking another person’s self confidence and image over the internet is a form of bullying that is cruel and hurtful. It is everyone’s own personal choice to get a formspring, but I warn against it. Even though you can ignore hurtful comments and questions from other people, the person asking the question will see that you have not answered it and will keep sending you comments or questions to your inbox, which I have seen firsthand happen to my friends. If someone really wants to know more about you, they should ask you questions in person or try talking to you in person. And if people have hurtful and negative comments to say about someone else, but they are posting it anonymously, it just goes to show how immature they are because they use an innocent internet service to bully another person.”

It is important for us to talk to our teens about the difference between honesty and bullying. This is a type of digital self-harm. Like cutting, submitting questions to these websites is a way of inflicting pain on oneself. Where is that line drawn?

Battle of the Social Networks: Facebook, Formspring, and Twitter.

Sam is a 15-year-old from Montgomery, NJ. She enjoys playing tennis, writing and Community Service. Her favorite subject in school is History.

While Facebook is the biggest social networking site on the planet with more members than the entire population the United States, other social networking sites such as the celebrity-adored Twitter and the up-and-coming Formspring are catching on fast. So which site will come out on top? I compared the three sites in different categories.

Concept:

Facebook: Like a cleaner, safer, more Ivy-League version of MySpace (Mark Zuckerberg, its creator, attended Harvard). However, there are limits to how many friends and groups you can add, and expect frequent, slightly annoying layout changes, and the complaints that follow (“LIKE OMG I HATE THE NEW FACEBOOK!!!”)

Formspring: A question-and-answer site that allows people to ask you questions, either under a screen-name or anonymously. A pretty innovative idea that’s received a significant amount of controversy for its anonymity…maybe too much controversy, as there have been reports of fights and suicides due to cyberbullying.

Twitter: Similar to the status feature of Facebook, but choose your words carefully, as it’s a 140 character limit. Celebrities LOVE this site, too! Can be addictive, but can also be a bit dull compared to the other two.

The Winner: Facebook

Individuality of Profiles:

Facebook: Add every application, group, and fan page you want, and feel free to alter your personal interests, general info, and even your name. On the other hand, you better get used to royal blue and white, because it’s the only background you can use.

Formspring: Add a background (yes!) and a profile picture, and change your location, your greeting, and the name that pops up in searches. But the only application you have is the big white box on the page. In addition, they also give a limit to your bio.

Twitter: As for backgrounds, put whatever you want, like a Formspring. Also like Formspring, you might have to keep your bios short and eliminate any chance of using your favorite Facebook apps.

The Winner: Facebook

Interacting with People

Facebook: There are the basics of any social networking site: the Wall, the Inbox, the Chat, the Status. Maybe the people at Facebook need to do something more creative with these basics and make sure they’re always working (so I don’t scream at my little chat box every time something doesn’t send)?

Formspring: If you want to share inside jokes, make a complement to someone outside your social circle, or get the guts to complement that guy or girl you’ve had a crush on, here’s a chance to do it without embarrassment. However, this site may give people who don’t have the nerve to tell someone off a little bit more confidence than they should.

Twitter: The only thing that seems to be connecting you and your friends is pressing the Shift and 2 keys, then writing a screen-name. Between that and re-tweeting your friends’ posts, there doesn’t seem that much to do.

The Winner: Formspring

The Celebrity Factor

Facebook: Most celebrities have “fan pages” where you can “like” their page, statuses, photos, and write on their wall. Some of these pages are intertwined with their Twitter pages. However, there are many pages for certain celebs, so it can be difficult to figure out which ones are the official profiles.

Formspring: Celebrities have appeared to avoid this social network. I could only picture how many hate messages certain celebrities will get if they made one.

Twitter: Celebrities are addicted to Twitter as they are with dieting and exercising. Certain celebrities (even B-listers and has-beens) have grown their fan bases because of Twitter. Oh, and there is definitely a bigger chance of your favorite celebrity replying to your tweet. However, some celebs like to abuse Twitter with misspelled rants or TMI tidbits (Spencer Pratt and John Mayer, this means you!)

The Winner: Twitter

There are many aspects of Facebook, Formspring, and Twitter that work as great tools in this crazy world of social networking. While Twitter may be the best for keeping up with your favorite stars, Formspring is better if you want to boost your confidence on the Internet. However, these two sites do not compare with the behemoth that is Facebook. With a great concept and tons of individuality, Facebook is truly the best social network out there.

Question me on Formspring.me?

Karis is a 16-year-old living in Middle Earth most of the time. She wishes that she were born 10000 years in the future (or however long it takes to reach the pinnacle of human civilization). She can normally be found between the pages of a book or in the kitchen.

What is Formspring?

“Ask questions, give answers and learn more about your friends.”—Formspring.me.

Formspring.me is an innovative new website that focuses around social questioning and answering. Strangers or friends can anonymously pose questions to other strangers or friends.

Review of formspring.me: It’s an interesting concept, a personal website dedicated to asking questions and answering them. People are expected to answer truthfully, but a lot of formspring involves internet trolling, the act of purposefully antagonizing people on the internet in order to invoke an inflammatory response—basically purposefully pissing people off online. But, there are other uses to formspring.

Formspring is used by many of my friends to flirt. Many of my girl friends will anonymously pose questions such as “What type of girl do you like?” or “Do you like blonds or brunettes?” and then try to emulate the answer in order to hook the guy. Most of them don’t go as far as to dye their hair though.

But, formspring is not just for the younger generation and not just for recreational activities. My US History teacher has also opened a formspring account to allow students to ask her questions pertaining to history. It’s a useful tool for students, since it allows students to clear up any questions that they might have. This is a prime example of how social networking websites can be used to reach a broader audience; companies such as Coca-Cola open up 24/7 question and answer sites and celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher tweet.

But formspring is not all fun and games. The anonymous nature of the website allows people to bully and target an individual. It’s not just trolling, it can be malicious cyber-bullying that can lead to hurt feelings, a damaged psyche, and possibly more. Like any other website precautions must be taken to guard against bullying and to protect information, especially on a website like formspring which is based on sharing personal information. Users should not share any information that they would not say in real life; anonymity on the internet does not translate into anonymity in real life.

Formspring.me a New Teen Fad


Melissa Harnanan is a 16 year old from Valley Stream, NY. She enjoys warm weather, cookie dough ice cream, and reading romance novels.

Recently whenever I log on to my Facebook account, many status updates include the words “Ask me questions,” or “Go for it,” associated with the link formspring.me. Formspring.me is the newest teen fad to hit the internet. Most teens that have a Facebook account are no stranger to formspring.me, which is a website that allows people to anonymously ask their friends or other people questions.

In order to ask someone questions on formspring.me, they click on a person’s link, and then they go to the big comment box, and type their question in. If they have their own account, they can sign in and make their account name visible so the person they are asking a question knows who it is that is asking a question. Or they can opt to remain anonymous and ask a question anonymously.  Once someone asks a question, their question is sent to the inbox of the person they have asked a question to. The person can opt to answer or ignore the question. Questions have ranged from “What is your favorite color?” to questions that violate a person’s personal life. You would think that formspring.me would allow you to learn more about your friends, like the website says, in a positive light, but in most cases it is an outlet to comment negatively and ask people impersonal questions.

Like many of my friends, I made the mistake of making a formspring. I thought that my friends or other people that wanted to get to know me better would ask me questions to get to know more about my life, such as what I like to do in my free time, and what my ideal job is, or questions such as those. In the beginning many people asked me NORMAL questions such as, where do I shop for clothes, what my favorite color is, and such. However, after a couple of days I started receiving negative comments about myself from anonymous people. Not questions, but negative comments people were posting anonymously. I thought I was the only one that was getting these negative comments, but then I went to other formspring pages that people had posted on their Facebook accounts, and saw even more drastic negativity people anonymously posted. I have seen very mean things on my own friend’s formspring accounts. Anonymous people will leave comments such as “You’re fat,” and “You’re a slut,” or “You’re ugly, I can’t believe you have a boyfriend.” I have seen even harsher comments than that.

In some cases, the anonymous comments people have posted on other people’s formspring accounts have gotten to such a derogatory level, that the person with the formspring account decided to disable their account. In addition, my friends have been the victims of negative comments and their confidence level has been lowered. Even though they shouldn’t have taken the comments to heart, it is hard not to think about yourself in a negative light after reading comment after comment from people that can be labeled as “Haters,” or people that put you down in order to feel better about themselves, or they are just mean in general.

I believe that formspring.me is an innocent outlet to get to know more about friends, but people, especially teenagers have taken advantage of this service and instead opted to post mean and hurtful anonymous comments about other people, or in some cases their own friends. This is leading to cyber bullying. Anonymously attacking another person’s self confidence and image over the internet is a form of bullying that is cruel and hurtful. It is everyone’s own personal choice to get a formspring, but I warn against it. Even though you can ignore hurtful comments and questions from other people, the person asking the question will see that you have not answered it and will keep sending you comments or questions to your inbox, which I have seen firsthand happen to my friends. If someone really wants to know more about you, they should ask you questions in person or try talking to you in person. And if people have hurtful and negative comments to say about someone else, but they are posting it anonymously, it just goes to show how immature they are because they use an innocent internet service to bully another person.