The topic I am choosing to discuss is the harmful effect social media can have on individuals as well as society as a whole. Starting my research on this topic I discovered a site that brought to attention some
It is interesting that you are bringing this topic up because it is really relevant in today’s world, especially in the lives of teenagers. It is hard to see the ramifications of the presence of the advanced technology we use on a daily basis, because they are a very recent development. It presents a community that is much larger than we could ever have before, but that sense of community may be fake to a certain extent because many of our “followers” on social media are only acquaintances in real life. Also, our obsession with what are peers are doing and how their lives seem compared to ours may be having mental consequences as well. This last week, I tried to have a social media cleanse and for a few days, I kept on checking my phone for notifications or superficial entertainment when I was bored. I still kept my accounts, but now I check them at most once a day now, and I realize how much time I personally spent on these apps.
If you are looking for data on social media use, http://www.pewresearch.org is the way to go for lots of up-to-date data. I used it for research on social media recently, so hopefully it’ll help you. Good luck!
Over the past few years, more and more schools have been requiring their students to follow a strict uniform. With any newly implemented rule, it comes with its advantages and its disadvantages. Some believe this
I completely agree with you Natalie, I think its important for kids to be able to express themselves instead of normalized by a uniform. The Washington Post published an article called “Dress Codes Disguise The Real Bullying Problems”. It talks about how dress codes actually do more damage when using them to prevent bullying.
“They tell us that we need to identify the intruders or strangers in our midst, that we need to protect our students from being bullied or humiliated for wearing clothes that differ from the accepted “norm.” Does this mean we only respect those who look like the “norm”?”
Some schools here in Colorado don’t really have a strict uniform policy. Students can wear anything they want up to an extent. People can’t wear some specific colors or pieces of clothing that may be offensive. If the teachers or principal sees you with offensive clothing on you may be sent home or a parent may bring you a different outfit to school. The punishment may not sound harsh but it is, you will be getting in trouble by the school and your parents at home. I agree with you, kids should be able to express themselves in a way that may not be offensive to teachers or other students in school.
I also agree with everything that you have to say. As a student who has worn a uniform my entire life I am able to understand not being able to express myself completely. I think that especially for teenagers and children in middle school being able to express yourself is a huge part in growth and discovery. When I complain to some of my teachers about how uncomfortable our school uniform is they do bring up the thought that with a uniform all students are equal and students who have less money than me or cannot afford to buy lots of clothes that a uniform is good for them which is also an interesting thought to consider.
As a student who has worn uniforms since fifth grade, in elementary school we followed a pretty simple rule blue pants with a white or blue shirt but in middle school we could wear solid colored pants and shirt as long as the shirt had a school logo on it. Now in high school the uniform policy is failry simple but detentions are given if you violate the rules. While I do not like the uniforms, I feel better not having to worry about picking out what to wear everyday.
I have never attended a school where uniforms haven’t been required, so I cannot speak to the environment of schools without uniforms, but I do know what it is like to be forced to wear uniforms. While I completely understand your point on allowing students to express themselves with clothing, my experience leads me to disagree with you. I have found that students always find ways to express themselves how they want even with uniforms. A big thing at my school wearing cool socks—people have everything from Star Wars socks to Spongebob socks, and it allows students to express themselves. Additionally, people can style their hair or makeup their face to their liking. I have noticed that because everyone wears the same clothes, it makes everyone feel more equal. I also believe that because we don’t focus on how ourselves or our peers look, we are able to better focus on our education. We find ways to be unique in other ways, though it is not as visible as with our clothing. I think this also helps decrease judgement of others. I very much understand the concern about individuality, but I don’t think uniforms prohibit uniqueness.
I went to public schools that didn’t require uniforms until last year. I shared some of your concerns about expressing individuality when dressing identically to your peers. However, I’ve been required to wear a strict uniform for over a year now and have changed my mind completely. When everyone looks the same, it’s almost impossible to judge someone based on appearance. I feel more pushed to talk to my classmates and get to know them because wearing a uniform has the effect of putting everyone on equal ground, which is a good thing. In addition, I’ve enjoyed being able to sleep in because I don’t have to pick out outfits any more 🙂
Up until I went to high school I had attended schools with little to no restrictions on the dress code. Once I got into high school it was such a shock since we had a strict uniform, at first the change was a shock but then as time went on I enjoyed having a uniform since I no longer had to spend hours on end deciding what to wear, instead I am able to use that time to study and sleep. I do agree with you people need to express themselves but they can do it many other ways, for instance at my school kids can express themselves by wearing different socks, shoes and jewelry.
For the first eight years of my education I was able to attend public school. With little to no dress code, we were fully able to express who we were shaping up to be. When I got into ninth grade I was stuned by the idea that we were all the same. How can you force an entire community of teenagers, who are learning who they are and who they want to be, into the same mold of uncomfortable and expensive uniformity? I understand the desperate desire to end bullying but I believe that it is rooted deeper than just the things we wear.
Having a uniform sucked freshman and sophomore year but now that I am in my senior year its a blessing to not have to pick clothing to wear every morning. I do agree that expression is important, most kids break uniform rules at my school anyways.
I have worn a uniform to school since first grade and I know they can get annoying and you want to demonstrate your individuality, which is a good thing, being able not to worry about what to wear is a bonus. I do feel that we should get some freedom like forgetting a belt no one should care about that, but other than these little irritations the uniform thing doesn’t bug me that much anymore.
Dear Natalie, I would have to say that I liked what you wrote and I would have to agree, but disagree with you. I think in our society today it is essential that that our generation as well as young generations need to be free and express ourselves through the clothing that we wear and that by having us all act and look the same will not decrease the bully rate. But coming from a person that goes to a school has enforced the rule of wearing a uniform it actually isn’t that bad, you can express yourself through the backpack that you wear, the shoes you wear, the socks that you wear, and lastly it is less laundry. Overall i loved you piece and this a serious issue that needs to be addressed, we need to take consideration for the actions that we as a society are telling the younger generation. it is not okay that we are told to all look alike and think alike. Nice job and thank you very much for opening up my mind!
Natalie- I do agree with a lot of the things you said. I think that standing out and being individual is very important, but I think that there are other ways for you do do that besides what you wear to school each day. I have always worn a uniform growing up and I have learned to like it. I enjoy not having to worry about what to wear each day and not having that extra pressure or stress. I think individuality is important but can be shown through your personality rather than what you wear.
Hi Natalie! Great article you have here! As a uniform-wearing student, i do have a couple things I would like to say about the uniform life. I have been wearing uniforms since I was seven, and I have definitely felt the oppressive nature of wearing those boring khaki pants and white shirt every day (oh, the angsty tween years). I LOVE to dress up- every weekend I put on my best clothes, whether I am going to the store or the movies. I believe that clothes are one of the best ways to express yourself, as well as make yourself feel comfortable. That said, I would also like to say that my life is 10000x easier because of my uniforms. Not having to pick out clothes to wear every day is really nice- There’s no pressure to try to look nice because everyone looks more or less the same. I personally have figured out ways to express myself at school (funky socks, jewelry, cute hairstyles), and this is enough for me for five days out of the week. I agree with your point about bullying- It’s going to find a way to happen, regardless of what the kids at school are wearing. If someone is going to be mean to you, they’ll find something to be mean about- it’s not always about clothes. So while i completely agree with that, and your point about self expression, I would also like to throw out there that uniforms are not that bad. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!!
I wear a uniform at school. There are for sure positive and negative aspects of wearing a uniform. I personally really enjoy wearing a uniform, simply because I am really lazy and do not want the responsibility of choosing an oufit every morning. However, I do believe free dress is an important part of self-expression. Also, making everyone in the school wear uniforms does not change bullying problems. Kids are going to form cliques and exclude others naturally. This will not change by the type of clothes they are wearing.
I, along with many other who have commented, know what it is like to wear a uniform. I think wearing a uniform definitely decreases the likelihood of bullying when it comes to the clothes we wear which may be especially concerning for those who can’t afford to buy new clothes that often. However kids will absolutely find other reasons to bully each other. That being said, I don’t personally believe that my ability to express myself is limited by the uniform I wear. I think that schools should provide other ways for students to express themselves, academically, physically or artistically. I don’t think that uniforms should be mandatory but I also don’t think that they are that bad.
I have gone to school at both public and private schools. At the public school I attended I was able to wear whatever I want and express myself in whatever way I wanted to. Currently I wear a uniform everyday. In all honesty I don’t mind it at all. It’s nice knowing what I am going to wear everyday and it’s nice not having to worry about picking out what to wear in the mornings (when I’m already tired). Also it makes me value and get excited for our “free dress” days at school and it makes me value what I wear on the weekends when I’m free to wear whatever I want. Yes I agree with your points about every student having the right to express themselves, but I don’t necessarily thing it has to be through clothing. In my opinion, Uniforms take unnecessary stress away from students.
I see your point yet I disagree. I have worn a uniform for 12 years and have never felt like I wasn’t an individual. At times I can see the hatred for the uniforms it’s one I have myself; but it allows for I think for everyone to focus on school not who is waring what. Everyone finds their way to be an individual with in the uniform rules.
I have no real problem with the idea of uniforms. However, in many ways I think that they are not as good in real life. The first problem I have is that uniforms, in my experience, are way more expensive than normal clothing and after you get out of your school you are not going to wear them again. I also think that uniforms are harder to find the right fit, I’m tall and no matter how large I get my shorts they are still going to be too short. I think these are the more practical problems of uniforms.
Great article! Like many others have said I agree that uniforms can be hard for some but I greatly think that uniforms are awesome! I’ve been wearing a uniform since freshman year and I love it. I went to public school for most of the school year and to me picking out clothes in mornings was the most stressful thing ever! Also I felt more pressure to wear “trendy” things to fit in which also really stressed me out. But i thought your piece was really good !!
i understand your concerns on how uniforms can take away someones individuality. I have gone to a private school since kindergarten and have never thought that I was dressed the same or had no say in what I can do to express myself. At my school to show a difference is in what wear on your feet, like socks. There are so many different styles of socks it can show the littlest of color but it will represent you among a crowd.
I completely understand your concerns on the school uniform policy. I have gone to a private school since I was four years old (pre-k), wearing a uniform every single school day had me thinking of the lack of individuality, but then I soon came to realize that these “boring” and “ugly” close are what keeps us all the same, all in line; which leads me to disagree with you. At my school we get to express ourselves through our sock, hairstyle, and jewelry choices. I personality love wearing uniforms. It keeps me away from the judgement of not being the trendiest and most hip kid at school. I also get to wear my cute clothes on the weekends, something I love waiting for. While every student looks the same, uniforms help us focus more on our education rather than the articles of clothing on our bodies.
Natalie, Coming from a Catholic school, I’ve grown up having to wear uncomfortable, conforming, and usually ugly uniforms. I used to hate wearing them for the very valid reasons you brought up. However, I have come to enjoy uniforms because I don’t need to decide what I need to wear every day, and I don’t need to worry about what classmates will think about my clothes. You could probably research more about the pros of uniforms if you are interested in this debate.
Hi Natalie! I completely agree with you. Up until my freshman year, I had gone to public schools. Then my parents decided to send me to a private school that enforces uniforms quite strictly. We get a detention if we don’t have our shirts tucked in and I don’t believe that is a good learning atmosphere for kids. They are uncomfortable and everyone looks the same. I agree with you when you say that we should be allowed to wear our own clothes to express individuality. I hope that schools become less strict in the future.
I agree with your line of thought here. The problem with using uniforms to counteract bullying is that it only fixes a symptom of the problem. I attend a school with a very strict, very unflattering uniform, and it doesn’t prevent bullying. By enforcing a uniform, schools are teaching students that the way to avoid bullying is to not be a target. This is the wrong approach. Schools should be teaching students that bullying is wrong, no matter how different people are.
I think you state some valid points but I would have to disagree with you. I think wearing a uniform does decrease bullying because you are all wearing the same thing so there is nothing to make fun of, but your choice of shoes and hairstyle could cause problems. overall I like wearing my uniform to school because I don’t have to pick an outfit in the morning and I express myself through my personality more than I do with my clothing.
I also have to agree, but disagree with your statement. I wear uniform to school, and have never thought of it as minimizing my individuality, and surprisingly so, I haven’t heard any students say that it minimizes their individuality either. I have gone to a free- dress school, and I do think that the bullying was a bigger problem there than it is at my school now. In addition, I agree that kids can be mean, and bullying is going to occur no matter what the circumstance, but since I have gone to an all uniform school, I have noticed less bullying. Since the students at my school are always in uniform, we really look forward to dressing up for football/basketball games, dance concerts, musicals, etc, and we do get to express our sense of style at school-sponsored events. I agree that our generation needs a bigger focus on individuality, but I don’t think that wearing a uniform to school will take it all away.
With the upcoming presidential election right around the corner, the demand for political correctness is at an all time high. According to a recent study conducted by Time Magazine, 39% of all Americans believe
Natalie, I definitely agree that many people take “being PC” way too far. I think the chieftain head is a great example of that. The reality of our world is that we have much greater issues present than someone being offended by something someone said that wasn’t intended to harm. There are much better things out there that we should be focusing on, like you said, the main focus of so many organizations shouldn’t be political correctness. They should be working towards equality in practice, because in reality, words don’t mean much. Andrew
In blunt honesty, I agree with you. My father is Native American, my mother is Polish. I’ve grown up surrounded by mascots and jokes about my race. But I haven’t taken offense to it. I believe that political correctness has created such a bubble for our society, that people are unable to function in the reality of the world we live in. Racism is real, yet political correctness has us all bearing around the bush in fear of saying something of offense.
I agree completely with what you are saying. Specifically in regards to the mascot, I think so long as we are not using the Chieftan in an offensive manner, it is acceptable to continue using this mascot. I would say it is even a compliment that it is being chosen as a mascot because it means we value this tribe as a symbol of strength. Today, we must respect each other to the best of our abilities, but also not fret too much about the political correctness of everything we say. There is a fine balance that we must achieve.
I agree with this and can relate to this. I also have an older brother and I have noticed that as we have grown older we are not as close as we used to be, which is disappointing. As siblings I hope that we can rekindle our past relationship in this future. I also wish the same for you and your siblings.
Nice! I really like your topic. I can agree with your arguments and I think that you presented them in a convincing way. I agree that it is very messed up that it is so hard for our students to pay for an education but if you are not financially stable enough to support yourself through schooling you are criticized.
I really liked this! I like how your poem showed so much emotion and I could really tell that you felt passionately about it. I think its really cool when we get to write about subjects that we feel genuinely intrigued to write about. It’s easier it makes it feel like what we are writing is just coming to us. You subject is a very deep one to…[Read more]
While venturing through my sophomore year of high school, I came across a word so unique, I had never heard one quite like it before. At first I was so puzzled by the word I ask myself what could this word mean?
This is a youth-powered publishing platform that was started in 2003 by a group of teachers from local sites of the National Writing Project.
We merged several earlier blogging projects. We have found that there are many advantages to bringing students together in one site that lives beyond any particular class. It’s easier for individual students to read and write about their own passions, to connect with other students, comment on each other’s work, and create multimedia posts for each other. Further, it’s been exciting for us to pool our knowledge about curriculum, connected learning, and digital literacies.
There are over 8,000 posts and over 13,000 comments by young people on the site on topics as diverse as the American Dream, Shakespeare, and sports as well as original poems and stories.
Youth Voices is a platform for youth to write about their interests, both in school and outside of school: what they are reading, what their hobbies or future careers might be, what they enjoy in their spare time. Like all of us, students follow our national leadership and form opinions. They are also welcome to write about those topics as well.
Youth Voices is fully non-partisan and welcomes youth of all types, from all regions, and with all viewpoints. Educators support youth in writing and thoughtfully responding to each other through the use of commenting guides, using tags to show common interests, playlists to support self-guided inquiry; opinions expressed by writers are their own.
If being part of such a community makes sense to you, we invite you to join us. We welcome all youth and any teacher interested in having students publish online and participate in the give and take of a social network like Youth Voices.