The Zen of Social Media Marketing Book Review- Final

I was initially excited to read The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to build Credibility, Generate Buzz and Increase Revenue by Shama Hyder Kabani, as I thought I would gain some valuable insight about the world of marketing, but I was incredibly disappointed. While reading it, I thought it must have been published back in 2006 or so when SNS such as Twitter first came out, but when I realized that it was published in 2012, I was insulted. I paid $10 for common sense. Though her book does seem to target an audience with limited to no experience with social media or with the Internet in general, I still feel as though she treats her audience like children. She uses her own success stories as examples following almost every point she makes, which gives her supposedly naïve audience the misleading idea that the method she uses is the only way for a business to be successful in the social media realm. She never states that the same social media tactics, when applied to different companies, will yield different results.

There is a give and take relationship between the audience and the company on SNS, and the technology is just the medium in which a company’s messages are filtered. This relationship between the consumer and the producer gives way to new social practices online through SNS that are constantly evolving. Judith Donath makes a valid and crucial point in her piece “Sociable Media” that in any communications field, knowing the identity of those with whom you communicate is essential for understanding and evaluating an interaction. Kabani takes a more traditional and mostly technologically deterministic approach when it comes to marketing through social media, but as we have discussed and witnessed in class, SNS have dramatically changed the landscape of the field. Marketing and advertising online has become a two way street; it has become “a conversation rather instead of a broadcast” between the brand and its consumers (CSMT Class, Week 13). In order for a business that is run by an “older” executive set in his antiquated ways to succeed, he must understand that he can no longer call the shots. Kabani does hint at this new brand to consumer relationship from time to time, but I wish she had dedicated one entire chapter to how online marketing has changed the field as a whole. Though it may be obvious to college students reading this book, a clear distinction between traditional marketing and online marketing may serve her audience well.

In her book, Kabani runs through very basic information that anyone could figure out after spending no more than an hour on a social media site. She begins by going through “online marketing basics” and merely states the obvious goals of marketing: to attract people, convert them into consumers and to transform their networks into consumers as well (Kabani 316). She continues on to explain what social media is and dedicates a chapter to each of the big SNS (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Google+). In these chapters, she again explains the basic functions such as creating Facebook groups, and gives useless advice such as using your first name as a twitter handle. They are interlaced with obvious “Aha! Zen Moments” where she teaches readers online etiquette (such as being respectful and honest) and tells them that a company can opt to use blogs too. In the following chapter, she claims that videos are the “next frontier” as if YouTube is an up-and-coming platform in 2012. She advises readers on what type of equipment to get and how long a video should be, but fails to divulge what makes a successful video, well, successful (Kabani 1,953). Lana Swartz, on the other hand, makes it clear that a video has to have both spreadability and drillability for the video producer to garner and sustain a loyal and mass following. Kabani’s book may have been worth the read if she had conducted some research and included some substantive, scholarly material in her writing rather than just fluff from her own experience with SNS and random, uncited statistics.

Kabani does conclude with good, but general instruction when she tells the reader to “be human” (Kabani 2,342). As consumers, we like to see the real, personable side of brands so we can better relate to them. A consistent authenticity taste performance, as written about by Hugo Liu, allows consumers who identify with the company to become loyal followers (Liu 263). However, being human is not a good method for all companies. For instance, a high end, luxury brand wouldn’t want to try to “be human” because it needs to seem unattainable and target a very specific, niche audience. This is only one of many nuances that a reader would not learn from reading this social media 101 book. Lucas Partridge made a good point that Kabani doesn’t give a good sense of the culture behind each platform, which is essential to know because not all platforms are right for all companies. To understand your audience, you must become a part of their community rather than just impose yourself upon them through every social media platform possible. You must be socialized into a medium, as Nancy Baym writes in her work, Personal Connections in the Digital Age. Working with a cookie cutter social media marketing tactic wouldn’t work because that would give one the mindset that he will conquer the social media sphere before he even enters and understands it.

This book basically shows that you should not write a book about social media because the realm just changes too quickly and that what you write will be outdated before you even publish it. No one can predict what is going to be the hot new platform next year or even in the next few months at the rate that SNS are being created.

Image http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0tuctTTqv1r4sxhvo1_1280.png

I would like to leave this critique on a positive note, as I did appreciate that Kabani included a “Social Marketing Case Studies: Regular Folks, Great Stories” chapter at the end, giving real life success stories beyond her own (Kabani 2,466). It demonstrates to her audience that creating a social media campaign is a lot more tangible and less daunting and laborious, as her whole tutorial of a book may have made it seem.

The Zen of Social Marketing rough

The Zen of Social Marketing: An Easier Way to build Credibility, Generate Buzz and Increase Revenue by Shama Hyder Kabani was laughable. I thought it was published back in 2006 or so when SNS such as Twitter first came out, but I found it was published in 2012, I was insulted. I paid $10 for stuff I already knew, not by learning about it in class or from working in the communications field, but from common sense. Yes, perhaps she is catering to an older audience who have limited to no experience with the internet, but even then I feel like she basically treats her audience like children. She uses her own successes as examples after each point she makes, which gives her audience the sense that this is the only way to be successful on SNS. The same social media tactic when applied to different companies will yield different results.

She goes through:

  • Marketing basics
  • The importance of having a website
  • What social media is
  • What FB, Google+, Twitter, and Linkedin are and basic functions such as adding friends and picking a twitter name
  • She talks about videos as the “next frontier” like it was something new and fantastical
  • Online etiquette- don’t be rude or annoying

I believe she views new technology through a social construction lens. There is a give and take relationship between the audience and the company, and the technology is just the medium in which a company’s messages are filtered. This relationship between the consumer and the producer gives way to new social practices online through SNS. Lucas made a good point about how Kabani doesn’t give a good sense of culture behind each platform, which is crucial to know because not all platforms are right for a company.

She does give good advice when she tells a company to “be human” (but doesn’t go on beyond a sentence or two about it) in her conclusion. These days, we like to see the authentic side of companies so we can better relate to them (authenticity taste performance- Liu). But again, this is still dependent on the company. A high end, luxury brand wouldn’t necessarily try to “be human” because it needs to seem unattainable and target a very specific audience (prestige taste performance).

Kabani also writes about the importance of credibility, yet her credibility can certainly be questioned—as Lucas pointed out, her stats are never cited. This book basically shows that you shouldn’t write a book about social media because the realm just changes way too quickly and that what you write will be outdated before you even publish it.

Rough Draft of the not so “Zen of Social Media Marketing”

 

 

 

Chapter 1 – Successful marketing steps: attract, convert, transform

Chapter 2 – Websites, social media integration, and blogging

Chapter 3 – Search Engine Optimization

Chapter 4 – Social media marketing: why, how to use, which to use

Chapter 5 – “Facebook”

Chapter 6 – “Twitter”

Chapter 7 – “LinkedIn”

Chapter 8 – “Google+”

Chapter 9 – Social Advertising – Groupon, LivingSocial etc.

Chapter 10 – Video (she calls this the most powerful)

Chapter 11 – Creating a social media policy for business

 

Technological Determinism: Chapter 4, 5-8

–       here is the technology, and here is how it affects us

Social Construction*: Blogging, Facebook, Twitter Chapter 2, 5, 6

–       how interaction on this media can help marketing a company

–       *mainly takes this approach

Social Shaping:

–       online ability to market (and be successful) comes both from technology and from people’s use of technology

Domestication:

–       How these processes are becoming normal in marketing

–       The way it attracts, integration, facebook

 

Authenticity

–       Shama stresses the fact of having a good foundation and being honest with clients/customers/audience

 

Identity

–       creating the brand, individualization

–       who are you?

–       Website construction, Social media use, and blogging

 

Audience for the book:

–       Older generation

–       Little to no experience using SNS

–       Business owners that need help transitioning in the new age of technology driven markets

 

–       Terribly boring book, not interesting

–       Too intensive on information that is already clear/obvious

–       Very self-promotional

–       Facts/statistics in the book are not supported

“The Zen Of Social Media Marketing” Outline

I.        Introduction

a.       Summarize content and layout

i.      Easy to read bullet points

ii.      Four sections made out of 12 chapters

1.      Chapters 1-4: online marketing basics

2.      Chapters 5-9: each deal with SMS

3.      Chapters 10, 11: disjointed

4.      Chapter 12: conclusion

b.      Thesis: Each section of the book takes a technologically deterministic approach, scaring the social media illiterate intended audience toward listening to the author’s most basic, and rather unhelpful, advice.

II.     Chapters 1-4 deal with the most basic aspects of a business web presence in an attempt to convince the reader that they need the author’s help.

a.       First chapter deals with online marketing basicsà even breaks down how digital tools translate old marketing into new marketing.

b.      2nd chapter: deals with websites and blogs, calls them your new office

c.       3rd chapter: deals with SEO- the second parahraphy explains how google works in comparision to traditional marketing’s funnel

d.      4th chapter: Dips its toe into the social media marketing world.

i.      Much like the readings we did for last week Compares social media to aconversation where as new media was a monologue

e.       All of these examples create a technologically deterministc ideology that technology has changed our society’s marketing  taticts that we need to adapt.

III.   Chapters 5-9 each deal with an individual social networking site, and in doing so make it clear that the author’s audience is meant to be one that has no interaction with social media.

a.       In the Facebook chapter she spends pages on her own profile

b.      In the Twitter chapter she claims that everyone should get a short twitter handle, preferably their name.

c.       The chapter on LikdenIn seems to focus more on how to build a resume than utilize LinkedIn

d.      She devotes a whole chapter to Google +, a social media platform that has not been proven successful.

e.       Like the group discussed in class (and Dani mentioned in her blog post 4), she gives no discussion to unique user culture in each of these arenas, making it seem as if the technology are meant to only function  in one way, and that that way is the way she is telling us.

IV.  Chapters 10-12 seem disjointed from the rest, again intended to confuse the reader into think that the author’s way is the only way.

a.       Chapter ten is about video being the most powerful social media tool, although the chapter is just a mess of video jargon easily understandable to the average tech savy user.

b.      Chapter 11 is about creating a social media policy for a company—with a particular focus on small business that calls into question just who the book is aimed for.

c.       Chapter 12 tries to conclude, but ultimately fails.

d.      Again the author is trying to show that technology is all over our lives.

V.     Through out the book the author tries to fear the technology illiterate into believing that her method is the only method, and although each chapter works towards this goal over arching themes of the book do as well.

a.       As Lucas pointed out in discussion, she sites few statistics and when she does, she does not provide information about where they are from.

b.      Most of her stories are from personal experience, in fact in every chapter about a social media network she boasts her own ‘success stories’

VI.  Conclusion

Rough Draft- “The Zen of Social Media Marketing”

Content

–       Originally marketing was one way street with a target demo, now it’s about using the internet to get your message across so that you can move people to take action and buy into your brand

–       Now marketing is a two way conversation with real costumers

–       ACT- attract, convert, transform

–       General overview of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Social Advertising, and online video

Course concepts

–       technological determinism- speaks of how the platforms inform both the brands and users

–       mixed modality- utilizing multiple technologies at the same time, sites interconnected

Audience

–       people who are not familiar with online marketing and the online world at all- new users of social media sites

–       not only were the social media “instructions” basic, the marketing ideas presented in the book were basic as well

–       perhaps the target audience were not only for small businesses, but microscopic ones, such as the case she mentions of the woman selling handmade quilts out of her home

Helpful

–       be real- don’t pretend to be someone else who likes your brand in order to promote it. humanize your brand by making your twitter handle your name and engaging in conversation with the consumer

–       do not use auto follow programs that automatically refollow your new followers

–       do not beg for new followers, earn them

Flaws

–       no real statistics to back up her claims. Uses her own experiences (many of them) to justify what she says but there are no hard facts

–       does not give any clue about user culture and the different types of people that use each site. Talked more about the functions of the sites than the people using them. very on the surface

–       writes an entire chapter on Google+ when it is not a very popular social media site that would benefit a brand as well as others

RELATING CLASS CONCEPTS TO “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Hyder Kabani

VERY ROUGH DRAFT!!

Notes on book:

  • Audience- Overall, the book gave points to help social media networks, specifically Google +, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, useful for businesses (in the form of social media marketing.)
    • Speaks to those who want to create and market  their “brands” for best possible outcome/profit. I am unsure of which businesses can really be effected by the Kabani’s “tips” on the use of social media marketing since they are so basic and revolved around the personalization of brands- perhaps the book would be best for VERY small businesses that would gain costumers from a Facebook page or Twitter account.
    • Kabani’s tips are pretty obvious information to those familiar with social media platforms. The audience that would probably benefit most from her book are older people who are new to social media, or young people opening businesses and reading all the information they can on how to do so.
    • For those who are NOT trying to promote a brand- and reading the book for the hell of it- the tips are relevant for the using social media platforms wisely to  gain social capital (such as useful knowledge, updates, promotions, etc.)

 

  • Method of study: Kabani wrote the book using her knowledge on her personal experience- she wrote about what worked for her figuring it would work for others as well. How can she be sure it will work for everyone else?  I don’t really love that Kabani used her own success, and even less, she mentioned her success (her numerous followers on the sites etc.) many times.

 

  • Things I liked: I liked that the book reinforced not to self promote
    • Basically about using social media to help and inform others
    • Perceived network traffic to be due to the wise and useful information that was input by the producer- social media platforms don’t do the work for you- you have to give reason for people to want to follow you (as you them).
    • One could relate the professional use of the platforms (marketing or creating a brand)  to everyday usage/ personal life, even though obvious..

 

  • 1.RELATE TO BAYM:
    • The social media platforms that Kabani explains how to use obviously lack social cues- which is an obstacle marketers must overcome. They need to present their desired identity as a brand without social cues and instead through the mediated platform (which over time develops its own cues)- which is difficlt because people can take posts out of content ..
    • Using the brand’s name as identity on accounts is kind of like pseudonymous communication- not under one person, but not completely anonymous- Kabani suggests that identities on the platforms be more personal like adding a personal name attached to that of the company (When she writes about twitter) because people like personal relatable experiences.
    • She mentions that when sites have unidirectional ties, do not ask for followers. You need to gain them in a respectable way. Make people want to follow you by posting relevant and useful and insightful information. She describes the etiquette of ties.
    • Platforms have ansychronist (vs. Synchronous) qualities such as twitter where conversations with the brand can be happening in the moment and brands must be aware of such- relates this most to twitter how to regulate amount of tweets and content and how to deal with answering clients (negative comments or positive)
    • The book definitely has technological determinism  which is the idea that technology is an external agent that acts upon and chanegs society.
    • She domesticates the use of technology to shape society as mentioned by baym.
    • She uses the concept of mixed modality because she says to link blogs to video pages, to home pages, etc.
    • Kabani says producers must attract consumers. Attract, convert, and transform.  (ACT) To be attracted, people like to share identity, space, and recourses, all mentioned in Baym.  These ties are the ones that lead to the interpersonal relationships that are formed- and can help convert and transform.
    • As Baym and Kabani mention, what do you have to offer? Baym says – information (kabani says tweet that there is traffic when you picked up kids from school, not that your picking them up.) Baym says moral support, positive feedback, promo and financial support. These are done to be able to share identity and form communities.
  1. Henry Jenkins: Kabani is aware that social media networks make all the information spreadable, reachable and replicable. Anything you post in almost permanent, can be reproduced in seconds and go viral everywhere. Etc.
  2. Enforces the concept of authenticity- on all the platforms she says people like what is authentic and what is relatable to the public.
  3. Slater: The book is about technology being used in a larger cultural process. “its not what technology can do, but what we do with it-” which is also what Kabani is saying.

6. Ellison, Steinfeld, Lampe= Social Capital.

    • like Kabani, these authors know the public should be gaining social capital use of these sites. Kabani says even as the producer, only follow people who will increase your social capital with useful information. Different forms of ties that lead to dif capitals that can be gained and range from weaker to stronger ties (authors.) Kabani basically points out that the marketers want to bring in the audiences as if they had strong personal connections and enable them to gain as much social capital (whether it be laughter or information on traffic, or info on a sale)
    • Media Multuplexity-  if your close to someone your probably connected with them on more than one network. Kabani mentions you want to convert your attracted person, if they are converted and become invested in your brand, they will probably be following you on more than one site- maybe now reading your blog, adding you as a friend, or following your twitter maybe due to the linkage from one another.
    • You want to also gain “cultural capital” , spread the word, be informed about things you didn’t yet know.
    • Kabani also mentions that to brand yourself you want to differentiate yourself from the rest. Offer something unique.

 

  1. Marwick-
    • Self Determinism , or presentation. Identity. Marwick is concerned with our identities being inauthentic. Kabani argues that we must be as authentic as possible on social media platforms to promote our brands because. bashing/negative feedback (Sync or async) if the identities are false.
    • Boyd and Marwick explain that we create an identity to our ideal readers, who we think will be seeing the posted infomation. (Context collapse, nightmare reader, bosses etc.) Kabani in the pt of view of a marketer makes sure to enforce that very personal information be kept of of the sites.- it has to be the perfect balance of personal enough to be relatable but not too personal to be too much info.

 

  1. This weeks readings about advertising on social media sites
  • We have to keep in mind that people don’t want to be advertised too when they go on the sites.
  • Like Kabani mentions, consumer feedback is everyhting. Social media sites have brought loser brands to people and have enabled people to be part of the conversation. They rely on these sites to inform them on a product now more than a commercial would.

 

  1. Weber and Mitchell
  • Effective projection of self- looking at feedback and comments and learn to discipline ourselves. Kabani writes about negative and positive feedback and how to deal with it.

“The Zen of Social Media Marketing”

She makes many clear distinctions about social media marketing and a traditional type of marketing, saying its better in this day and age to use SMM. 

Emphasizes that social media should be the real you and should be used to make your future customers/consumers love you rather than just selling a product.

Book’s audience is people with little to no social media experience.

Book uses many statistics that had no sources or explanations of how they were derived. No proof behind many of her statements.

Uses words that aren’t typically associated with certain sites.  Instead of tweeting, she repeatedly said twittering.

Doesn’t show a good sense of the user culture of each social media platform, but shows the surface of each one.

Much of the information included is common sense or could be found in easier-to-comprehend formats for free online. Book was honestly a waste of money.

Showed too much importance of Google+, when it is barely used by the younger generation.

The book is laid out well, and covers Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Social Advertising, and video online (Youtube). Each SMN has its own section and she explains thoroughly how to set it up and use it to help your business “prosper.”

Book is pretty much common sense knowledge for people who are very familiar with these sites and have been using them for a long time.

Throughout the book, she boasts about herself, which I thought was very irrelevant to the purpose of her book. 

“The Zen of Social Media Marketing” – Shama Hyder Kabani

  • Makes important distinction between traditional marketing strategies and how these must be adapted to suit social media (although she’s not always clear on how this is best accomplished)
  • Emphasizes that social media should be used to have a conversation, rather than pushing a message
  • Companies should take advantage of opportunities provided by social media to interact with consumers
  • Draws parallels with the offline world while noting important distinctions
  • Book is targeted towards an audience with little to no social media (or even internet) experience
  • Seemingly outlandish statistics included with no sources or explanation of how they were derived
  • Occasional evidence of lack of knowledge of platforms (“twittering”)
  • Doesn’t provide a good sense of the user culture of each social media platform
  • Much of the information included is common sense or could be found in easier-to-comprehend formats for free online
  • Vastly overstated importance of certain items (Google +)

“The Zen of Social Media Marketing” Book Review

In Shama Hyder Kabani’s The Zen of Social Media Marketing, she examines and breaks down four of the most well-known social media sites. The purpose of the book is to “build credibility, generate buzz, and increase revenue”. The book is well structured, and covers Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Social Advertising (Groupon, LivingSocial, Facebook Ads), and video online. Each section has a chapter devoted to it, and each social media site has a detailed description of how to set up an account, navigate your account, and utilize it in the best way possible for your personal brand or product/company.

The book begins with a short lesson on online marketing basics. Recalling traditional marketing concepts, we learn how marketing has evolved through the use of social media and how successful online marketing is now based on the ACT methodology: Attract, Convert, and Transform. Kabani then discusses the basics of websites, blogging, and search engine optimization (SEO), providing a need to know understanding for the reader before they delve into the actual use of social media to market. Through the four chapters on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google +, we can get a feel for who the book’s target audience is. Each chapter gives an in depth description of what the site is, how it works, and why you should be using it to market your product. Most importantly, Kabani tries to deal with proper “etiquette” for each of the four sites, and what you should/ should not being doing to build up your base of followers (and ultimately customers).   She then finishes her book with “Social Media Marketing Case Studies: Highlighting Real-World Best Practices” (203). Each case study is a firsthand account of how various people have utilized social media marketing to increase value in their particular brand.

Benefits of book:

–       very comprehensive breakdown of technical aspect of each social media site

–       Case studies at the end can provide more real-world examples of all the concepts talked about in the book, and they can help readers see how these social media work in reality

 

What book is missing:

–       Shama doesn’t do a good job of explaining the user culture, and how to exploit that

–       No sources for random statistics. Example: “Did you know that the average annualized value of a Facebook fan is $136.38?” (69). Where does that number come from? There are no sources to back it up.

–       I have a problem with using Google+, because while she talks about how it provides great visibility “for you and your brand identity”, I literally don’t know anyone that uses it. Just because Google has been successful with many of its endeavors, does not mean that Google+ is one of them.

 

Book analysis:

–       A majority of this book is simply about how these social media work, and how to use them and modify them to your needs, but its doesn’t talk a lot about the user culture and demographics, and a lot of other factors that shape the way social media actually works besides the basic technological level

–       This book is for social media beginners, people that could be familiar with tradition outbound marketing, but now need to utilize social media and inbound marketing to draw in more potential customers and clients

–       For college students or young adults who are already extremely well versed in the practices of social media and how to create an image of yourself (even if its subconscious knowledge), a majority of this book is not super relevant. There are, however, some good basic strategy tools about marketing on the internet that can be helpful to people that aren’t already familiar with marketing strategy

–       Book seems to be very self promotional, and would be best used by small businesses, and doesn’t work for large corporations

–       Social media for dummies

Celebrities Do It, So Why Can’t We?

The blending of children’s and adult’s media has created a world in which 10 year olds and 25 year olds can interact and have interests in common. It has sped up the growing up process and slowed down the growing old one. We talk a lot about the “influencers” in the media world today at the PR/marketing firm that I intern at. Most of our clients are spirit and beer companies, so we try to find talent that caters to “partiers” or whatever you would call them, but I realized that most of them are musicians or actors that my little sister (age 13) also likes and look up to.

In the article, “Are Celebrity Nude Photo Scandals Contributing to Young Women Sexting?,” Hollie McKay writes about the prevalence of female celebrities sexting scandals and how it is a dangerous influence for teenage girls. “’Young girls emulate and imitate their idols as a way to connect and feel closer to them, and thus copying bad celebrity behavior becomes another way for young girls to bond with their idols, while also creating their own identity and attracting more attention’” (McKay). She goes on to warn teenagers about the dangers of sexting by stating examples of tragic sexting-gone-wrong incidences that traditional media sources love to report. Girls are depicted, as always, the stupid ones who are victimized and boys are depicted as criminals and distributors of child pornography.

Even though McKay speaks of sexting in a negative way, I think she  is right to suggest that celebrities’ “bad” actions may influence young girls negatively, instead of immediately assuming that kids who sext are sneaky and “rotten,” as media discourse usually does. In Amy Hasinoff’s article “Sexting as media production: Re-thinking dominant ideas about teen girls and sexuality online,” she says that “it is important to recognize the cultural and structural restrictions that shape girls’ sexuality, it is equally important to recognize that sexting, like more celebrated forms of media production, could be one way that girls negotiate, respond, and speak back to sexual representations of youth and femininity in mass media—by producing their own.” So when girls see all the attention that celebrity sexting garners, they think that that behavior is condoned, attractive, and even empowering. It is easy for young girls to rationalize sending sexts when they see boys their age ogling over leaked celebrity sexts. Hasinoff says “rather than dismiss teenage girls’ sexual media production practices as a symptom of their victimization by a sexist culture… it is vital to examine sexting and online sexuality as a form of media production and self-expression.” We should not have the right to say what is appropriate or inappropriate in someone else’s private life just because we are over the age of 18. I think that adults taking preventative measures that are condescending does nothing but upset the teenage girls that they are primarily targeting. It plants a “what do you know” mindset in the teenager’s mind and they completely disregard the message. When teenagers sext, they do think of the consequences before they send the sext. Lecturing them otherwise is mostly useless. In the article, “Prevalence and Characteristics of Youth Sexting: A National Study” written by Kimberly Mitchell and colleagues, it is said that society and especially adults are “easily alarmed about changing youth mores,” so they want to take measures that prevent children from behaving in a way that makes them uncomfortable, when sexting may be becoming normalized in their children’s generation. Perhaps the only way to really stop teenage sexting is for the media to stop glorifying female sexuality.

Hasinoff continues to say that the “internet and cell phones permit instant communication that is removed from traditional social contexts and consequences, these technologies make girls more likely to make inappropriate sexual decision. Practice leads to earlier sex, more sexual activity, and teenage pregnancy.” I think that her reasoning is a little too technologically deterministic. Yes, technology may remove communication from traditional social contexts, but it may not necessarily promote real, physical sexual activity. Girls are constantly fed sexual images from magazines, television shows and films, so it is only natural for them to think that presenting themselves in a sexual way is appropriate. Yet, they are also always warned about the dangers and consequences of teenage sexuality. So, as Rebekah Willet says in her article, ‘‘’As soon as you get on Bebo you just go mad’’: young consumers and the discursive construction of teenagers online“, “on the one hand, the child is positioned as a not-yet competent, not-yet complete social actor who is at risk; and on the other hand, the child is constructed as empowered.” With such conflicting and confusing messages, the teenager has all the power to choose what they believe on their own. Since we are constantly forced to consume hypersexualized images in mainstream media, we should understand why children and teenagers behave “inappropriately.” I listen to some of the same mainstream music that my younger sister (age 13) and that the girls who I babysit (age 10) listen to, so why should I expect them to interpret and act on the messages they hear differently than any other adult or I do?