I recently attended a workshop about writing for young people – MG and YA groups.One of the subjects raised was how to incorporate the actions of youngsters (or indeed anyone) who write about their feelings on social media.
This of course, led to quite a discussion. Strangely, a long-distance friend (met through social media) had recently asked for opinions regarding the behaviour of her daughter’s friend. In a nutshell this friend had written something about the daughter which was only half truth. She had also slanted it to put herself in the position of being the ‘victim,’ even though there had been independent witnesses to the contrary. As expected both the daughter and the mother were upset. However, they didn’t want to ‘lower’ themselves to the same level by reacting hastily and responding in kind.
As you can imagine there was a lengthy and contrary discussion over the matter resulting in the majority agreeing on the sort of advice we, as group, would have give the Mother. Our comment was that the daughter should ignore the comments even though it was hurtful as her friend was only showing her true colours by lashing out. Many believed the girl was so wrapped up in the belief of her own hurt (rightly ot wrongly) that she has failed to see the wrong she has done to her friend.
It was also felt that the girl was showing how immature she is as she is unprepared or incapable of discussing the problem face on. We hoped she would see the damage she has done before it is too late as she will obviously lose the friendship. This led us on to discussing the harm that social media does to our young people. But some commented how it also shows how immature they are.
Our discussions went further as we discussed the ways in which we could utilise our writing skills in teaching young people through our stories not to be so judgemental without good cause. It goes to show how life can affect what we authors write about. And of course gave the workshop leader the perfect subject for an exercise in writing about how to include such behaviour within our writing.
Just shows how everyday life affects what we authors do.