Culture, Society & Creative Media – Post 9 (Reflection on ‘InRealLife’)

With having no lecture this week we watched the documentary ‘InRealLife’ (2013). The documentary explores how teenagers interact with the internet and what impact the internet is having on them. Wether it shows the internet in its full true light, I don’t know but what it certainly does do is show how scary and dangerous some of the internet is.

The documentary hits many aspects of the internet but the main areas that I found stuck with me the most after was male and female attitudes to pornography, the extent one will go to to be connected with the online world, the trust people have with strangers, cyber bullying and ‘Google knows more about us than our own mothers’.

The opinions of the male adolescences in relation to pornography where brutally honest and quite sad. One main point that I picked up on was that pornography has ruined love for them. The want for sexual encounters to simulate pornographic movies has over come their want to be in a relationship. One male adolescence explains that he looks for a girl who resembles someone he has seen in pornography and asks her to perform sexual acts from the pornography but this then turns her into a ‘slut’ and they don’t want to date someone with that reputation. It’s a never ending cycle.

The 15 year old female whose life revolved around her Blackberry. The circumstances in which she got her Blackberry was insane. She exchanged sexual favours for money and when her mother found out she bought her the phone. BBM is where she gets all of her news and entertainment. She explained how often she would change her status and how much the phone meant to her. It meant so much to her in fact that she was willing to put herself in danger to get it back from 5 boys that she went to a house with them and was not allowed to leave until she had performed sexual acts on all of them. Her dedication for a lack of a better word is crazy.

With all of the scary stories there was a story of true love. Tom, who has recently came out as being gay has found love online. In the documentary he explains how their relationship works, video chatting with eachother on Google+ Hangouts, IM-ing on google talk and texting. They show how easy it is to have a close relationship without actually being in the presence of each other. When Tom eventually goes to meet with his ‘boyfriend’ at the age of 15 travelling by many buses and trains it shows his trusting nature in this person that he has spent many hours online with. This can be really concerning to think that adolescences at such a young age are meeting up with strangers they have met online. Although in the documentary Tom was fine and was delighted to meet his boyfriend there is also that sinister side of people posing as something they are not.

Cyber bullying is a big issue at the moment. One that I personally feel needs to be addressed more. This documentary brings the message home and demonstrates the worst possible outcome of cyber bulling. Thomas aged 14 killed himself as a result of boys from school bullying and threatening him. The devastation this brings was almost unbearable to watch.

‘Google knows more about us than our own mothers’. What an absolutely brilliant statement! The fact that Google can recall what I was looking up online this day 5 years ago to the very second is incredible. Although I am aware that they keep this information but when you actually think about it, it’s frightening… Someone has a timeline of your life on the internet!


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