In time-and-money-wasting news, The New York Times recently ran a story on the Boston Public Heath Commission's organization of a one-day conference on "healthy break-ups," wherein area teenagers discussed dating and subsequent break-up etiquette on Facebook. Really? Of all entities, a state's public health commission decided this kind of out-of-touch adult curiosity was worth wasting a whole day on?
Seems strange to us, considering the massive amount of other teen-related issues that could probably be talked about in a day-long open session with high schoolers -- like MTV's semi-normalization of the physical abuse inflicted on Gary by Amber on the first season of 16 & Pregnant. Or, hitting closer to Facebook's home, maybe speaking to the idea that anything kids upload to Facebook becomes public domain. Even photos they think adults in their lives will never see. But what do we know.
Making this study sound even further steeped in bullshit, the Times reported:
"Throughout the one-day meeting, organizers did their best to make the teenagers forget they were about to learn something. They were encouraged to freely use their cellphones ("We're not" -- the kind of adults -- "who tell you not to use them!" an organizer boasted during the day's opening session), and breakup-themed songs, like Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone," blasted from the main conference room's speakers. The pandering worked: I saw only one teen roll her eyes all day."
Weird, because our eyes were rolling just reading this. It is possible that something positive came out of the conference -- maybe one less teenager's heart will be more softly broken when a considerate gentleman decides to tell a young woman that a relationship is dissolving in person, instead of on Facebook. And for those moments, we can still reference Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano, though no break-up in the history of reality has ever been or will be this poetic.
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