Using tweets and blog posts, explore the impact electronic resources (blogs, tweets, email, facebook, etc.) have on characters in a young adult novel. How do electronic resources affect the plot, characters, and outcome of the story? How does the use of these resources lead to growth in the main character? Consider the role electronic resources play in the everyday lives of your students and answer, how would this story change if it were set in the 1990s?
- 5 Blog Posts: 300 words each
#Scandal Blog #1 Impact of Electronic Resources on Characters
Miss Demeanor’s facebook page, text messaging, and the media are three examples of electronic resources that impact characters due shear immediacy Each post of facebook, each text message sent, each media tabloid published adds fuel to the drama fire. E(VIL) the Electronic Vanities Intervention League recognized the dangers of such immediacy and the impact it played in society. This need for immediacy was evident with Lucy and Ellie’s “play-by-play” communication at the prom in which Lucy couldn’t live in the moment and enjoy anything for all the buzzing of the phone. The efforts to provide information for someone who is unable to attend an event is very real and takes on an importance for all the people who can’t be there, but desire to know every detail. Lucy quickly figured out that her constant updates to Ellie were distracting her from the night of her life.
Moving forward, the idea that the characters in this novel are more often than not wielding their phones like the paparazzi directly impacts what the characters think, how they feel, and ultimately how they act and respond to events. Each character depicted in the scandalous photos uploaded to fb had a vested interest in Miss D’s page. Griffin stealing Lucy’s phone blaming it on Olivia and posting the pictures under Lucy’s account is just as scandalous as Franklin’s eyeball deep fiasco with the Miss D page. Each character used anonymity as a disguise for procuring their own agendas, but at the expense of others. Olivia dreamed of Cole which served as the perfect cover for Griffin while Franklin longed to prove “that people are more interested in perpetuating negative drama online than in engaging in important, interesting discourse about the news and events in our community and school, and that advances in communications technology… have done more to destroy relationships than to enhance or enable them” (p325). The bottom line is immediacy and anonymity are powerful, but integrity must take precedence.
#Scandal Blog #2 How Do Electronic Resources Affect the Plot?
The novel draws the reader in immediately with Miss Demeanor’s Scandal of the Month Page with 2,002 likes and a meager 92 talking about this. The inclusion of this social media site advances the plot quickly, appealing to the audiences’ need for immediacy. Reading the facebook postings provided a real-time prospective and made me feel as though I was in the inner circle and reading events with my own eyes. At some point in the novel, I remembered thinking, who is responsible for the Miss Demeanor page? Furthermore, who would care so much about the ins and outs of high school drama (other than a high school student) to direct a message or page to the Lavender Oaks Swordfish on the Occasion of Prom and have virtually every post thereafter directed towards high school students. As critical consumer not wanting to miss anything related to electronic resources, I scrutinized the role of social media in this novel trying to discern who Miss D might be. However, with that being said, I quickly got caught up in the Cole, Lucy, Ellie love triangle and became consumed with their text messages and reflections of the Miss D postings. Clearly, each posting and even the private messages between Lucy and Miss D (aka Franklin) drove the plot at lightning speed to graduation day. As a reader, I turned every page waiting to see what each character’s response would be. I feel that including the social media and texting elements within the plot made this book extremely relevant to teenagers as well as anyone looking for a love story twist. Reading the real-life drama unfold and getting increasingly wrapped up into the character’s emotions made it easy to see that electronic resources were an integral part of this novel with 4,991 likes and 3,195 talking about this in the end, doubling the likes and creating nearly 35 more times the people talking about this.
#Scandal Blog #3 How Do Electronic Resources Affect the Outcome?
Ultimately the #scandal page and all its glory impacted the following:
- more assertive and encouraged her to go after what she wanted as a result of having her business out there for the world to judge
- now understands the importance of safeguarding her assets with password protection
- helped her developed a deeper understanding of her sister’s spotlight situation-things were not as they appeared
- the #scandal page pushed Cole and Lucy into their fiery relationship that had been burning for years
- made Cole go after what he wanted even though people were talking
- developed a “let them talk, if they want to talk” philosophy because we’re in it together
EXPOSED LAV OAKS STUDENTS
- gave countless exposed students a reality check about the dangers of social media and integrity
- tired of the Hollywood smokescreen
- realizing that media takes its toll on everyone and she didn’t realize it until it was too late
- Pinning the stolen phone and uploaded pictures on Olivia, but Lucy figured it be a lie.
- spiraling out of control, because of the Jucy Lucy page-feeling like an added on friend, the 3rd wheel
MISS DEMENAOR (aka FRANKLIN)
- hiding behind social media
- too afraid and shy to talk to Lucy
- becoming a hypocrite, which led to his downfall when the truth was revealed
As a result of the facebook page, text messages, and media coverage all of the characters changed in some manner, some changes were good and some were unbecoming. I feel that Lucy’s don’t hold back stance inspired Jayla to push through her breakdown and pushed Cole to go after his one chance with Lucy before college. Griffin and Franklin join the ranks of disappointing characters who knew what they wanted but lacked to vision to see how their plans would impact others in the long run, ultimately hurting the friendships they valued.
#Scandal Blog #4 Electronic Resources & the Lives of My Students/#Scandal back in the 90’s
As a teacher librarian, I must acknowledge that social media platforms are a way of life for my students. Taking pictures, uploading them, and posting comments is just as natural to my students as breathing. With that in mind, efforts must be made to teach students about the dangers of immediacy and how to conduct themselves in an online environment. Internet safety has a role in school and teachers must make every effort to show students the magnitude of mistakes. Finding literature similar to this book, to use as a teaching tool which focuses on in-depth discussions of character analysis would be a fantastic springboard.
If #scandal was set back in the 1990’s the drama would be limited to telephone conversations, three way calling, and very slow AOL dial up service which very students had access to at least in my experience. The ramifications of an overnight party scandal would have taken days to circulate instead of minutes. Even at that, there would likely be no pictures to document the drama of the evening unless they were 35 millimeter prints which would have been taken to a drug store to be developed. This takes me back to the fact that we live in an instantaneous society now and with a few snaps, clicks, and tags your life can be exposed. Furthermore, in the 90’s if someone wanted to call another student out for their indiscretions they needed to be prepared to back it up because those conversations took place face-to-face and in real time. No one was hiding behind a fake screen name or ranting online with anonymity on their side.
All of this brings me back to integrity. Students need to understand the VALUE in doing the right thing even when no one else is looking. The morals and beliefs students use to guide their behaviors will make all the difference, but as teacher librarians we have tools available at our disposal that we can use to make a positive impact in this regard.
#Scandal Blog #5 e(VIL) – (e)lectronic Vanities Intervention League in Full Swing
The role of e(VIL) directly correlates to our LIS 625 conversations about the positive/negative impact that technology communication has on our society. I found the juxtaposition of e(VIL) with the blow up of the Miss Demenaor #scandal page to be well thought out. While at first I viewed the valiant efforts of e(VIL) to be fruitless and out of touch with reality, I acknowledged that small movements lead to big changes. Looking back at e(VIL)’s flash mob scene on the football field, public protests outside of school, and the skit at the pep rally, the heart of that small group certainly impacted several students in ways they could not foresee. In fact, those few students whose indiscretions haunted them for a few short weeks gleaned the most from e(VIL) whether they were truly aware of the indirect or direct impact. These students whose faces and “misdemeanors” were plastered for the world to see were given the reality check of a lifetime. Because of e(VIL), these students were forced to confront feelings, examine actions, and begin damage control all in an effort to resume normalcy. E(VIL) reached out to these students, tried to shed light on the impact technology communication has on daily life, but ultimately Lucy learned the most. With e(VIL) in full swing, she is fully aware e(VIL)’s underhandedness is at best noteworthy and at worst hypocritical. E(VIL)’s efforts to determine if human relationships and interactions inspire and shape technology, or does technology shape us turned out to be rather complicated and messy. In the opening fb post, Miss Demeanor says, “Still, if anyone spots any e(VIL) club members at the dance, snap a few pics. I’d love to see those girls rock an updo with their tinfoil hats” demonstrating the first sign of the negative hypocritical nature brewing within e(VIL). So is e(VIL) legit or just a group of imposters?
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