The Secret Language of Girls on Instagram


Sometimes, when we talk about gender issues in my classes, the women envy young men’s ability to resolve conflicts physically, because it ends quickly an the guys are back to being friends and not holding grudges. I’m not so sure about that perception, but the byzantine world of girls’ aggression is fascinating. It’s good to have the thumbnail map.

TIME

Secrecy is hardly new on Planet Girl: as many an eye-rolling boy will tell you, girls excel at eluding the prying questions of grown ups. And who can blame them? From an early age, young women learn that to be a “good girl” they must be nice, avoid conflict and make friends with everyone. It’s an impossible ask (and one I’ve studied for over a decade) – so girls respond by taking their true feelings underground.

Enter the Internet, and Instagram: a platform where emotions can run wild – and where insecurities run wilder. The photo-sharing app is social media’s current queen bee: In a survey released earlier this month, three quarters of teens said they were using Instagram as their go-to app.

Instagram lets users share their photos, and “like” and comment on their friends’. The competition for “likes” encourages creativity in young users, who can use filters…

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