Saturday, July 28, 2007

Yada Yada

They do it. All the time. You've probably seen them do it. I know I have. Even at church they do it, and they have no shame whatsoever. Now, some people claim that they are no worse than the males of the species, but my experience tells me otherwise. In fact, when I was a teenager and moved to a small town, one of them wanted to do it with me all of the time, and wouldn't take No!" for an answer.

It happens so often, that their behavior has become a joke. "A teen aged girl had been talking on the phone for 1/2 hour, and then she hung up. 'Wow,' said her father, 'That was really short. You usually talk for 2 hours. What happened?' 'Wrong number,' said the girl."

Teen aged girls and even preteens spend a lot of time talking. They talk at school, they talk on the phone, they text-message each other, and now, they use social networking to stay in touch. What a boy can say with "Yeah," a girl can say with 30 additional words. Boys don't pass notes, girls do. Boys don't win text-messaging contests, girls do. They get a lot of practice. "Yada, yada." That's why girls and women complain that we males don't talk much. By comparison, we are strong silent types for sure.

An article by Jennifer Warner and reported by CBS News, made this statement. "Teen aged girls who bond over gripe sessions and sharing each other's problems may be doing more harm than good emotionally. A new study shows that friendships based on complaining about each other's problems may raise anxiety levels among teen girls and potentially increase the risk of depression."

Amanda J. Rose, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of Missouri Columbia says, "These findings are interesting because girls' intentions when discussing problems may be to give and seek positive support. However, these conversations appear to contribute to increased depression."

Researchers say the study shows talking excessively with another person about struggles, such as rehashing and dwelling on negative feelings associated with them, can have both benefits and risks for people dealing with difficult issues. But boys of the same age didn't seem to suffer the same negative emotional effects of letting it all out. Probably because their disclosures consisted of an exchange of "Bummer" and "Yeah."

If you have a teenager in your household, you might want to track the amount of time spent communicating with her best friends. As already mentioned, time spent is higher than ever before. Teen girls are talking all of the time. In ways never dreamed of in the days of their mothers. When you consider all of the time talking at home, at school, at the mall, on the cell phone, through text-messages, and on their sites at YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook, MyYearbook, Piczo, Imeem, Bebo, and Tagged, it would probably astound the average parent or even teacher. And then, you have to consider the blogs, forums and chat rooms.

Juvenile depression is a reality. Now, parents and school counselors and medical professionals have to take into consideration this new dynamic. In addition to the negative exposure that teens find on the Internet, you have to factor in what could be negative exposure to friends. Technology is creating new addictions, and baring your soul may soon become one of them. I'm going to coin a new phrase. "Yada Yada Depression."

["I'm so low, I could do a ten minute free-fall off the edge of a dime."]

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