How often have you been attracted to someone just because of their appearance? If you’re honest, probably most of the time. That’s how seven-year-old Julie Baker fell in love with Wendling van der Lanning’s Bryce Loskey. flip. But this beautiful childhood crush was little more than a nuisance to Bryce.
Why? Because the problem with Bryce is that kindness and sincerity are just rubbish. He only cares if Julie is pretty or popular, and hates that she’s underclass with a messy front yard.
Teens tend to overestimate their own appearance and that of others, as Bryce did with Julie.That’s why flip Provides important lessons for teens about appearance and reality, especially when it comes to how teens see themselves with technology-related issues.
The setting of the novel is pre-smartphone, so there are no constant notifications of messages and emails and quick exchanges of information on social media. However, now it’s different. Technology has changed the way teens live, communicate, and most importantly, the way they see others. While people’s appearance is only partially controlled by them, unfortunately, this may be the first way others make judgments — especially teenagers.
It’s important to understand the role technology plays in our lives, and it’s only by thinking more about its special effects that we can understand what this novel has to teach us.
Can we “flip” ourselves and save another lost generation?
In Neil Postman’s 1998 speech Five things we need to know about technological change, he argues that while technology brings advantages, it also brings disadvantages. He claims that some people are the clear winners and losers of new technologies, and that the winners are usually large corporations. Meanwhile, individuals are the classic losers, but big corporations keep telling them they are winners. Postman shows that technology is never neutral and therefore affects individuals, as each medium has its own set of values.
What’s more, a lot of technology detracts from the more meaningful aspects of our lives, and Postman shows that the advantages of technology may not be outweighed by the negatives. Furthermore, he claims technology is so ubiquitous that many people don’t even question it in their environment – it’s like the sky or a tree. It’s there, but with a dangerous side. And I agree.
Teens are even more vulnerable than adults to the effects Postman outlined in his speech. The results are not only predictable. It’s happening now.
put oneself to death
Technology is readily available and widely used, which is a positive for us.Don’t get me wrong: there vein positive. But we must recognize that teens can also be negatively impacted because they are still struggling to find their true inner worth.
I believe teens do want meaning, but I see technology, especially social media, distracting us from our inner voice, our true selves. Before the advent of the Internet, teens didn’t see an almost endless stream of so-called perfect people. Frequent internet access can cause anxiety in teens, causing them to judge each other even harsher than Juli and Bryce, preventing them from discovering the inner worth of themselves and others.
For those who only see the advantages of technology, the anxiety caused by social media may seem less important. Teens want to share their lives online, but sharing has its dark side. Many people feel that they have to share the best of themselves. In most cases, it starts with a desire to build the perfect public image, but then develops into a competition where everyone gives everything to win. Technology-driven peer pressure is a powerful motivator for most teens, as what they post online determines whether they are the most popular kids in their grade. The symptoms of this vicious circle may not be obvious, but they are certainly serious.
In an extreme way, social media has shifted teens’ attention to external values; teens are using technology more frequently to check and secure their social status. This will ultimately hurt them, both physically and mentally, and will define their values through external influences rather than more important sources of meaning such as family, culture, and religion.
When people want to be in better shape than others, the desire to win drives them to extreme methods, such as starving themselves until it becomes unbearable. When some teens drive Toyotas and others drive Mercedes or Porsches, they may begin to resent their parents. You might think these examples aren’t a big deal at all, but they’re the biggest contributors to teen health and anxiety problems.
Flip connection with social media and find your true self
exist flip, Bryce was lucky because his grandfather tried to teach him to look beyond the superficial image, beyond the flashy clothes and social status, to see a person’s inner, true self. Someone needs to lead this generation on a path of discovery, which in turn leads them to the true meaning of life. If our brains are preoccupied with appearances and money, then our understanding of philosophy, religion, culture, and especially ourselves will gradually diminish.
If teens are the future, our future may be a building composed of the most colorful walls and elaborate decorations but lacking in foundations. Eventually, it will fall apart. That is, unless we can flip. For young people without technology, the path to meaning often appears vague and elusive, and they tend to grasp the clearer or easier path—one of material status. But we can change our minds.
Social media accounts for 80% of teenage life, so it’s no surprise that our culture is largely characterized by materialism, casual relationships, and entertainment. That’s why many teens strive to create long-term goals, explore their personal meaning, and find a meaningful place in the world. Most teens are struggling to find lasting or authentic beliefs — and social media makes it worse.
The substitutes teens seek for personal values are often fake, altered, and impermanent. On the Internet, beautiful pictures can be Photoshopped; beautiful faces and bodies can be the result of plastic surgery; a seemingly rich lifestyle can be a lie; and so on. In real life, teens don’t know if the person on the other side of the screen has what they’re presenting in the web image. Technology is destroying this generation; in other words, it is destroying everyone’s future. This is why many teens do know the meaning of their lives.
However, it’s not entirely our fault. With current technological control, we have few options. Not every teen has a grandfather like Bryce, an adult who helps them understand something valuable in this world.
Live with your heart in the age of superficiality
Of course, while teens can choose to leave social media, there is so much pressure on social media and there is tremendous pressure to use technology for everything, including important documents, school assignments, and even our classrooms. Almost become a part of us; we cannot imagine life without it. It’s also why adults need to learn more about technology and get involved with teens’ use of social media. Because teens are in a state of self-discovery and exploration, they need adults who can guide them and gain parental support under peer pressure.
If there’s one lesson we can learn from Flipped, it’s that teens should learn how to judge themselves before judging others. Teens tend to make quick assessments based on appearance and need responsible adults to show them another way to value themselves and the world. Most importantly, we also need to learn how to navigate other people’s worlds.