Sample Article Review for Middle Childhood & Adolescence Class

Your Name: _______________________________
Title of Movie: Growing Up Online

1. Briefly state the theme or main idea of the movie.  This movie gave insights on key points involving the use of the Internet among adolescents, including cyberbullying, eating disorders, simple time consuming effects, and more seriously, suicide. It provided useful tips to parents and teens, and used examples from real life - a serious film.

2. Explain how some of the leading concepts from our class so far that were discussed and informed in the movie. 
Maturity, puberty, and common difficulties with fitting into the cliques and groups are important huge factor growing up. Ridicule, body comparisons, and hurtful accusations happen all the time - online culture can make these worse for the developing child/teenager, especially when the internet can offer a space where the individual can hide their true self, blurring the line between fantasy and reality. That this experience takes place largely in isolation can make it deadly.

3. Rate these movie making elements by number: 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) - explain your score for each
•    based on social scientific research - sound logic - factual 3—I think there could have been a little bit more factual information tied into this movie. With that said, I am a strong advocate for real experiences, and this movie did a good job by creating an emotional level of facts between characters and viewers.
•    choice of characters in the movie 5—This section deserves a five because the characters used were real people who have dealt with the situations being discussed. Nothing is more eye opening than someone telling you he lost a son to cyberbulling.
•    information you did not already know 4—I rate this section a four even though I knew the majority of the information; this is because the information in which I was unaware of was so vital and outrageous. I still have not stopped thinking about what is really out there on the Internet.

4. Explain what was good/informative about the movie and what could have been done better.    I felt that the movie provided opportunity for all parties to view each perspective in a personal way, essentially creating an unbiased production. I would only suggest one thing and that would be to provide the students who are watching with alternatives to online experiences. People do not like being told that they are wrong or that they should not partake in such a popular event; providing alternatives would eliminate the automatic disagreements that go hand in hand with the generation gap.

5. Explain the most important revelation that you learned from this movie.    I was appalled by how easily a seventh grader, or anyone for that matter, could retrieve visual instructions for completing the tasks needed to take ones life. I gave it a try online and found noose tying instructions, a survey for committing suicide, and one site offered suggestions for committing dreadful acts - all available to anyone. After reviewing the movie's content on eating disorder sites that actually encouraged anorexia, I felt physically ill. No one filters or monitors these websites.

6. What was the lesson being taught by this movie? There were multiple lessons for multiple groups of people within this movie. It was made evident that many parents do not really know what their children are doing on computers and that when they do attempt to ask the child will normally shut the adult out. This can be prevented by keeping the family computer in a central location as opposed to allowing each person to have one in their room. There are so many safety factors from online predators to bullying and even encouraging cheating within the classroom. Aside from educating the parents, this movie was a wakeup call to adolescents everywhere who have, or know someone who has, been affected by the Internet. As mentioned in the film, computers have become a necessity and with that said, users and people directly associated with these users should be completely educated about the possible complications that can arise. I personally found that the most important lesson was that anyone can begin a task online in an innocent manner and end up facing serious consequences.

7. Would you recommend this movie to others - why or why not?
    I would recommend this movie to teachers, parents, siblings, and virtually any other person who has the ability to educate users of the Internet. I feel that we should all educate ourselves about technology and other instances where a situation can affect those closest to us. There were many key points that I learned by watching this movie; I thought I already knew the majority of reasons that Internet can harm someone, but as it turns out, I was wrong. This is why I would suggest that any and everyone should take the time to really understand the awful things that can go wrong in such a popular form of technology that was thought as a simple form of communication.