HAVE you heard the story about the teenage girl who sends 100 text messages a night when her parents are asleep?
It won’t be a surprise to some who have looked closely at the effects social media is having on teenage girls.
A panel of experts will discuss the topic on Sunday (October 9) when Brisbane’s Mothers of Only Girls group holds its annual High Tea at Victoria Park Golf Club to raise money for charity.
Nicky Kozlovskis, the co-founder of Mothers of Only Girls, said the impact of social media would be among the topics discussed by panellists Dr Lee-Anne Perry, Rebecca Sparrow and Madonna King.
Ms King, a prominent journalist and author, is writing a book called Being 14, in which she talks to 200 girls aged 14 about the challenges they face.
“Some of my findings really stopped me in my tracks,” she said.
“Like some girls are sending 100 texts each night, when their parents are asleep.
“Or if your child has 650 friends on one social media app and those people all have 500 friends, conceivably 325,000 people can have contact with your child.
“Police tell me they are constantly in contact with parents pleading with them to take down a photograph of their daughter, on a website overseas. They can’t. It’s not possible.”
Like Ms King, Rebecca Sparrow is an acclaimed author whose books include Find Your Tribe and its companion Find Your Feet, looking at the challenges that face teenagers.
Dr Perry was the principal of All Hallows’ School from 1999 to 2015 before moving into the role as executive director of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission.
The panel would “help to provide advice for mothers” including topics such as body image and the school environment, Ms Kozlovskis said.
And there may be information for some parents about the way their daughters perceive them.
While researching Being 14, which will be released early next year, Ms King said she had spoken with girls who believed their parents were putting undue pressure on their daughters to perform at school.
“The experts call it Expectation Inflation,” Ms King said.
“Their parents went to university so they expect their children to automatically do that, and more. Some of these kids, who miss out on an A, are now calling Kids Helpline, scared to tell their parents.”
The Mothers of Only Girls annual High Tea is Sunday, October 9 at 11am at Victoria Park Golf Club. Cost $70. More information at www.facebook.com/mothersofonlygirls
– Michael Crutcher