Saturday December 7, 2019

Teenage Boys Use Humour, Irony and Banter to Navigate Social Media Content

For the study, published in Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, researchers investigated how young boys use Instagram

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Teenage, Boys, Humour
Using humour and irony means that boys can still aspire to have gym bodies and be motivated by sport, exercise and healthy diets, but without the risk of being put down or ridiculed by their peers. Pixabay

Rather than being victims of online harms, such as an unhealthy body image obsession, teenage boys are able to use humour, irony and banter to navigate social media content, a new research found.

“The evidence from teenage boys indicated that you can be a gymlad if you’re ‘ripped’, with a toned gym body, but you can also use gymlad in an ironic way,” said study lead researcher Victoria Goodyear from University of Birmingham in the UK.

“Using humour and irony means that boys can still aspire to have gym bodies and be motivated by sport, exercise and healthy diets, but without the risk of being put down or ridiculed by their peers,” Goodyear said.

For the study, published in Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, researchers investigated how young boys use Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube to learn about physical activity, diet and body image.

Teenage, Boys, Humour
The evidence from teenage boys indicated that you can be a gymlad if you’re ‘ripped’, with a toned gym body, but you can also use gymlad in an ironic way. Pixabay

Over a 12-month period, more than 1,300 teenage boys from 10 schools and from a range of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds engaged a series of class activities, interviews, workshops and a survey.

In contrast to popular opinion, the study showed teenage boys were intelligent and critical users and generators of social media.

For example, they used irony, through hashtags like #gymlad to enable them to post selfies about their bodies in the gym without fear of ridicule, and within a context of acceptable banter.

The research highlights the need for adults – parents, carers and teachers – to try to better understand and empathise, rather than criticise how young people use social media.

Also Read- Goa Tourism Department Giving Finishing Touches to its Anti-Litter Campaign

“We need to support adults to become more digitally literate, so they understand both the positive and the negative potential of social media,” Goodyear said.

“They can then help young people navigate these landscapes to produce positive health education outcomes.” (IANS)

Next Story

Why Are Indian Teens Less Physically Active?

WHO conducts a survey to find out why Indian Adolescents are less physically active

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Indian Teenagers
Playing cricket keeps Indian boys away from other exercises. Pixabay

Too much focus on cricket might be the reason why Indian boys are not getting sufficient physical activity, while domestic chores are keeping girls away from adequate exercise, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The study, published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, found that kids aged 11 to 17 years are at the lower levels of insufficient physical activity in Bangladesh and India (where 63 per cent and 72 per cent of boys were insufficiently active in 2016, respectively).

For girls, the lowest levels of insufficient activity were seen in Bangladesh and India, and are potentially explained by societal factors, such as increased domestic chores in the home for girls.

According to the WHO, levels of insufficient physical activity in adolescents continue to be extremely high, compromising their current and future health.

“Urgent policy action to increase physical activity is needed now, particularly to promote and retain girls’ participation in physical activity,” said study author Dr Regina Guthold, WHO.

The study also found that more than 80 per cent of adolescents worldwide are not physically active, including 85 per cent girls and 78 per cent boys, putting their health at risk by not doing regular exercise and spending too much time on screen.

For the findings, the researchers estimated how many 11 to 17-year-olds do not meet this recommendation by analysing data collected through school-based surveys on physical activity levels.

Indian girl
The household keeps the Indian girls away from enough physical activity. Pixabay

The assessment included all types of physical activity, such as time spent in active play, recreation and sports, active domestic chores, walking and cycling or other types of active transportation, physical education and planned exercise.

Based on data reported by 1.6 million 11 to 17-year-old students – the research found that across all 146 countries studied between 2001-2016, girls were less active than boys in all but four (Tonga, Samoa, Afghanistan and Zambia).

Also Read- Physical Activity and Healthy Diet can cut the Risk of Heart Attack in Children

According to the study, physical activity trends show slight improvement for boys, none for girls. Most countries in the study (73 per cent, 107 of 146) saw this gender gap widen between 2001-2016.

“The trend of girls being less active than boys is concerning,” said study co-author Dr Leanne Riley, WHO.

“More opportunities to meet the needs and interests of girls are needed to attract and sustain their participation in physical activity through adolescence and into adulthood,” Riley added. (IANS)