Readersforum's Blog

May 4, 2013

Lionel Shriver: social media makes teenagers ‘neurotic’

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:50 pm

bigConstant exposure to their own image on social networking sites and camera phones has made teenagers neurotic about food and how they look, the author Lionel Shriver has claimed.

By Hannah Furness

The bestselling writer, whose latest novel Big Brother explores the modern preoccupation with size, said this generation was “hyper conscious” about how it was seen by others.

This was due partly to a “proliferation” of images on cameras in mobile telephones and posted online, constantly showing people what they really look like, she said.

Speaking at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival, she claimed technology meant that teenagers grew up looking at themselves rather than outwards and said parenting was a “minefield”. Shriver, an Orange Prize winner best known for her novel We Need to Talk about Kevin, said weight and size was an issue that affected virtually everyone.

“We have become chronically neurotic about food,” she said. “It may be — and I haven’t really thought about it before — but part of it must be the proliferation of photographs in our lives.

“If you think about it, in the olden days you didn’t see pictures of yourself very often. You might see yourself in the mirror sometimes, but for the most part you looked out.”

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