Justin Bieber Is Dangerous for Teen Girls

Psychiatrist: His 'media machine' creates the illusion of intimacy
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2011 1:31 PM CST
Justin Bieber Is Dangerous for Teen Girls
Justin Bieber attends the Z100 Jingle Ball concert at Madison Square Garden last month.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

Teenage girls are a little too emotionally invested in Justin Bieber, warns psychiatrist Alan Ravitz for the Child Mind Institute. Don't believe him? Check out some of the hysterical tweets that emerged after photos surfaced of Bieber with singer Selena Gomez, which include everything from slurs to threats of suicide and murder. Yes, teen crushes on celebs have been around since the days of Sinatra and earlier, but things are different today given the immediacy of the web and the "stronger illusion of access" that it gives fans.

"A youngster could be forgiven for thinking that Justin Bieber is, in this virtual universe, reciprocating her affections," writes Ravitz. In fact, Bieber's "media machine" is working hard to create just that illusion. What's a parent to do? "Knowing the difference between real pain and teen exaggeration is key to monitoring our kids' emotional lives in this digital age, and the only way to do that is to know your child," Ravitz advises."Be tuned in to her moods; talk to her about her music and her crushes." The suffering may be over a seemingly silly reason, but it's still real to her. Click to read the entire piece.
(Read more Justin Bieber stories.)

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