New York City High School Students Speak Out

In our Healthy Relationships 101 class, we ask students to keep a record of how they perceive relationships both in their personal lives as well as how they are portrayed in society and the media. This research assignment helped make many of our students aware of the importance of critical thinking and we saw this skill develop in remarkable ways. They focused on newspaper articles, advertisements, television shows, music videos, even the books they were assigned to read in their literature classes. We saw a level of maturity that we didn't expect. We saw them tap into their innate wisdom and desire to do things differently. And by different, we mean they started to understand that the world they live in doesn't necessarily doesn't always represent the world they want to be living in.

We are presenting a series of some of the responses we've been compiling from our students in the greater Metropolitan area over the last few years. Their responses provided us with insight into the world of relationships as seen by teenagers.

Our first entry is from a student who researched internet stalking. This student wrote a response to an article she read called "I Facebook Stalk My Ex's New Girlfriend" in which she assesses why internet stalking is so unhealthy and describes the addiction that stems from it.

Let's get real, it's 2010 and technology allows us to do anything nowadays! The internet sure does make it tough to get over a breakup with all the resources available to know how your ex is doing -- it's only a click away. In my opinion, Facebook is a curse and a blessing all in one. Internet stalking is unhealthy. It keeps you stagnant, not allowing you to grow and move forward in your life. The temptation is irresistible, and it's not like I haven't done the same thing before, because I have. All I learned was that it hurt more than it helped; it's a futile waste of energy and time.

The internet stalking makes you want to stalk all the time. It takes over your brain and once you start there's no way of stopping. It's unhealthy to stalk because you can easily misjudge a person's picture or status or their comments. Once you're off, all you want to do is go back and stalk some more to keep your mind satisfied. But let's face it, once you're out of the relationship, it's over. Stalking won't help bring it back.

The responses from our students have shown us that maybe we have a few things to learn from them. We'd love to hear your thoughts.