Prevalent controversies from opposing standpoints

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Pros

Restrictions on driving for first year with license

California Statewide Law states that drivers under the age of 18 who have had their license for less than a year cannot drive others under the age of 25 and cannot drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. If a police officer pulls over a driver breaking either law, his or her driver’s license can be revoked. When driving other minors, teens risk other’s lives as well as his or her own, while waiting only one year can provide more experience for younger drivers. This law is essential because anything that prevents automobile-related deaths is important. Every year car crashes kill more than 40,000 people and the fatal crash rate for drivers ages 16 to 19 is four times higher than for drivers ages 25 to 69 (www.nhtsa.gov). Teenagers driving past 11 p.m. and before 5 a.m. increase the risk of crash because there is a higher chance that younger drivers are experiencing fatigue during these hours. Additionally, if 16-year-olds drive with friends, then there is a higher teen mortality rate due to the added distractions. When teens drive solo during their first year, the risk of crash is lowered and they gain experience without distractions. By the time the year concludes, teens are much more experienced in comparison to the commencement of their driving career. Although teens enjoy staying out late, driving to social events or merely going off campus for lunch, is it worth losing a license or even a life?

 

Cons

According to the California Driver’s Handbook, minors are not permitted to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. and cannot transport passengers under 25 years of age without a licensed adult present for their first year of driving. To some, this may seem entirely reasonable, as safety is a top priority. However, there is such a thing as being overly cautious. A year of experience – six months with a permit and six months with a license – is an adequate amount of time to practice and become knowledgeable on driving. An adolescent of 16 years or older must also develop a feeling of security while driving with others in the car, and this can only be acquired through experience. The curfew law can appear as a reasonable precaution, but an entire 365 days of permitted practice should offer enough time to gain confidence in driving at night. The one skill not taught within the required six hours of lessons is how to stay focused on driving within the company of friends. Concentration can be understood solely once the situation presents itself. Age plays no specific role in this equation. Why shield a driver from the realities and complications of driving when, given the opportunity, they could become focused and experienced drivers before they even turn 18? Perhaps if younger drivers were permitted by law to learn how to drive in different environments, this statistic would change.

 

 

Validity of fame earned through social media sites

Pros

Although YouTubers and Viners are not famous in the conventional way that actors and singers are, they still possess notable forms of talent that reach an audience of millions. Some may say that Viners only have “fake” fame, meaning that their fame is not valid if it arises from online videos. The validity of fame should not be important; as long as people are able to express themselves and provide entertainment and laughter to viewers, why should anyone care about how they attain recognition? Filming videos to post on social media has become popular over the last few years; some have even gone as far as to dedicate their lives to creating videos for their audiences. Their work provides enjoyment and inspiration to viewers, evidence being the countless content shares and integration of popular phrases and lines into day-to-day language. There are numerous viewers that thank the creators for their videos and for the inspiration that they have given them to start a YouTube or Vine career of their own. Watching online stars such as Philip Defranco, Jerry Purpdrank, Lele Pons and Meagan Cignoli is free entertainment, unlike most movies or music. Why disparage something that produces free pleasure and inspiration to people of all ages across the world? YouTubers and Viners have the power to influence an innumerable amount of people and, with this ability, the title of “fake” fame is not applicable.

 

Cons

Due to the prevalence of social media today, almost anyone can become an Internet sensation overnight. Oftentimes, those who attain rapid fame via the Internet may not deserve it, and, in turn, act maliciously. Many teenagers cannot tell you what years Abraham Lincoln was in office. However, say the name of any Vine-famous stars such as Nash Grier or Cameron Dallas, and most adolescents can cite at least a fact or two about the “celebrity” mentioned. Beholding a whopping 3.67 million followers on Twitter, Grier has become an example of an overnight sensation. Gaining stardom on Vine, a social media application where users put together a six second video, his insanely fast recognition seemed innocent enough. However, as the quantity of his supporters grew, so did the number of offensive Vines published. One Vine in particular displayed his ignorance wherein he mocked an AIDs awareness commercial by recording the ad and afterward exclaiming disrespectful and derogatory terms toward the homosexual community. But as Grier’s adolescent fans will support whatever comes out of his mouth, he unfavorably influenced millions of followers and put a negative connotation on the term “overnight sensation.” Evident in the media, fame prevails better in cases where it has been earned by talent or in a charitable manner rather than by looks or charm.

 

The administration’s role in mediating cyberbullying

Pro

 

Social media has become a part of teens’ daily lives and, while the purpose of social media is to connect with friends, some may use it for bullying. According to dictionary.com, cyberbullying is “the act of harassing someone online by sending or posting mean messages, usually anonymously.” When teenagers bully others through the Internet, the problem will most likely end unresolved due to the students inability to deter the bully. With new applications such as Yik Yak, in which users can choose to be anonymous, the only effective way to stop bullying is to have the administration step in. If the school administration gets involved, adults will have the ability to mediate and resolve the situation. With suicide as the third leading cause of death for young people, bullying has become a serious issue that needs a strong basis of support to help end it. If administrators get involved, they could possibly take control over students who act out, efficiently saving certain individuals from cyberbullies and quite possibly decreasing chances of suicide or self-harm. Furthermore, an example will be set for the rest of the school, prompting students to behave appropriately online. As technology continues to develop and students grow more comfortable behind the veil of the Internet, offensive online behavior and cyberbullying will worsen and continue if administrators fail to get involved.

 

 

Con

As social media has become a prime form of communication in this day and age, many people insult, blackmail or humiliate one another via the Internet, especially with the aid of anonymity. In extreme scenarios, school administrators will be notified and take matters into their own hands, seeing these incidents as their responsibility to deal with and resolve. However, if a student does not perform these acts of bullying while on campus, the school should not have the power or be granted the permission to invest itself. Schools are ultimately powerless regarding social disputes. Although every member of the United States of America is granted freedom of speech, this does not imply that everyone is free of consequences for their actions. Be that as it may, the punishment for said actions should not be decided and enforced by school administration. Regardless of their intention, the involvement of the school in any student’s social disputes with others will lead to anger at the faculty rather than gratitude for their consideration. These feelings of anger and frustration will ultimately override any chances of the school actually preventing bullying. Due to the fact that school is the focal point of many teenagers’ lives, these educational institutions do not realize the negative effect that invading personal lives has on students. However, this intrusion benefits few and does not accomplish the goals intended.

 

Pros written by Paige Chestnut – Staff Writer

Cons written by Jackie Sedley – Staff Writer

 

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