Best of the Web: Celebrating Fierce Girls, how a film is turning teens off social media, and the damage gossip can do to kids

The ABC's Fierce Girls podcasts made by girls celebrating their heroes, a documentary that's provoking a rethink on social media use, and how to stop mean gossip among young people.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

Celebrating Fierce Girls

Fierce Girls is an empowering podcast produced by the ABC for young people, telling the stories of extraordinary Australian women. The award-winning podcasts are narrated by women who are themselves extraordinary, including the likes of Amy Shark, Yael Stone, Dame Quentin Bryce, Claudia Karvan, Turia Pitt, Stephanie Gilmore and Leah Purcell.

To celebrate the International Day of the Girl on 11 October, the producers asked the podcast’s audience to write about their heroes. Six winners were selected from across Australia, aged from eight to 11, to write and narrate their own Fierce Girls podcast.

The podcasts make for inspiring listening, with subjects spanning the worlds of sports, medicine, teaching and arts.

Listen to the podcasts

'It makes you want to throw your phone in the bin': The film turning teens off social media

(Wendy Tuohy, The Age)

The Social Dilemma is the documentary that is taking the world by storm, prompting a rethink about social media. The very people involved in creating the platforms reveal they are so concerned about the harm that social media can do that they ban or severely restrict use by their own children.

This article examines the impact the film, now screening on Netflix, and talks to young people, parents and experts about their reaction.

Says 15-year-old Neisha Biviano:  ‘It just makes you want to stop and throw your phone in the bin it’s so eye-opening.’

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Gossip at school: Our gossip girls and boys

(Linda Stade, Linda Stade Education blog)

This is an informed look at something we take for granted in everyday life: the often irresistible urge to gossip.

The author, who specialises in adolescent wellbeing and education, examines the dynamics at work in the school setting when someone is the target of gossip, and the potential damage it can do.

She offers some useful ideas for individuals to change the culture of mean gossip – advice that’s also applicable not just in schools, but in life more generally.

Read the full article