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Website Lets Teenagers Vent, But Ends in Cursing
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Recently, a website for middle school students in Foshan, in south China's Guangdong Province, opened two threads in its online forum for young people to post their complaints to release pressure. However, the posts so far have been unanimous in their use of curse words, as virulent demands are even made of people using their real names, Guangzhou Daily reports.

The website that opened the threads.

The two threads, begun in May and July, now have about 50 replies each. Their comments range from complaints about school, classmates and parents to football teams or even food the posters don't like. And every critical remark makes use of cursing and name calling.

Reading the posts, many parents have been shocked. Ms. Cheng, the mother of a student in the eighth grade, is against the idea of venting by cursing. "Young people should learn to appreciate what they have instead of complaining about any little thing that disappoints them," she said. "If my child looks like he's stressed out, I'll go and talk to him before he resorts to such a public way of venting, like this." Ms. Cheng also noted that the students were not the only ones to blame, as she said parents should try to think in their children's shoes and check how they are running their families from time to time.

Huizai, a high school student who is busy preparing for the college entrance exam, sympathizes with the posters. He said, "I feel enormous pressure in my studies, and I can't talk about it with my parents because they are always busy working. I am old enough to have my own thoughts, and I need some place to express them." And interviews with other young people show that quite a few agree with him.

But Xiaoling, an eighth-grade girl, said she was disgusted by the posts. "They are so dark and made me even more depressed," she said. "I would rather release my pressure by working out."

Liang Xiao, a lawyer from Guangdong Gujinlai Law Office, remarks that it is not against the law to curse on the Internet as long as one's statements don't involve anybody's real name. However, using someone's real name to insult them with offensive statements crosses the line.

A teacher surnamed Liu, the psychology instructor from the No. 3 Middle School in Foshan, said that anonymously expressing their discontent on the Internet may do some good for students with psychological obstacles to communicating in real life. But for those who are prone to ruthlessness, it may set loose their bad tempers. "These teenagers' flippancy, cynicism and extremism reflected in these posts does give us something to think about," Liu said. Liu also recommended that students who have mental problems talk to their psychology instructors at school, so they can find healthier and more appropriate ways to relax.

(CRI October 25, 2006)

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