Eliany Flores, 16, from Brighton High School, knows how it feels to be a victim of social media attacks. Flores says people claimed many false things about her and put her reputation to the floor. “Although I knew I didn’t do anything wrong, being talked about so bad and reading their words somehow made me feel like I did,” she says. “It really makes you feel hopeless and like nobody would ever like you again.” Many teens use social media to communicate and share things with their friends. Then there are those who use it as a weapon. “Honestly, I don’t care,” says a Madison Park High School junior who admitted launching barrages on social media and who refused to be identified. “If you do something wrong or send a picture to someone, stuff like that happens. It’s pretty obvious you shouldn’t trust everyone.” According to bullying statistics.org, about 58 percent of youth have reported that something nasty has been said to them -- or about them -- online, and some 35 percent have been threatened online. Selina Sorto, 16, from Boston Community Leadership Academy, believes that both sides can be at fault. “It’s immature if you really think about it,” she says of the social media assaults, “but then again, people nowadays crave too much attention and sometimes that’s the ugly outcome.”
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Jerrelynn Perez, 15, has a problem with people who post fighting onto Worldstarhiphop.com. “They’re just as bad as the people fighting because they’re not stopping it,” says Perez, who goes to the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science.

Some teens believe that by posting fighting videos they will become famous.

“They just want be relevant like everyone else,” says Perez WorldStar was originally used to provide people with the hottest topics in urban media and music videos.

As time went on, the site also featured brutal fighting  videos. Crisdalis Matos, 15, is aware of the dangers of WorldStar. “Everybody copies what they see on the fighting  videos,”says Matos, from Roxbury.

In one video that went viral, one girl kicks another in the face over a boy. She later worries when she reports that the police came knocking on her door. Teens say that’s the part that many forget when they’re glorifying the videos. “Teens think they gain respect from the fighting says Jennifer Flores, 15, from Madison Park High School.
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Kripa Thapa, 17, from West Roxbury Academy, understands the hazards of meeting people in cyberspace.

“I believe that catfishing  can be dangerous,” says Thapa, “so before I would go out with someone that I would meet through online, first I would FaceTime them in order to make sure that they are not fake.” The Urban Dictionary defines catfishing – made famous by a documentary and TV show -- as: “The phenomenon of internet predators that fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into emotional/romantic relationships (over a long period of time).” Eighteen-year-old Nedjie Thompson says she has never made new friends from online meetings. “I have met or seen all the friends that I have on Facebook before, and sometimes they are friends of friends,” says Thompson, who attends the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. “I think it is very dangerous to meet someone online. You can never be sure that they are telling the truth about their life or what they look like.” Morelia Morales, 18, takes security measures with her online acquaintances. “If I would go out with someone that I did not know well, I would meet them in a place where there are a lot of people,” says Morales, who lives in Jamaica Plain. “In this way, it will never be dangerous.”
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In the battle of their favorite beaches -- Revere vs. Carson -- teens interviewed say they would rather go to Revere.

For 16-year-old Dnasia Lee, of English High School, Revere is way cleaner than Carson. Lashonda Cottrell, 15, from West Roxbury Academy, says she dislikes the jellyfish at Carson. “Stepping on them, they’re all squishy and stuff,” she says. “It’s nasty.” Chris Harris, 17, who goes to school in Jamaica Plain, says he also prefers Revere but ends up going to Carson. It’s closer to home, Harris says.
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Eighteen-year-old Wendy Zheng, from the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science, still believes in the American Dream. “The American Dream is something you want to achieve throughout your lifetime, such as having a nice house,” says Zheng. “Most people come here so their children can be able to succeed in life.” Though many teens seem outwardly cynical, the American Dream still has a sacred place in their hearts. There is the idea that if you work hard and sacrifice, everything will be fine. Even though there are moments when they want to give up, they believe the Dream won’t let them down. “A house, money, and a family,” is how 16-year-old Marinela Seiti, from Boston Community Leadrship Academy, describes the American Dream. She is from Albania. “Coming here was one of the things that my dad had been trying to do over and over,” she says. “New beginnings are never easy, but when you want something really bad, you can achieve it.” Seventeen-year-old Enkid Koci, from the O’Bryant, wants to get a job as a math teacher and start a family. “Leaving everything behind in Albania was hard,” says Koci, “but achieving that American Dream was what motivated my family and me….I believe in the American Dream because I believe in America.”
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