You know your tween/teen is online, you see them glued to their devices, but do you really know what they’re doing? Green Thumb Theatre’s production of tagged, now playing at Young People’s Theatre, takes the audience into the dark realities of why teens are using social media. Though the story and characters are fictitious, tagged was inspired from similar real life stories of what happens when peer pressure, popularity and social media rear its ugly head.
The story centres around 3 characters as an image taken from a party goes viral. That image is of a passed out girl with the word “slut” written in lipstick across her forehead. The majority of the scenes take place at a police station where the Constable is questioning 2 high school students about the online harassment in separate holding rooms. Occasional flashbacks of the 2 students conversing prior to and on the night of the party help fill in the gaps with the audience. I love how tagged used mock tweets, YouTube videos and images throughout, which made the story feel very, very real.
Playwright, Dave Deveau did a terrific job in depicting how and why kids engage online, including the implications of their actions. We all know kids are posting images and texts by the truckloads, but Deveau takes it a step further by explaining the psychology behind their online behaviours – why they post and repost, to seek popularity, and even fame online. He drives home the point that there is no such thing as anonymity online, and that one’s actions could lead to serious consequences.
We highly recommend parents seeing tagged with their kids. It’ll be sure to lead to open and honest discussions about digital citizenship, social responsibility and social pressure.
tagged is playing now at Young People’s Theatre through to May 8, 2015, and is recommended for ages 13+, grade 7-12. Content advisory as mature language is used throughout the play.