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Psychologist: 'Live out loud' culture craves attention

Posted October 30, 2009

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— From a fake report of a runaway balloon with a child on board to a desperate plea for help written on signs outside a Raleigh woman's home, many people are trying to get noticed these days.

News stories and social networking sites are full of people saying and doing outrageous things. With the world moving at a breakneck pace, psychologists say many people are struggling to be heard and noticed over all of the chaos.

One of the signs Tonya Boykin has hung in front of her Raleigh home. More people 'live out loud'

Tonya Boykin of Raleigh said she decided to get attention by putting homemade signs in front of her house to show her frustration with delays in the Wake County Family Court system.

“It was really just about saying, 'This is what happened to me. Is it happening to you too?'” she said.

Boykin said she should be getting $3,300 in child support, instead of the $900 she is currently being paid by ex-husband Herculano Patino. Patino said he is paying the court-ordered amount.

Boykin originally filed her case in 2006, but it has been postponed repeatedly. She said she is in danger of having her utilities turned off and losing her home which she shares with her two children.

“There was nowhere else for me to go to get help,” she said. “I had so much negative energy inside of me, it just came out. It came out of me, everything I felt and all the stuff I had been trying to tell other people.”

Psychologist Michael Teague said many people feel like their voices are being drowned out in an overwhelming culture.

“(They’re) not feeling appreciated, not feeling recognized,” he said. “We have so many outlets today that we didn’t have in the past to get folks’ attention.”

A lot of that attention is coming from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter where the more outrageous posts get the most attention.

“Pictures of people passed out from drinking games and people have (things) written all over their face and then like half naked pictures,” said college student Laura Wilkinson.

“There are people out there who just don't care. They'll put whatever they want on there,” said David Simpson, another college student.

Kirsten Hamstra is a Web marketing specialist with SAS and said while the online world can be a great tool for businesses, it can be a dangerous place for people who share too much.

“Not only is it not private, but the Internet has a memory (and) saves all that info,” she said.

As long as people feel disconnected, this trend of living out loud will continue, according to Teague.

“The bigger society becomes – and we don't feel connected to a small town, a small family, a small group – then we're going to connect to something,” he said.

Psychologists said they don't see the living-out-loud trend lessening anytime soon as long as people are rewarded with attention for their antics, even if that attention is negative.


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  • howdiditgettothis Oct 30, 2009

    I guess it never occurred to some people that they are at fault themselves or through their own stupidity in marrying someone or deciding to have children with someone that they end up getting divorced with.

    Instead of blaming WC, how about plastering your ex-husband's name all over your front yard?

    Also - don't know what her circumstances are, but she's currently getting $900/mo (but supposed to be getting $3300??)and can't make her light bill?

    Maybe she needs a financial adviser, along with an attorney.

  • Just the facts please Oct 30, 2009

    WRAL... how did you miss the REAL story here? It's not about wanting to be heard or create attention, it's about the Family Court system in Wake County defiling the innocent and letting the deadbeats buy time. Myself, I've been tied up in this debauchery for four years. Yes, four years of massive legal fees generated by sneaky legal maneuvers designed only to pad the pockets of the lawyers. Clearly, none of you have been through this system, because if you had, you wouldn't blame anyone for their frustrated actions. Here's how it works. The lawyers dance for several years, hiding behind legal procedure, you pay until you're broke, then you settle for an amount that is not even close to what you're entitled to. Here me when I say, the system is designed for the attorneys to win. Simple as that. This system is corrupt, and in no way, protects the people.

  • THE ETERNAL Oct 30, 2009

    Hopefully, billions will feel a connection to Mother Earth and the green revolution. Humanity is ready and is now emerging from our thousands of years of sleep. Evolution to a higher level of consciousness is now happening: the Divine Feminine is emerging.

  • SkepticalGirl Oct 30, 2009

    Unless those are some really high-maintenence kids, I don't think she needs $3000/month in child support. I'll say it again. She needs money management classes.

  • patriotsrevenge Oct 30, 2009

    Psychologist: 'Live out loud' culture craves attention

    Great, so let's write a "news" story about them and give them exactly what they want. I'm sure no one else will catch on and do the same type thing. Sigh.