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On the Radar: Billie Eilish’s ‘Chihiro’, Calming Effects of VR and X’s X-rated Content

What? Billie Eilish dropped her latest album, Hit Me Hard and Soft, on May 17. And now, a track from that album, “Chihiro,” is trending on TikTok and Instagram.

So What? In his review of Hit Me Hard and Soft, Plugged In’s Adam Holz listed a number of content concerns. And in reference to “Chihiro,” he said, “We hear about a disappointed lover who perhaps hints at suicide.”

Now What? Although the trending audio doesn’t include the referenced lyrics, if your teen enjoys the sound bite, he or she may be influenced to check out the full song—and possibly the full album as well, which has many more concerns. You can learn more about Eilish’s latest album in our review or by listening to the latest episode of The Plugged In Show.

New VR Environment Aims to Reduce Stress in Teens

What? In a three-week study, the University of Washington asked 44 teenagers to travel to their snowy, virtual world known as Relaxation Environment for Stress in Teens, or RESeT, and participate in six activities designed to improve mental health.

So What? Researchers still need to conduct a larger, longer-term study to verify their results, but the teens who participated reported feeling less stressed while using the VR program, with small improvements to their overall mood as well.

Now What? Although VR isn’t necessarily recommended for long stretches of time, this study suggests that there can be positive benefits, too. RESeT was created in the hope of giving teens access to proven mental health techniques in a way that may be more accessible to them. And considering these encouraging early results, it might not be a bad option to help reduce stress.

X Formally Allows Adult Content

What? X, formerly known as Twitter, has updated its content policies to formally allow pornography and other forms of explicit content—provided the material does not contain sexual violence, and that the content was created and distributed consensually.

So What? According to TechCrunch, users who produce such material will be encouraged to mark their content “as containing sensitive media,” which will block it from users under 18 or those who haven’t entered a birth date.

Now What? This shift in X’s policies is a huge disappointment. Whereas other social media platforms are amping up their child safety features, X seems more concerned with shoring up its profits. It’s all too easy for a teenager to create a fake account with a fake birthdate to then access this harmful material—for free, I might add. But even with an age-verified account, X will likely struggle to regulate explicit material, since the process to flag it as such is voluntary. Additionally, parents should be aware of bullying or exploitation that may occur through the site, and report this behavior to the proper authorities to have it removed.

Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.

6 Responses

  1. “Chihiro” is also named after the lead character from the beautiful-but-weird Studio Ghibli arthouse masterpiece “Spirited Away” (source: Rolling Stone magazine, “Billie Eilish Almost Called Her New Album ‘Patheticville’”), and teens will naturally be curious about that origin story as well as the movie the song is loosely based on, so you guys might wish to remind researching-but-unaware families of your previous commentaries on that film.

      1. It’s certainly up there, even as Kiki’s Delivery Service (celebrating its 35th anniversary this year and, despite its basic elements on magic and witchcraft, likely the most “Christian” film I’ve ever seen in terms of its morals) is that for me. I’ve noticed yours and my tastes in movies tend to line up a lot, and I always enjoy hearing from you. Plugged In, if you don’t mind my asking, is there a way for us to message each other through here? I’d be up for having more movie conversations.

        1. Hi! While we love to see conversations flourish on our website, we unfortunately do not have any private messaging functionality available.