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  • An online agony aunt for Gen Yers
  • An online agony aunt for Gen Yers
    Yelp Inc, Creative Commons (2015) ©
CASE STUDY

Ask Polly: the agony aunt leading a resurgence

Agony aunts may seem like a thing of the past, but they’re seeing renewed interest online through advice columnists who share their own experiences as a means of helping readers. What drives people to seek guidance from Heather Havrilesky, also known as Ask Polly, in the digital age?

Location Global

Scope
Agony aunts may seem like a thing of the past – when the issue of letting a man walk you home at night might’ve warranted external guidance – but the truth is that, in the last few years, advice columns have seen a resurgence. And although the topics may be slightly different, the basic concept is still the same.

One of the most notable departures contemporary columnists have taken from their predecessors is how they engage with their audience. They no longer express an authoritative voice, but instead reveal their own experiences as a means of helping their readers. ...

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