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Not to Sound Like a Hypocrite, but…

January 19, 2007

[By Ben Gross, today’s guest blogger…]

When I hear people say “Today’s teenagers are the leaders of tomorrow”, I want to smack them upside the head. If that’s really the case, the rest of you have a lot to worry about.

TeensOuterSpaceNot to sound like a hypocrite, but speaking from firsthand experience, I can safely say most of us lack brains. We’re too busy with our social cliques* to think for ourselves.

Walk through any high school lunchroom, and I can almost guarantee you’ll see it.

  • The “preps”, usually giddy, generally obnoxious rich kids who flip their collars up. Apparently, bright pink polo-shirts don’t look ridiculous enough.
  • The “skaters”, who listen to punk rock, have hair that hangs down to their eyes, wear shirts that are too small, and rarely actually skateboard.
  • The “goths”, who all dress exactly the same (imagine vampires without the fangs), yet call everyone who isn’t like them “a conformist”.
  • The “gangstas”, who wear their pants down to their thighs, and wear baseball hats to the side.

This might be a good time to mention that several different “genres” (I have heard it referred to in that way, as sad as that is) of teenagers means that instead of selling one type of shirt, clothing manufacturers can sell one shirt to this group, one shirt to that group…

I thought being a teenager was about rebelling against the system. We’re working for it.

*Yes, cliques. Not “subcultures”, not “genres”, cliques. An extension of the secret “no (whatever) allowed” club you were in when you were five.

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One Comment
  1. gingermiss permalink
    January 20, 2007 1:35 pm

    Teenagers can be idiots for various reasons, but they have more excuses – inexperience, hormones, their views of the world being shaped and molded. Clique-i-ness endures long after the adolescent years, and those people are the ones who really deserve scorn for their behavior. Adults acting like morons is worse than teenagers acting like morons because adults have more reason to be wiser and have actual control over their lives. They also provide an example for younger people to follow, whether they intend to or not, or whether or not they think what they do is being taken into account by anyone.

    There have always been poseurs and there will always be poseurs. How many people are truly rebellious? How many people will end up making a substantial difference in the world, good or bad, and how many will float by innocuously until they die? I think it’s an impossible question to answer, but the only way to encourage younger generations to change their way of thinking is to preach to them yourself. Divisiveness, whether valid or invalid, prevents any progress on this educational front.

    I hate seeing teens act like jackasses as much as anyone. What dismays me the most is seeing how jaded and cruel teenagers today have become, reflecting a society that has become more bitter, spoiled, and complacent. A lot of teens want something better – they want something to do, something to believe in, something they feel like gives them a reason to live, and they are a group that is particularly susceptible to suggestion, which you obviously recognize given the statements about how companies prey on the clique mentality to sell more products. It’s frustrating to see how they behave, but writing them off won’t work if you want them to grow up to be less detestable drones and more progressive people.

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