Teenagers. Some people would say the bane of society.
Here's how teenagers feel about the way they're stereotyped. This isn't a sympathy thing; I'm not trying to say that nobody ever listens to any teenager at all. I'm just posing the question as to why the media often plays on the stereotype of troublesome teens.
But what exactly is a stereotypical teen like? Well, a lot of people (NOT ALL- I don't want to start a fight) assume that:
- That teenagers are all addicted to social media.
- That they're all lazy.
- That they're all aggresive and are easily provoked.
- That they're all always up to no good.
- That they're all selfish and only care about themselves.
- That they're all dressing and acting innappropriately.
- That they're all too young (and some people would say foolish) to understand what real life is like.
Just type in 'teenagers' in google and on the first page it says:
Raising Teenagers: The Mother Of All Problems
And I won't deny, adolescents are probably really difficult. Obviously, I have no experience of looking after a teenager, but I can guess.
Furthermore, some of these stereotypes are true in some cases. For example, 81% of American adolescents are on social media. It is also well known that young people are social media savvy and a large chunk of them spend a good amount of time socialising online. However, that doesn't mean that they're all addicted. I've actually seen parents and relatives of teens go on rants about how all teenagers are addicted to social media- on social media. In addition to this, 72% of adults are also on social media and reportedly 44% of those adults are actually addicted themselves.
Another example is the laziness idea. The fact that teenagers often (not always) sleep and lie in bed later than adults. This is actually because they need more sleep- not because they're all lazy. Although I reckon a lot of you lovely G@Gers knew that already! Especially considering some of us are teenagers anyway.
I could carry on giving examples about why these stereotypes are true etc. but I think that I've made the point.
I certainly won't disagree that some teenagers are irresponsible and some are lazy and some are aggressive etc. Although, this occurs in children and adults and senior citizens too. But these other 'generations' and age groups never seem to get bashed for it like teens.
Obviously, all age groups have a stereotype (along with every other type of person that has a stereotype) but the adolescent stereotype is probably-what I would call- the most influential and the most damaging.
I, as a teen, probably don't fit into the stereotype above. Yes I do use some social media, but I don't spend much time on it- I don't visit the sites everyday, or even every week. Yes, I sleep in when I get the chance. However, I get up at 6am on weekdays and leave the house at 7:30am. And please don't tell me to go to bed earlier- I choose to go to bed at 8:30pm. Yes, I do get angry quite easily, but that's because people look down on me when I tell them "Oh, I'm 15". As for getting up to no good, I doubt it. I go home most nights and spend 2-3 hours working for exams at school and doing extracurricular activities. And yes, you're right I don't know everything. I wouldn't claim to. But everyone has different experiences and trust me, teens are trying their best.
But when people look at me, or I tell them my age, they don't know this. They don't see what my life is like so they assume what I'm like from what the media tells them. And the media says this:
The word most commonly used to describe [the teens] was "yobs" (591 times), followed by "thugs" (254 times), "sick" (119 times) and "feral" (96 times).
These are the most popular words to describe teens- taken from 1,000 separate articles.
This makes people fear and look down on us, when actully there's no reason to. 85% of teen boys said that we're unfairly represented but meanwhile 74% of adults say teens scare and/or intimidate them!
The part that confuses me the most is that almost everyone on the planet was or has been a teenager at some point. Almost everyone knows what it's like. studies show that your feelings and hormones are fluctuating faster and in a more intense fashion when you're an adolescent than any other time in your life. On top of this, teens are trying to work out who they are; some struggle with sexuality, you become aware of your body, you become more aware of the world around you. And everyone knows it's really really tough. So why add more pressure to the pile by taking the small minority of bad teens and make them the poster boys and girls for adolescents?
It doesn't make sense! Do you really think- as adults- that this is true, or indeed fair?
Just to explain; this myTake isn't to say that only teenagers are stereotyped or hurt by stereotyping- I'm just putting across a teenager's point of view.