Ten years back if I had to describe a hip and cool teenager it would be someone who had a personal computer, funky wrist watches, watches Johny Quest or Johny Bravo and listen to Backstreet Boys. And don’t underscore these qualities, for they were not very common back then. Though it might sound hilarious now but wearing baggy shirts and glow-in-the-dark bracelets were the ‘Things’ of the day.
Sadly, Gone are the days now. The rapid and peculiar evolution in trends and values has brought on a phenomenal change in the ‘modern’ teenagers. We may hold global progress or the aggressive media responsible for it, but it has definitely made the today’s generation of teens at least appear to be more extraordinary than ever.
Today a teenager is primarily ‘cool’, someone who is far more self-reliant, fiercely independent and way too autonomous than perhaps even more than the adults. However, whether this change is for good or for worse is still a big question mark.
Being a teenager in the 80’s seemed a lot easier than today because of the world then offered greater security to the young, fragile minds and used to tame their personalities with care and tenderness. However, the vicious world of competition we are living in today has made growing up more of a hasty journey than a gradual process. With such rapid changes, teenagers do not want to be left behind to experience and want to have an immediate introduction to everything.
The various species of teenagers are pretty much the same though. There may be some nerds, some jocks, some straight A students, some sci-fi geeks, some shopoholics (remember 80′s Valley Girls), some delinquents, etc
However, Back in the 80’s Teenagers were friendlier and less of a pain but today one has to have that X factor in him to hangout with them. For example, in order to be a part of a famous group (for girls especially) one has to have good looks, a great sense of dressing money to afford famous brands, a fancy Iphone and not to forget a heavy English ‘accent’.
Teenagers today are blamed of lacking manner, but can we place all the blames on them alone? Back in 80’s parents spent more time with their kids than just dedicating a couple of hours to them. They have time to talk, discipline them, and just be there for them in case they might need . Today’s parents work all day long and don’t even see their kids probably until the day’s end, and so it’s not strange that these kids are most likely to end up hanging out with people that can influence them in either way.
In 80’s, teens were content with less. They didn’t grow up in a world of high-tech, I-Pod, I-Tunes, Blackberry, Laptop and Hannah Montana. They were happy sporting and staying engaged in the after-school activities. They didn’t mind working to earn themselves a car, if not necessarily a first hand. But the kids nowadays want everything fed to them in a golden spoon or else they would blame their parents. In the ‘golden days’, teens went to the library and manually looked for certain book as opposed to the kids of today who just log on to the internet, use CTRL C and CTRL V expertly to get their homework done.
Lack of communication and parental influence is the key reason why we are facing the current situation. And it is not just with teens, but today every next person wants an instant gratification and don’t really want to put in handwork for it. Besides that, the media has significantly influenced teens in more ways than one. It has made them a little more rebellious, prone to experimentation, a lot more impulsive, and in great need of acceptance from their peers. And hence, this has led them to make some not-so-wise choices. However, only rambling against our teens will not ameliorate the situation, rather it would only worsen it. Addressing communication issues between teens and parents and getting them out of the whirlwind of the material culture will help us crop of great generation of people to come.