What it's Really, Really, Really Like Being a Teen
I think that it’s something of a kneejerk reaction to imagine what teens do online as vaguely menacing and verging on dystopic. Part of it is fear of the unknown—unless you’re going to really delve into their business you’re only going to get the broad strokes. A lot of stuff, though, is hidden in plain view. Teens are creating and curating rafts of content, and here are examples that I find really compelling.
The first is teenagerposts, an incredibly popular tumblr blog (look above to see an example of one). It’s basically just teen thoughts—unfiltered, irreverent, funny, poignant and angsty, one after another. You can’t help but be brought back to your own teenage self (cringe!) and at the same time be brought to a place of deep compassion for the whole state of being a teen.
[quote] let’s play a game called: did the message not send or are they ignoring me. [/quote]
Some are wise
[quote]True bonding is when you and your friends are all angry about the same things.[/quote]
And some are just funny (in a developing humor sort of way).
[quote]If I’m ever angry with you just give me some mcdonald’s fries. I’m not saying I’ll forgive you, but I’ll have fries and it’s start.[/quote]
Before you get lost in the over 17 thousand (!!!) messages, I have one more place for you to explore. It turns out that my beloved pinterest, the place of boots I can’t afford, drool-worthy recipes I’ll never make, and couches that will never grace my living room, also turns out to be an incredible public scrapbook of teen-ness! Today I just typed “being a teenager” in to the search and this is what I got. OMG. It’s like a parallel universe, so close but so far away. I’m not putting this out there to invade the space of teens, but rather to peek into their world and see who they are presenting themselves as, what they’re laughing about, and what matters to them now. File this under: Who knew? But aren't you happy you do?