Last weekend, I hosted my 14 year old niece for a weekend in the city, away from the parental oversight. Having no kids of my own, I sometimes feel out of touch with those younger than 25. However, what I learned is that despite advancements in technology and a slight more tendency toward ADD than previous generations, teenagers are still just teenagers.
1. Fitting in. Sometimes this is wearing the right clothes, having the newest technology, but really it’s about friends and being accepted into the “right” group. Kids still want to be cool and popular.
2. Gossip. Technology facilitates the gossip differently today than it did even 10 years ago, but it’s still gossip.
3. Everything is weird. If it goes against what’s considered “normal” in the teenager’s eyes, then it’s weird. Teenagers don’t want to be perceived as abnormal, so to “fit in” (see #1) it’s all weird.
4. Cliques. Band geeks, jocks, popular girls, nerds–you know the list, they’re still there. Funny, how after all the work toward a more accepting, diverse culture, teenagers are still using the same stereotypes that have been used for 30+ years.
5. Labels. Whether it’s Abercrombie, Coach, Juicy Couture, Louis Vouitton or the iPhone, labels still run rampant throughout American high schools. Today there’s more turnover and competition to be on top of the trends, but it’s still about labels and who has the latest and greatest.