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  • Was life easier for previous generations?

  • Do teenagers today have a bright future to look forward to,

  • or have they inherited a world more competitive than that of their parents?

  • What do teenagers today spend all day doing?

  • Is a life connected to a handheld device beneficial to today's teenagers or would they be happier in an unconnected world?

  • Today, we'll be looking into the life of modern teenagers and seeing how they spend their time,

  • what they enjoy doing, and how their development could well be hindered by today's rapid lifestyle.

  • In this episode of the Infographics Show: Most Common Traits of Today's Teenagers.

  • Let's first look at the psychology of teenagers and how it develops.

  • So, little Johnny grows up, and around the age of thirteen, that sweet little smile disappears.

  • He begins to frown and become isolated.

  • If you look close enough at the temples on his head, you might be able to see tiny little horns begin to grow.

  • Johnny seems to be, to his parents' horror, turning into a little monster.

  • Teenagers develop a streak of independence, and parents often find it hard to reach out and relate to them.

  • They are becoming their own person.

  • This is a completely natural part of human evolution that we all experience.

  • The problem is, teenagers are still, for the most part, reliant on their parents.

  • They need their parents for food and shelter, for their education, and for their day to day expenses.

  • So, although a fierce independence is a teenage trait, in a practical sense, they are still usually being cared for.

  • This creates conflict, and teenagers are normally always experiencing some type of conflict.

  • Teenagers often withdraw to their own space, and construct a world whereby they are alone and independent.

  • Nobody, apart from some close friends, really understands them.

  • Nobody has ever experienced the feelings that they are feeling.

  • Teens rely more heavily on their own decisions, rather than the advice of their elders,

  • trying to learn how to think and act for themselves for the first time.

  • They find they have separate goals from their parents, their peers and their teachers,

  • and often isolate themselves with their own thoughts, feelings, and ambitions.

  • Teenagers also begin to take more risks as they grow up.

  • No longer will they need to hold their parent's hand while crossing the road, or have a book read to them.

  • Oh, no! Those years are long behind them.

  • Again, this is to do with evolution.

  • Dr. Paul Martiquet, author of the book "The Teenage Brain"

  • observes that the brain of a teenager is not yet fully developed, particularly within the frontal lobes.

  • These lobes are the areas of the brain responsible for decision-making and the weighing up of potential consequences following dangerous activity.

  • Even the most well-balanced teen will have a tendency to behave in ways that seem odd or risky to their elders.

  • But then again, many adults also act in ways that may seem bizarre and risky to a teenager.

  • During the early high school years, kids generally become more extroverted,

  • they begin to establish closer friends within their peer groups rather than their parents.

  • Even teenagers who are naturally introverted will experience a developmental stage in their teens

  • when communication and interaction seem like the most important things in the world.

  • By doing this, teenagers are preparing for early adulthood and a time in the future when personal relationships are essential for work and family life.

  • Parents should be willing to let their teenage children spend time with their friends but monitor who those friends are.

  • Teenagers begin to experience new emotions as they develop.

  • Hormones flood through their body, meaning that they will begin to consider romantic attachments for probably the first time in their lives.

  • Mostly this is harmless flirting online, or perhaps a crush on a celebrity.

  • Sometimes these hormones might lead to early romantic attachments and to coupling with members of their preferred sex.

  • This may be harmless enough, or could lead to unwanted pregnancy and a life-time commitment

  • that neither teenager is equipped emotionally to deal with, having just left childhood themselves.

  • Parents can't control their children's chemistry, so instead they should educate them on the dangers of early parenthood.

  • But what do teenagers like to do?

  • A family technology education non-profit group called Common Sense Media surveyed 2,600 youths as recently as November 2015.

  • Their census shows that teens are spending over a third of their average day, or nine hours, online, using social media, watching videos or listening to music.

  • The survey also showed that teenagers are multi-tasking.

  • For example, they may be listening to music online while shopping, or while travelling to and from school.

  • Teens from lower-income backgrounds tend to use online media more often on average,

  • in comparison with those teens with higher income families.

  • The 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study estimated that teenagers are online for 8 hours a day.

  • According to a 2015 survey by Piper Jaffray, teens also do a fair amount of shopping online

  • with over 60% of teens saying that they prefer to buy clothes over the internet rather than visiting the store and trying on the garments first.

  • Each generation in history is molded not only by their parents' views on the world, but also partly by social, political, cultural, and economic factors.

  • Today's teenagers are among the first whose entire lives has existed with cellphone technology and social media.

  • Psychologist Jean Twenge put this new generation under the microscope in her book iGen:

  • Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happyand Completely Unprepared for Adulthoodand What That Means for the Rest of Us. That's quite a mouthful.

  • After looking into a number of national surveys of 11 million teenagers since the 1960s,

  • she concludes that iGens or modern teens have a poorer state of mental health in comparison with previous generations.

  • New media causes anxiety, loneliness, and panic disorders, along with sleep loss, according to Dr. Twenge.

  • She comes to these conclusions by pointing to figures displaying national rises in mental health problems among teens,

  • and drawing parallels with the increase in cell phones.

  • But what Twenge forgets to mention in her book is that correlation doesn't mean causation.

  • As we mentioned before, teenagers are more sensitive to the world around them due to natural changes in hormone and brain activity,

  • so this could be an equally good explanation as to why mental health problems are on the rise in teens.

  • And then we factor in the larger general awareness of mental health issues, due in part, to information on the internet.

  • We also tend to diagnose mental illness earlier nowadays owing to our better understanding of these conditions.

  • Twenge also explains in her book that teenagers are spending less time with their friends in person,

  • and this is difficult to dispute when we look at the alleged 6 hours a day spent on the cell phone.

  • But can this time, if used to chat on social media, really be described as time actually spent alone?

  • And how healthy is this kind of interaction?

  • Teens might be growing up at a slower rate than before.

  • One theory, known as Life history theory, postulates that the rate in which teens grow up is in direct correlation with how hostile their immediate environment is,

  • or at least, their perception of their environment.

  • So in this theory, a teen growing up in a war stricken country, would, if he survived,

  • be more likely to marry and become a parent at a younger age.

  • If the environment is perceived to be hostile, teens employ a fast life strategy to grow up more rapidly

  • and create larger families to form larger survival groups.

  • On the other side of the coin, a slow life strategy, where the environment is perceived less hostile,

  • gives rise to a slower rate of development.

  • And this might explain why teens are not rushing to buy that car, get married, and have kids as quickly as they did in previous generations.

  • So, what do you think are the most common traits of teenagers today?

  • Let us know in the comments!

  • Also, be sure to watch our other video called Google vs Facebook.

  • Thanks for watching, and as always, don't forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

Was life easier for previous generations?

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Are You Different Than An Average Teen?

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/04/20
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