BY: CLAIRE KIM
With skyrocketing suicide rates along with high consumption of nicotine (through vaping), 21st teenagers are clearly forecasting a “depressed” mindset at this point in their lives. College is becoming more competitive to get into and expectations for a brighter future are subsiding as teens grow older and helpless. Though it may seem like teenagers are growing to become more toxic with such coping mechanisms, this century is actually one of the most safeguarded eras the world has ever seen in terms of teenage behavior.
Before the early 2000s, teens were described as angsty and reckless in their actions. Hence the slang “Yolo”. Because of this careless attitude, teenagers often exhibited extreme behaviors such as uncontrolled sex, addictions to drugs, and even drinking with illegal alcohol. This was a common trend for teens back then that cannot resemble the current generation right now.
For a fact, teens in the 21st century have become more reserved and “cautious” in their actions as high-burst tendencies seen in teens from the 80s-90s are not as prevalent. Less sex, less drinking, less accidental pregnancies, and less smoking, teens are becoming more aware of these consequences opting out of such situations instead of exciting interest in them.
New York Times points out that a lot of teenage shows these days are misrepresentative of the accurate lifestyle teenagers present often being over-exaggerated or straight-up false in their depiction. Essentially, what may seem like a typical teenage love story of falling at first sight and having sex in the next scene has become inaccurate over time as teenagers can no longer relate to such fantasies anymore. Unlike the older generation who has actually experienced such reckless lifestyles, current teens find it both uncomfortable and condescending to engage in.
In fact, teenage suicide or mental health shows have become more popular instead — such as 13 Reasons Why — as such attitudes are more relatable now. In a world where college dictates one’s life, school and pressure have become more natural aspects of a teenager unlike for. Yes, maybe the uniforms haven’t changed over the years, but teenagers have and it is important to consider whether we are going in the right direction or not.