Amongst the smoldering ruins of democracy and the endless ideological back and forth between generations, American teens find themselves at a crossroad: should they stand up and make a difference for themselves and their community, or start the next season of Teen Wolf? A tough choice indeed.
In celebration of the many privileges and freedoms afforded to United States citizens, teens everywhere are taking to the couches to adamantly tweet the day away. Not wanting to let the sacrifices of the Founding Fathers go to waste, savvy teens are exercising their freedom of speech by spewing forth garbled lingo, vague inspirational quotes, and not-quite relevant emojis into the endless void that is the local millennial Twitter Timeline. Does taking 12 minutes to formulate a tweet such as: “I’m all about that money don’t get in the way of my grind,” while lying unemployed on a futon in mom’s attic take time away from actually making money? Probably. But what’s the point of stacking marginal amounts of minimum wage paper if you can’t brag about it to your 87 Twitter followers? To do anything less is an affront to the Founding principals of this country.
Despite a strong opposition from the forces of reality, today’s youth has valiantly defended their right to make innovative strides in avoiding responsibility. Breakthroughs in technology have totally-not been wasted as unlimited data plans, endless streaming services, and online games are finally solving the problem of not knowing the best way to distract oneself from nightly homework. Yet, the dangers of technology are also making themselves apparent as Netflix’s “Are you still watching this program” is forcing binge watchers to painfully reflect on the abyss of their own indolence.
An ever worse affront has also presented itself from the dissonance felt by the current generation of high schoolers who are slowly realizing the newest, freshest, memes cropping up from middle school-centric avenues are no longer making sense; Thus signalling the transition into adulthood.
The transition from being a naive, dead-inside teenager to a well adjusted, dead-inside adult is one of the main barriers preventing teens from reaching the dreams promised to them when they were six. A major personal choice presents itself, and people not old enough to drink must decide what job or degree they want to pursue for the duration of their life. For many, a liberal arts degree seems like the most promising avenue for reaching their dream of becoming a barista at a Barnes and Nobles. Others will totally-not-be-condescending about their STEM degree, which is in line with their aspirations to make good money and never date anyone until they’re 34. The military is another strong choice for those who are lacking direction, love Eminem and Monster energy drinks and want to get both married and divorced before the age of 25. As with any scary decision, many teens come to the conclusion that the best choice is to exercise their freedom to avoid ever making a choice.
Yet a young person’s occupation isn’t the only decision in front of them, for now they must decide who they want to be. Many make the easy choice and choose the “basic” route that carries with it an unexplainable love for the Chainsmokers and a Instagram for their dog. These people will be constantly ridiculed for being ordinary yet will live happy lives free from the suffering of people with eccentricities. In contrast, the vast majority will seek out some sort of niche to attach themselves to in a last ditch attempt to salvage a meaningful self-identity. Some people will get really into music and learn how to play three chords of a ukulele. Many will take up exercise as a way to look good and stay fit to appeal to bots on Tinder. They might even take up writing as a hobby and spend two hours writing dumb articles for a newspaper no one reads. Who knows? Regardless, this identity crisis no-doubt makes it easier to justify taking another skip day from school to watch Family Feud reruns.
Still, teens face an uphill battle at translating their social media comments into large scale societal change. Across the nation, helpless hipsters looked on in assumed agony as the dozens of hours they spent handcrafting artisanal Bernie Sanders memes didn’t boost him to the top of the polls. While many young, liberal activists spent time, money, and energy in promoting progressive movements, the true warriors who incessantly argued underneath every pro-Trump tweet should not be forgotten – but don’t worry, they won’t let you forget them, because their bumper stickers are not easily removed from the back of their secondhand 2006 Toyota Corollas.
An ever oppressed minority, conservative leaning teens also face pressing issues that threaten their beliefs. These young Republicans joyously watched as the presidential candidate version of their annoying aunt lost the election to their cool but kind of racist uncle. Many of these teens are looking to create some sort of innovative technology that will transform their political jubilance into a replacement for the healthcare they’re losing. They also are forced to face challenging questions about themselves including: Why do I insist on wearing athletic shorts in the dead of winter? Why don’t women want to date a guy who owns a meninist shirt? and Why do I only have one black friend?
In general, teens and young adults are still trying to adapt to the newfound social, economic, and political freedoms they are starting to acquire. Suddenly the world has opened up and it has become possible to begin pursuing childhood dreams. They can write a book, direct a short film, apply for college, vote and campaign, get a job, drop a mixtape. Yet, can society really expect the youth to pursue such endeavors when such pressing matters as catfishing people on Instagram, watching reaction videos on Youtube, and moderating an anime web forum obviously need to be done first? The commotion and busyness of the modern world have people scrambling for their nearest beanbag chair, and what can be done?
In short, it is clearly the baby boomers fault, somehow.