From New York Times, March 2018, by Tara Parker-Pope
Are Today’s Teenagers Smarter and Better Than We Think?
The stereotype of a disengaged, entitled and social-media-addicted generation doesn’t match the poised, media-savvy and inclusive young people leading protests and gracing magazine covers [re. the Never Again movement over school shootings].
“…technology is having the opposite effect than we perceived.” [Julie Lythcott-Haims,m author of How to Raise an Adult.]
“They are direct in their messaging. They are so clear. They seem unflappable.” [Dr. Lisa Damsour, an adolescent psychologist]
Many risky behaviors have dropped sharply among today’s teens. Cigarette smoking among teens is at a historic low since peaking in the mid-1990s. Alcohol use has also declined significantly…Teen pregnancy rates have hit historic lows and teens overall are waiting longer for sex than their parents’ generation. Teen driving fatalities are down about 64% since 1975.
Dr, Wendy Mogul interviewed middle school and high school students for a year. She was impressed by their thoughtfulness, how much they liked their parents, and how much they cared about the world around them. “They’re courageous, energetic, optimistic and really smart.”
Neil Howe, famous sociologist and historian said, unlike earlier generations, today’s teens have learned to work within society and are very good at using rules to make their point. They’re working arm-in-arm with older people and institutions they trust.
I THINK THESE TEENS COULD TURN OUT, NOT TO JUST BE LEADERS, BUT TO BE A GENERATION WE LOOK BACK ON AND END UP CALLING ONE OF THE GREATEST.
Below are some internet comments about this article.
COLORADO ~ “They care about the environment; they are passionate about equality; they are connected; they are vocal; they are motivated; they are driven to succeed.”
GEORGIA ~ “Dr. Twenge’s study (Increases in Depression and Suicide Rates among US Adolescents After 2010 and Links to Increased Media Screen Time) found out there was a slight decline in teen suicides.”
WISCONSIN ~ “I have a kind, talented 17-year-old who is totally committed to helping create a better society and has zero tolerance for any sort of bigotry. I am so impressed with this generation. They are creating real change and I believe they may save America from the current nonsense.”
CALIFORNIA ~ “I am observing savvy and adult-like interactions. They put my Leave-it-to-Beaver generation to shame!”
WASHINGTON ~ “The young have the chutzpah to feel invincible and are, therefore, more open to new ways, new concepts; more willing to take risks.”
MICHIGAN ~ “This 9/11 gen need all the support we can give them so they can face what challenges lie in front of them with courage, resilience, compassion.”
NEW JERSEY ~ “The issue is that they substitute knowledge for experience.”
NEW YORK ~ “These kids have revived hope.”
NEW YORK ~ “Today’s kids have grown up in hard economic times under the worst economic recession in 60 years, two fifteen-year wars, and a reduced likelihood they’ll be better off economically than their parents. But many of them truly want to make things better.”
USA ~ “They are clearly more idealistic and less materialistic. I think they have come along just in time for about everything. I wish them the best of luck.”
NEW YORK ~ “Can today’s teens keep a firm grasp on their idealism or, like my generation, allow cynicism to overtake their potential as it did ours?”
WASHINGTON ~ “This is finally the revenge of the nerds permanently, unlike my era. t’s been cool to be smart for gen-z’s entire lives. That’s extremely cool.”