More often than not, the older generations categorize every teenager as the same, which is not all true. Although teenagers share the same similarities quite often, there are still a whole lot of misconceptions about them that don’t even describe them. We’ll discuss some of these misconceptions in the next paragraphs.
Teenage behavior is the same all over the world
Although the younger generation tends to be more open, straightforward and spontaneous, it doesn’t mean that all of them (or even most) act like that. No, definitely not.
Teenagers don’t read books
Not true. Just like in adults, some do and some don’t. Admittedly, teenagers don’t like being told what to read (who does?). And because they’re tech-savvy enough to figure out how to handle a wide range of media doesn’t mean they don’t read books the conventional way. They do.
One can accurately generalize about teenagers
This should be pretty clear by now. Over time, the age at which people are regarded as ‘young’ changes over time and between different cultures. Also, the way ‘younger adults’ behave has also changed over time and according to community values and beliefs. However, what do we do as we’re stuck with the word ‘teenager’? It could be used non-judgmentally to mean those between the ages of 3 and 19. We might as well ditch it altogether and take people for what they represent and not what they’re categorized as.
Teenagers are completely technology-dependent
This is another great misconception about the 21st-century teens. Of course, we all love our phones, computers, and TVs but we certainly can survive without them. Because of the fluency and expertise exhibited by these teenagers, they are often wrongly thought of as completely technology-dependent.
Teenagers are rebellious
Older generations believe that teenagers are rebellious and trying to ‘counter the culture’. The truth is that every boom of a new generation comes with a degree of recklessness and spontaneity attached to their behaviors and at a point or another, today’s older generation have been unfairly accused too. A lot of teenagers still respect authority; however, it is only natural to go against the flow of the tide once in a while because teenagers are just trying to find their place in the world.
Teenagers don’t know how to communicate
True, their means of communication are quite contrasting to that of the older generations because more often than not, they contact each other through text and other social media platforms. But doesn’t that mean the advancement of communication is right inside their pockets? If anything, teenagers are super-talented in communication. They can make phone calls and even hold face-to-face conversations as well as communicate through a computer screen. Both are effective and keep teenagers active in their communities, hence there’s no strong basis to suggest that teens don’t know how to communicate.
Teenagers are selfish
This is not entirely correct. Some who behave selfishly is probably because they’re spoilt. And why does this happen? It’s because our society is built on judging everything on its cash value. Children are their parent’s biggest investment and it’s not entirely a fault of their own.
Teenagers are promiscuous
Three points here. One, studies show that teenagers are often accused of ‘cheating’ than older people. Two, those who criticize teenage sexual behaviors often do so out of jealousy. Three, teenagers behave like as a culture allows (e.g. the private lives of teenagers in London is different from those in Turin).
Teenagers can’t be good parents
Parenting skills depend more on personality and upbringing. Older parents, having spent many years looking after themselves find it challenging to welcome a new and demanding individual into their lives. In the west today, we frown at teenage parenthood and this sort of mindset would have been seen as perverse for the most part of human history. Are we any better than our ancestors?
Teenagers are a clearly defined group
This is entirely false. A 17-year-old scoops a gold medal in athletics, she’s a woman. The same girl gets bullied at school and she is labeled ‘child’. At school or colleges, they are often called ‘pupils’ and in rare cases ‘students’. In a bad mood, they’re termed ‘adolescent’ and sometimes a ‘young adult’. There is no clear distinction of defining teenagers so people (older generations especially) should take note.