1. Perplexity
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    Perplexity Member

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    Teenager Q&A Thread!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Perplexity, Jan 6, 2013.

    You can agree or disagree with usefulness of the thread itself....but I feel as if the people that are posting are awfully repetitive. If you don't think it's useful....don't use it, I understand and my feelings are not hurt!

    Being a teenager very interested in literature but also going through a normal teenage life, I realized that a lot of authors often have misconception of how teenagers actually act and what they do if they haven't directly gotten information from them. Here I will do my best to answer (with my teen peers) all of the questions authors trying to write from a teenage perspective or trying to create the character or a teenager have. I just thought this may be helpful. Please feel welcome to post your questions here!


    Q & A

    Question 1 : So, my question: Does there seem to be a sense of group conformity among teenagers today, or is standing out in the crowd as an individual more of the thing to do?

    Answer : This answer isn't really an easy one to give. Conforming is something in which most teenagers take to (including most of my friends), trying to get into a group and not tryout to really be different. They're trying to refine themselves to fit a standard, however, there are some specific kids (the minority by far, even though they've recently increased in numbers) that are going to be who they are. Unfortunately, however, getting into an ideal group of friends seems to be on almost everybody's agenda. There are a lot more people that are giving their all to stand out, however they're still greatly outnumbered.

    Question 2 : What are the most popular brand of shoes worn by the teenagers you know? Do teenagers still use terms like "wicked?"

    Answer : Nike Air Force 1's and Vans. Those are currently the most popular and most seen throughout my school for males, and boots for females. Army boots, Uggs, etc..

    Answer : No, I haven't heard these words used my entire high school career more than once a year. The closest word to wicked that is commonly use is a drawn out "thats niiiiiiiiicee." I hope you found this useful, any further information just ask!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I see no value to this. One might as well start a similar thread about adults. But no one would give it any credence because adults do not think or behave identically. So unless the Borg have assimilated everyone under the age of 18, teenagers are no more homogenous than adults.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    too true... there are too many variables for any one teen to be able to speak for all teens... or any, actually, other than his/her own viewpoint and situation...

    it was nice of you to offer, though...

    love and hugs, maia [a weird old lady who wouldn't be capable of speaking for 'the elderly' in general! :eek: ]
     
  4. Perplexity
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    Perplexity Member

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    I agree with above, just trying to offer a few specifics for anyone looking.
     
  5. KalyQT
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    KalyQT New Member

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    I guess I am in the minority here. I see some value to this. From what I can remember of my teenage years there was, oddly enough, a 'Borg' like phenomenon. Everyone broke off into their little cliques and often tried to act the same as everyone else in that clique. Maybe things aren't the same today, that would be a more generalized question I would ask. Specific questions of a more personal nature probably wouldn't serve much of a purpose other than to gain insight into one teenager's mind. But if I wanted an idea of what the overall atmosphere(for lack of a better word) of teenagehood was like today I think a teenager would have a better grasp as to how their 'people' act than a 40 year old would.

    So, my question: Does there seem to be a sense of group conformity among teenagers today, or is standing out in the crowd as an individual more of the thing to do?
     
  6. Just
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    Just New Member

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    That's an easy one, Kaly.

    Standing out will always get you places. Whether those places are good or bad is an entirely different subject, but you will definitely go somewhere. Staying as a group will keep you with that group You won't advance or backtrack, you'll just kind of be there. That can be an incredibly awesome thing or incredibly not.

    It all depends on what you want. I always end up doing my own thing until I can find a group of friends, then I will form to them. Of course, this is all relevant to if you are, what I like to call, a freed mind. Some people will always conform to groups, that's there thing. More power to 'em.


    And sometimes, just sometimes, I create my own group. Alone. In my bedroom. For a long time.
     
  7. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    Tumblr's my gateway to the teenage mind.
     
  8. KalyQT
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    KalyQT New Member

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    Thank you for your answer, Just. But you don't say whether you are a teenager.
    Perplexity offered his/her services, so to speak, into the teenage mind. So I am taking a shot here at trying to find out whether or not the majority of teenagers today still try to follow the group as they did when I was a teenager 30 years ago or have times changed and do the majority go with individuality.

    As an adult now I have learned the great value in individuality and enjoy doing things my own way whether I fit in or not, I only wish I learned it in high school as I tended to be as most of the kids and followed the group.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I can't read this without thinking of a Dt. Pepper jingle from not too long ago:
    That never failed to send me into fits of laughter. at the irony.

    Sadly, there is truth hidden in the irony. The teen years are dominated by the struggle to find oneself as an individual. In that struggle, there are cliques that form from the conflicting needs of individuality and of belonging, cliques of shared rebellion and condemnation of authority.

    The final episode of the original BBC series The Prisoner, titled Fall Out, contained a very thought-provoking treatise about rebellion; in truth, it was a summary of the entire series from that perspective.
     
  10. Perplexity
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    Perplexity Member

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    Question 1 has been answered.
     
  11. KalyQT
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    KalyQT New Member

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    Thank you for your answer.

    It sounds like when it comes to this issue there has been a very slight change since I was a teenager.
     
  12. Perplexity
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    Perplexity Member

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    There has been, however, the character of the groups itself may have changed if the attitude towards trying to get in them have not.
     
  13. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that authors don't know how to portray teenagers in literature, but threads like this aren't part of the solution. They're probably part of the problem if anything.
     
  14. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    My daughters are all different from each other, so I couldn't agree there is one standard teenage mindset. If I were to write something accurately from their POV I'd probably make massive mistakes concerning motivation, reactions etc though. There are writers who can write brilliantly from a child or teenage perspective as well as plenty of bad ones who can't get it right. I can remember pretty well how I felt when I was a teenager, but I was a child of my era, not the present one, so I would most likely place the novel back in time.
     
  15. Mithrandir
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    Mithrandir Contributing Member

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    I'm seventeen, but I couldn't answer questions on a teenage viewpoint because I'm not typical. In fact, I have never met a typical teenager. Everyone is different.
     
  16. Kaylin
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    Kaylin Member

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    I'm 14 and I think certain groups of teens do share characteristics, but only within those groups that share beliefs and ideals. Others like to think of themselves as "hipster" but they really aren't. Weird is a compliment but people who are called weird, at least in "facebook to be honest's" do not fit the definition. Other than first experiences and other coming of age things, no universal assumptions can be made. I suppose one could write from the POV of a teen who does not deviate from the most recognized category of teens and correctly portray him/her, but why would you ever want to?
     
  17. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the OP's interest in literature automatically makes him/her atypical and therefore unfit to answer on behalf of 'normal' teenagers. ;)

    More seriously, in the first question the OP missed out the people who try to be original by conforming to inconformity - eg: the emo/scene crowd.
     
  18. Drusy
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    Drusy Senior Member

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    And this is just me ... but why so existential about the whole thing? I think this is a great topic idea. Perplexity -what are the most popular brand of shoes worn by the teenagers you know? Do you guys still say "stoked" and "wicked" to show excitement? Honestly, short of physically sitting outside of a school with a pair of binoculars and randomly terrorizing students as they get on the bus - I like being able to just ask a teenager for the details. Of course, in a few short years, you'll be too old anyways - but the concept is good.
     
  19. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    I'm not really too far away from my teenage years. If there's one thing I might be able to offer on the teenage mindset, it's that they try too hard. No one is truly themselves in high school. And by that rarely do high schoolers act to what they want by their own will. They act in accordance to what's expected of them, and what's expected of them is defined by things like hierarchy, image, etc. If that makes sense.
     
  20. Perplexity
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    Perplexity Member

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    Drusy -- Answered.
     
  21. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Perplexity, where do you live? I'm pretty sure that teens in different regions probably wear different shoes and use different slang. It's not about age or stage of life you're going through, it's where you are and the people around you. Economic circumstances of your parents would make a difference, as would what kind of jobs they have. Kids in Silicon Valley, for example, would probably wear different clothes and use different slang from kids in rural Mississippi. Kids of dairy farmers in Wisconsin probably dress and speak differently from kids of miners in Montana.
     
  22. Perplexity
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    Perplexity Member

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    I live in an area that sports all social classes.
     

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