Teen Interest & Issues
Examine the topic of teen interest and issues, which includes the trends and activities engaged in by American teenagers as well as the challenges they face in modern culture. Many of the challenges faced by adolescents are common to this age group regardless of the time period in which they came of age, such as problems with self-esteem and bullying, teenage pregnancy, and drug and alcohol abuse.
Teenagers in the 21st century are defined by the technology they use, having grown up in an age when computers and technology are ubiquitous and integrated with every facet of life. Therefore, most adolescents are drawn to technology for their leisure pursuits, which include video games; social media sites, like Instagram and Snapchat; and YouTube videos. Research shows that teenagers spend five to six hours a day texting, chatting, gaming, web surfing, streaming and sharing videos, and hanging out online.
On the flip side, technology also has created significant issues for teenagers that became prevalent problems in their generation, such as cyberbullying and smartphone addiction. Some researchers have also demonstrated a link between adolescent mental health problems and internet overuse, as they spend less time with their friends in person and unfavorably compare their own lives with the unrealistic images they see online.
Other challenges faced by teenagers include the rise in school shootings, which has sparked an activist movement led by the survivors of a 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.