Hello again! As you can see from the title, I’m a 16 year old (Indian) teenager! In many countries turning 16 is a big thing and in some places you finally get your driver’s license! (Not for me though, here we have to turn 18 for that). But along with that comes a lot of responsibility too. When you move on to your older teens, you are expected to behave like an adult yet you get treated like a kid. That’s something that happens when you’re a teenager. But what is it really like? Being a teenager in our times? How would each of us have been like had we been born in the ’80s or ’90s?
The main thing that sets apart the 21st century from the 20th century is the ever present high tech gadgets and technology. We have advanced so much in 20 or 30 years. Today finding a teenager without his (or her) head buried in a smartphone or immersed in a video game is so very rare. Most of the teens today have all the latest gadgets with them. Back in the ’90s most of these gadgets which we take for granted today weren’t even invented.
So what did teens do when they didn’t have these gadgets that most of us (admit it, its true) couldn’t live without? They read books! They played (in the great) outdoors! They spent time talking to their families! Yes there are teens who still read books, who play outdoor games (for the fun of it, not as a competitive sport), who still talk to their families, spend time with them and have a great time. But these kinds of people are to be found less and less in our tech-savvy society these days.
Another change that defines our century and it’s teens is the ‘need to be beautiful’. Today teenage girls and boys alike do so many things to make themselves more ‘hot’ because they’re the ones with the ‘in crowd’, the popular ones. Sure external beauty was given importance 20 or 30 years back, but only a small fraction of what is given today was given then. Teenagers fail to realise that what you look like outside is not what matters the most. They run after the so called beauty and those who don’t have this ‘beauty’ get teased and abused. Teens today don’t realise that what we look like matters only very little.
But being a teen in the 21st century is not all bad! We have so many facilities today. We are more advanced. We have better developed educational systems (after all we are students). We have better infrastructure, better transportation, better tech, we have higher standard of living… Yes, we naturally live in a more developed world than that of 30 years back, which is definitely one of the major perks of living in the 21st century. We have more opportunities to explore the world and ourselves. We have more freedom.
And that’s what being a teen now as opposed to about 30 yeras back is like. Teenage life has definitely changed from what it was a few decades back. Our language has changed, our culture has changed, our tastes and preferences, our manners and habits, our food, our hobbies… There’s almost nothing that hasn’t changed. But whatever has happened in the past or will happen in the future, I’m happy with when I was born, when I live.