Teens – Behind the Scenes

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They smoke, break the law, do drugs and cause riots. Teenagers are the lower form of society, who agrees? Well if you agree then you most probably read too many bias articles and probably only believe what you want to believe. The truth is that these days the media just focuses on negative events and drags them on for as long as possible without even shining a light on the good things teenagers do and take part in. I think after seeing some things on the news and reading a few articles it becomes easy to generalise all teenagers and put them all in the same category but this is wrong.

In 2011, a riot took place in London which involved looting, violence and arson attacks. The main word that people associate with this is “teenagers” but to be honest if you think this then I don’t blame you. It was mainly teenagers doing these things however did anyone stop and think of the reasons why they were doing this? All teenagers want is a voice, for someone to listen to them and take their thoughts into consideration. No one is saying that you should agree with everything that they say but you should at least give them a chance to speak. In primary school you get taught to treat everyone fairly but not all teenagers are treated fairly. Often an adult and a teenager can walk into the same shop and almost instantly the shop keeper will be hostile towards the teenager. Why? You don’t even know the teenager so why automatically have this hostility? Ok I’ll admit sometimes groups of teenagers walk into shops shouting and swearing and this can be intimidating especially when they are in your shop but still not all teenagers are like that and it’s unfair to assume they all cause trouble.

Smoking, drugs, breaking the law, what don’t these bad boys do?

“I see these teenage boys on the street corners swearing and wearing hoodies causing trouble!” says Mr. Smith (49). Well what I have to say to that is why is wearing a hoodie and standing with your friends causing trouble? I agree that the swearing is wrong but adults swear too and that doesn’t seem to be a problem. Even if the teens on the street corner were up to something they shouldn’t have been, the correct action for Mr. Smith would be to report them to the police instead of complaining about the problem and not providing a solution. Secondly, watching the same group of boys for days on end and moaning about how disrespectful they are is going to eventually engrain into your mind that everyone is like that. Maybe instead of looking at the bad boys you should get out more and take note of all the teenagers that are doing charity work, or having part time jobs. I bet many adults don’t even notice the young lad that delivers their paper in the morning, or the teen that goes to town holding the hand of his little sister. The decent teens are not going to be on the street corners making a big racket! They are going to be attempting to make something of their lives by attending school and university. Adults need to stop looking in the bad places and keep their eyes out for the respectable, well mannered, kind teens (and yes they do exist!).

Let’s talk about teenage girls. In the opinion of many adults, teenage girls are unladylike; they sleep around and get pregnant whilst they’re still teens. That is what many adults think of the girls when in actual fact there are only a handful of teen girls like that. The majority of teenage girls do go to school, study and then go on to get a good job and earn a living. However even trying to get into college is now is becoming a financial difficulty for teens all over the UK. The topic of university and jobs is a touchy subject for teens. Not because they don’t want to study or because they don’t care but because the government has made it so difficult for them to get the qualifications for their jobs. Its impossible for some. In 2010, 7.5% of 16-18 year olds were not in any work, education or training and last year this had risen to 8.1%. These statistics do not show that 8.1% of teens are lazy; they show that 8.1% are missing out on something that is extremely important and that they value. The reason they are missing out is because of the scrapping of the EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance). The EMA was set to help students with the cost of college and Uni and would give them a helping hand when paying for bus fares, accommodation, meals, resources etc. The students would be given around £10-£30 per week to ensure they have what they need. Unfortunately this has now been taken away from students and left thousands of teenagers without any options. The small amount of money they were given was absolutely essential, without it they just couldn’t afford to get the qualifications they needed. Is it any wonder that teenagers are struggling to find work?! Nobody ever says it the fault of the government!

Hearing the youth unemployment across Britain is disheartening for youngsters from the age of 16. It was reported that nearly 1 in 5 or one million young people were out of work. It doesn’t help when the media are constantly putting down them down and not even mentioning the reasons why they are out of work. It was like adding salt to the wounds. The media is off putting, upsetting and angers the youth. Articles and newspapers are frequently full of assumptions and negativity, not what the teens really think and say. Not how they really are.

People often find it easier to push teenagers aside because after all they aren’t making money or providing for themselves. I thinks its sometimes forgotten that one day when the teenagers are older, they’re going to have to take the positions and jobs of the adults because no one lives for ever and no one has the same job forever. Sooner or later it will be the turn of the teens that everyone thinks are so destructive and uneducated. This inaccurate reputation has been created by everyone except the teens themselves.

Not all are innocent. I’ve talked an awful lot about how the media perception of teens is wrong and they are treated unfair and harshly. In spite of this the rioting, misbehaving teens do exist and this small minority spoils the majority. These sort of teen are the type that want the attention and enjoy being on the news and in magazines. It gets them what they want and they find it amusing but because they are all over pages, the good youths are pushed aside. Just think about it though. How many of you actually want to hear about good teenagers? Do you want to hear about their generosity, intelligence and talent or would you rather read an article containing all the gossip about the latest robbery and drug taking? Your answer to this question is the reason why you see teens the way you do.

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