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What Are the Teens Up to Nowadays?

• May 21, 2013 • 2:50 PM

Hey, teens. (PHOTO: MAKSIM SHMELJOV/SHUTTERSTOCK)

Do you have a “teen” study? It’s probably stupid.

Teens! We never know what they’re doing, do we? (Oh, jeez. Do you #FollowATeen?) Teens are just so mysterious—like those weird deep-sea fish that have flashlights growing from their faces. We know they’re fish, but are they really even fish? One day they’re watching cartoons and the next day they’re playing paddleball behind a school, except the rubber ball they’re playing with is filled with drugs and the paddle is actually a stale pancake stolen from a local Denny’s. Oh, and they’re not actually behind a school; it’s a “cyber cafe,” probably.

The point is: teens are crazy. Teens are dumb. (It is part of the definition of “being a teenager.”) And teens aren’t really even a thing. A 13-year-old is about as much like an 18-year-old as a frog is a spaceship. It’s an arbitrary language-quirk-based grouping. Yet, still, we love to know what The Teens are up to. Studying them all together might not make too much sense, but hell if that’s gonna stop us. So, what exactly are these fascinating creatures doing today, in May of the year 2013?

• Teens are no longer using Facebook. They prefer Twitter.

• Teens are taking stimulants behind their parents’ backs.

• Teens are sleeping less and getting into more car accidents.

• Teens are performing better in school if they have high blood pressure.

• Teens think it’s important to have a lot of money.

• Teens are suffering musculoskeletal pain from using the computer too much.

• Teens are gambling online and therefore increasing their chances of having gambling issues when they are no longer teens.

• Teens are taking more risks since they text and drive.

• Teens are not driving cars as much as they used to.

• Teens are more likely to binge drink later in life because they drink during puberty.

• Teens are not exercising enough.

• Teens can get enough exercise from video games.

• Teens are spreading rumors about other teens through social media.

• Teens are meeting strangers IRL (in real life), who they first met on the Internet.

• Teens are not being protected by the new whooping cough vaccine.

(All teen citations are from either yesterday or today.)

Ryan O'Hanlon
Senior Digital Editor Ryan O’Hanlon joined Pacific Standard from Outside, where he was an assistant online editor. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, and his writing has appeared in Deadspin, Grantland, The Awl, New York, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter @rwohan.

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