At any time in the history of the world, or at least as long as humans walked the world, teens and young adults have notoriously striven to become their own people. They have always wanted to stand apart from the adults in their lives while at the very same time, being seen as the adults they’d like to be. Teens, as always, are a culture of contradictions and 2017 is no different than any other period in time. The only real difference is that everything is happening at the speed of light so it’s relatively impossible to keep up with any changes, however slight or strong they may be.
For what it’s worth, here’s what many bloggers out there are highlighting as the youth culture of 2017. This is a subject of interest to sociologists, parents, psychologists and therapists at drug rehab centers in Georgia as well as every state around the country. If we can find out how the spokes connect to the wheel that is today’s youth culture, we just might be able to help them through this difficult period in their lives.
The Same Differences
One of the most remarkable facets of a youth culture is their insistence on standing out in the crowd. However, in so doing, they are doing what everyone else is doing just to a greater or lesser extent. One thing that comes to mind are all those neon hair colors. It is difficult to find anyone between the ages of 14 and 29 who doesn’t have at least one brightly colored strip painted down the length of hair on one side of their head or the other.
Some use color for the entire head, others use it for the crown and yet others leave the crown alone and paint that perennial pony tail that now graces the side of their head rather than the back. These are ‘same differences.’ In striving to be different they’ve all caught the color trend and so you can’t really say that anyone is really unique unless you run into that one person who hasn’t made the effort to color their hair. Perhaps these would be the true anti-social beings of today – those who would have been considered the conformists in generations gone by!
Illicit Use of Drugs Is Once Again on the Rise
While something as harmless as colored hair or body piercings is innocuous enough not to cause any great concern, the illicit use of street drugs is once again on the rise. It was bad enough a generation ago when there were thousands of overdoses a year around the country, but it is growing worse by the day with the injection of dangerous opioids like fentanyl into the bargain. Today it is possible to go out and cop a pill that you think is a genuine pharmaceutical only to find that it is a counterfeit that is close enough to the real thing to be indiscernible to the naked eye.
Even pharmacists are taken off-guard and only a chemical analysis will prove whether or not it is authentically manufactured by a pharmaceutical company or pressed out with pill presses readily available from countries like China. They can be ordered online and now dealers are ‘manufacturing’ their own form of a pill that looks like the real thing but may be an instant killer because of their choice of ingredients.
In the End – Are They Really So Different than You Were at That Age?
Kids today face many of the same issues that kids have faced throughout history. The only real difference seems to be the technology at their disposal that makes everything happen instantly, in real time, and to a far greater degree than ever before. If you are a parent of a young person in 2017, your only hope of making it through the rest of the year is to understand what youth culture means today. You can’t slow them down but you can slow yourself down enough to take a good look at your kids. They aren’t so very different than you were, they’re just using technology to make things happen in real time. They are, in the end, living in the ultimate time of instant gratification.