When I Was A Teen

Today I’m hoping to meet with students to discuss with them anger and priorities.  Not that the two go together…they don’t but what they do have in common is that they are the themes for two of our message series.  I’m hoping by meeting with the students I’ll gather some insight into what they think about the subject, what they think their peers thought about the subject.  But here’s the problem, gathering teens for this information is like herding cats.  I sent out messages on Facebook, via txt, email, asking students to help me write the message and have received a slow response.  I can’t blame them too much it’s summer and everyone is slow moving but I need their help

Even though all us youth workers were once teenagers, even though we have experienced what most teenagers experience there are still a lot of variables that add some twists.  I don’t know about you but none of the technology or entertainment that they have within reach was available when I was a teen.  For me:

  • Everyone had a radio cassette player, cool kids had a walkman, really cool kids had a discman.
  • The Internet was in 5 houses (mine was one) and after taking 30 minutes to load all I had to look at was the New York Times and Weekly World News.
  • Driving around in a car was considered hanging out because gas was 85 cents/gallon.
  • Cool kids, druggies and doctors all had beepers.

When you boil down to the core the problems and issues that teens face today it’s easy to see how similar they are to the ones we face.  But instead of relying on our own memory it’s important that we see how fads, technology and other variables have shaped their perception.  After all it’s their lives we are trying to speak into, not our own.  You wouldn’t walk into the Congo talking to them all about Starbucks, you need to know your audience.

Just to have fun, I would love if people shared what was big when they were a teenager? 

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  • Terence smalls says:

    cool article great from begining to end

  • Lisa says:

    Making mix tapes from songs on the radio, going roller blading, and keeping a “note” journal with a friend (writing notes back and forth in the journal during school. 🙂