Our friends know what’s up. They always know the newest vlogs and best apps, and we can talk to them about anything. But adults on the other hand – sometimes, they just don’t understand. We decided to ask Emily and Caroline*, a couple of teens from the UK, to share what they think is heating up and what is fizzling out…so when you’re done with this one, print this one out and hang it on the fridge where your parents can see it!
What parents and teachers should know
On social media
For Emily, video sharing platform YouTube is the social media channel right now. When asked why she uses the channel she said, “I can access any video instantly” and with over 100 hours of video being uploaded every minute, she really does mean any! But when asked what she disliked about it the most, her answer was clear: “hate mail,” referring to the large amounts of trolling and bullying that can sometimes pollute the site.
On who’s killing it right now
Caroline and Emily couldn’t have had more different answers to who they think makes an impact. For Caroline, it’s Angelina Jolie, “not only for her trying to change perception of Breast Cancer but also because of her appeal against civilian treatment in warfare; mainly women.” Emily channels her love for rising YouTube starlets as a source of inspiration, citing up and coming chart-sensation Troye Sivan as someone who’s killing it right now.
On what you need to be listening to
For Caroline, it’s all about rap: “Currently on my iPod I have a lot of rap music, mainly Drake, Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky and Nicki Minaj.” As streaming sites become more popular, expect to hear of a whole wave of undiscovered artists coming from non-traditional musical routes. We’d suggest trying Spotify (which because of its social integration means it’s a major listening tool for teens) to listen up.
Whilst Caroline has only discussed contraception with her boyfriend briefly, Emily is a lot more forthcoming – she has never found it awkward talking to people about contraception and even tried using the hormonal injection. Both girls had been given the choice for their preferred contraception, but there are girls who don’t have as much freedom to try things out, going for a particular type because it’s what their mother or friends are using. Remember that their bodies and lives are all different, and what’s right for them may not be right for you! There are always resources that help you know your options.
On gender in the media
When asked about the portrayal of women in media, Caroline said that “the media is too influential in terms of gender, I think it has too much power.” She also believes “the media needs to remove the unhealthy image of size 0 women that it is famous for portraying,” and for men it needs to deemphasize the message that having several women at one time in your life can earn you respect. “The media needs to stop creating an unrealistic lifestyle for people to achieve, and needs to come down to earth.”
On what they wish parents and teachers would understand
Caroline: “I wish my parents understood the importance of having friends and consequently socializing with them and others. As for teachers, I feel that they should understand the problems that people my age face, and provide resources to help with those.” Emily: “I wish my parents understood when I don’t want to talk. If you say nothing is up you get an hour of pestering, even if nothing is wrong. [I wish] teachers understood that I hated being treated like a little kid.” For more stuff your parents and teachers can learn about you and your needs, send them here.