Did you spend your summer Vamping or watching a full season of a TV show in one sitting? Or are you taking the time to record a video of yourself doing some crazy stunt to post on YouTube? Maybe these don’t occupy your time, but for many teens, this is what has captivated their summer.
Let’s breakdown some of the Current Trends in Teen Culture.
Vamping: A fun new way to say “I stayed up late.” Teens staying up into the wee hours of the night surfing the internet, texting or playing video games is not a new trend. But taking a picture of your self and tagging it with #Vamping is. Read more about teens, sleep deprivation and Vamping in this New York Times Article.
“Fire Challenge” -Teens Set themselves on Fire: Videos have been on YouTube for several years showing teens putting a flammable liquid on themselves and then lighting it. In the past I have seen this viral video stunt done in small amounts. A dab on the arm or hand that is quickly extinguished. This summer the Fire Challenge gained popularity with teens dousing themselves in accelerant and lighting it. Luckily, out of the teens I spoke with, more have seen these videos than have actually partaken in the stunt.
Binge Watching Netflix:When I asked a group of teens what recent trends they have seen, unanimously they mentioned watching Netflix. Not just watching a movie or a TV show here or there. But sitting down and watching full seasons of a TV show in a short amount of time. Often in one or two nights. The most popular show teens have been binge watching on Netflix, Orange is the New Black.
Hookah Smoking: Recent studies suggest 1 in 5 teens have smoked Hookah (essentially a water pipe that is used to smoke specially made tobacco) in the last year. I shared this statistic with a group of teens and asked them if it sounded accurate. They responded with the following statements:
- “Everyone around here does it all the time! It’s like a hobby for some teens.”
- “It is very popular in my area. Just about everyone does it.”
- “I have seen a lot of people in the area use Hookah pens. According to my knowledge they use it because it is water vapor and not real smoke yet it still contains nicotine/tobacco products. They also use it since it is cheap.”
The Positive: When I read articles that are labeled “Dangerous New Teen Trend,” or “Parents Be Aware of the Crazy Stuff your Teen is Doing,” I get upset. The reason being, articles like these lead us to be fearful for our teens and think they are all on some crazy mission to destroy themselves. I know that is not the case.
That is why I want to share with you some of the great things teens have been up to this summer. I asked the same group of teens what trends they were seeing this summer and here are some of the positive things they shared with me:
- Engaging in new sports such as Rugby.
- Taking summer school or college courses to get ahead.
- Working a summer job.
- Hanging out with their friends.
- Going to the beach.
- Going on trips with family.
The Ice Bucket Challenge: Does anyone remember back in April and May when teens were engaging in the “Cold Water Challenge?” They were jumping into bodies of cold water and challenging their friends to do the same or donate to a charity. At the time there were several media stories talking about the dangers of the Cold Water Challenge and encouraging teens not to do it.
Fast forward a couple months, move from jumping in a lake to pouring ice water on your head and add in a single charity and you have the biggest trend not just for teens but everyone. My Facebook news feed and my favorite late night talk shows are full of videos of people taking the Ice Bucket Challenge to support ALS. Here is what teens have to say about the challenge:
- “Everyone in my town has been doing it, I have never seen anything like this before it is crazy. I thinks it has its drawbacks but it is great for the awareness of the disease.“
- “I haven’t done it, but its been done by some of the senior citizens in our community and they challenged others I think it’s a fun safe challenge compared to others.“
- “I’ve done it and also donated. I think it’s a trending challenge for a great cause, but many, including myself, are forgetting to spread awareness.”
- “I have done it and donated and I think it is amazing!! It’s getting people to know the cause and be aware of it!“
- “I have done it… Twice and so have my friends. I haven’t donated yet. But I will try my best to donate at least $50 if possible. I think of it being a safer challenge/ dare rather than the fire or cinnamon challenges. Especially since it is for a good cause.“
- “I think the Ice Bucket Challenge is a really fun, creative, and positive way to send a message to many people about ALS. You’re not getting hurt, it’s a positive message, and it’s fun! It makes people want to do it, and it gets a lot of people to donate, but it also spreads the message as well.“
Leave a comment and let me know what Teen Trends have you seen gain popularity this summer?