Being a teenager in the 21st century comes with many challenges. These challenges interfere with the happiness of the teenagers. Today, some people can argue that teenagers have bad morals, yet it is the society that has exposed the teens to behave the way they do. The society thus has a role to play in guiding young people understand life. The things that are making sad today are however not the same as those that were causing the youth unhappy in the past century. The society expects a lot from its teenagers, and when the youth cannot live to that expectation, some level of stress is likely to affect the teens. This paper shall discuss the happiness of the teenagers by looking how environment, technology, and self-identity affect the teenagers in the 21st century.
First of all, Laurie Lafrance in her illustration of the article by Adam Sternbergh, asks the significant questions as far as the happiness of the youth is concerned. Teenagers are unhappy in most modern societies (Sternbergh, 2010). However, there is an exception in Canada, with the teens there and the larger population of the country recording high levels of happiness. Therefore, the environment plays a vital role in the happiness of teenagers. Teenagers living in developing countries are more likely to be faced with many challenges that can make them unhappy. Most of the teenagers in these countries struggle with having access even to the basic needs. Nevertheless, teens from the developed countries like Canada do not have problems with access to the necessary needs hence are happier.
Next, technology has changed the way youth behave in the society. According to Sternbergh (2010), most teens are way much ahead of their parents technologically. Most teenagers are on social media platforms like Facebook. Also, the teenagers see a lot of things on these platforms that the society would not want them to see. This has made the teens to be more advanced technology wise by far than their parents. As a result, teenagers enjoy using technology. And then, teens are especially happy when they can use technology to communicate among themselves. Also, some of the teenagers are the heart of some technological inventions. However, the same technology is a cause of stress and sadness among the teenagers. Teenagers should thus be careful when using technology so that it gives them happiness rather than making them stressful.
Finally, being a teenager in the modern society is accompanied by struggling to identify oneself. In his article, Sternbergh (2010) recalls his teenage age as the period when he had a tug of war between being shy and clumsy and struggling live to the expectations of the society. It is the same case even in the modern society, only that the issues that teenagers struggle with keep changing every day. The challenges that teenagers face require confidence and positive mind to handle them successfully. The struggles that teenagers go through have a direct connection with their happiness. Even when a teenager is feeling angst, sadness is likely to set in, but the experience is vital for their survival and happiness.
In conclusion, teenagers in the modern world are faced with many challenges that make them happy. A larger population of the teens is unhappy while a smaller group like the Canadian teenagers show high levels of happiness. The society has a role to play in empowering the teenagers to understand themselves. Also, being a teenager in the modern society means being ahead of your parents regarding technology. Youths should thus be advised on how to use technology wisely for their benefit.
Sternbergh, A. (2010, June). Teen Angst, RIP. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://thewalrus.ca/teen-angst-rip/