Friday, April 27, 2012

Dumber & Dumber

"OMG! Like–No waaaayyy! OMG! LOL! Like, Fo' Sho!"
As far as I can tell, today's teenagers are exactly the same teenagers we were. So much for progress.

"All of this has happened before, all of this will happen again."

Every geeky sci-fi nut knows these famous words from the hugely popular ScyFy series, Battlestar Galactica (2004–2008)–and how much those words can resonate with our present-day lives. Nowhere is this more evident than in the modern lives of America's 21st century adolescents and teenagers.

Spaceman Spiff gets pawned by–Mom?
Like every generation before it, today's 11-19 year-olds believe they are the first to attempt to 'get away' with things that are against their parents wishes. You know the usual suspects; sneaking alcohol, breaking something and hiding it, stealing candy from a local drug store or super market. Or the holy grail of sneakiness; surfing porn.

Look gang, we were smart back in the day. And we were cool. We went out did stuff and got caught. Eventually. Every last one of us.

Every. Last. One.

You see, to my reckoning, approximately zero people get away with breaking the rules. Sure, sure, you can Google "unsolved mysteries" or criminals that have gotten away, blah, blah, blah. Thanks for missing the point. The point isn't to do a head count of all the sneaky, under-handed stuff we and others have gotten away with–no, dear reader, the lesson is that you will get caught. Period. Someone, somewhere knows something is wrong, I promise you.

Even if that someone is you.

An open note to America's youth. Since I know my kids and several of their friends (and teachers) read some of these posts, I thought I would take this moment to remind you all of a few things you may either not have learned or have already forgotten. Feel free to take notes (that would be copy and paste for most of you), as you review, reflect on how ANY of these thoughts might apply to you. Ready? Let's begin.

Aren't they all?
1. Naughty, naughty. Porn is is the ultimate online temptation. But did you know, today's ISP's allows parents (you know the ones that pay for and manage the internet access) to see your computer's activity online by ID number, so erasing the history in your browser does not stop us from knowing what you're up to. Also, the house's dwindling lotion supply is often another hint.

2. Busted! Store surveillance–it's been a retail fixture since the dark ages (for most of you, that means before 1985) and if you are using a five-finger discount on acquiring things like gum, candy and magazines, they know what you're doing–and soon, so will the police.

3. Whoa–go and let your light shine down. Hiding stuff under your bed? Really? You do realize this is one of the FIRST places we (parents) look when we are looking for something that's missing, right?

4. You are NOT the first ANYTHING. You are not the first child to smoke pot. You are not the first kid to steal a sip from your parent's liquor supply. You are not the first kid to watch internet porn. Speaking on behalf of all parents, we all did it–and we all got caught. You'll get caught, too.

5. Riddle me this.
Every teenager over the course of human history, believes he or she knows everything, or is at least smarter than their parents/guardians/chaperones/authority figures. It's genetic. We were smarter than our folks, too. We didn't get away with anything either.

Today, teenagers have so much more to contend with then teenagers from just 20 years ago. Texting, sexting, porn, 500-channels, YouTube, Twitter, FaceBook, Pintrest and home-made drugs on top of acne, self-image concerns and raging hormones. It can be managed. Remember that your focus and your behavior determine your life.

And the choices you make have a tendency of following you for a long, long time. I know it sounds dumb but trust me.

Been there, done that.

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