In a bookstore, I have my favorite sections, but that only means I'm missing opportunities in other areas. The bargain bin gives me a chance to see some options.
The other day, I picked up Dough Lennox's The Little Book of Answers. First, I'm an inquisitive person by nature. Second, I figured it would help me with my Fun Facts Fridays (now renamed Fascinating Facts Fridays, because I realized all my facts weren't "fun"). Third, books like these make perfect bathroom reading. For those that don't quite get that last statement, maybe my house was the only one in the universe that was always stocked with books and magazines.
I opened up to a random page, and what did I see...
How did teenagers become a separate culture?
According to The Little Book of Answers: The word teenager first appeared in 1941... Until then, there was only childhood and adulthood. At the age of thirteen, a girl became a woman and could marry or enter the workforce and a boy became a man. Today, teenagers are treated as children with suppressed adult urges.
(My personal opinion: a lot of teenagers are really treated as adults with suppressed child urges. I want my teens to embrace youthful exuberance for as long as they can without too many adult situations ruining it.)
Most countries have an age of majority, ranging in age from 12 to 21, where "minors cease to legally be considered children." (I'd love to be on the committee trying to determine a magic age where a person is capable of adult decisions. I think, instead, there should be a basic adult skills test that should be passed. Okay, I say that tongue in cheek. Mostly.)
Percentage of teenagers 13-17 who can name the city where the US Constitution was written (Philadelphia): 25. Percentage of teenagers 13-17 who know where you find the zip code 90210 (Beverly Hills): 75 ( Survey conducted by the National Constitution Center (NCC), Philadelphia, 1998.) Source
According to the Center for a New American Dream, children and teens are exposed to over 25,000 ads in a year, and companies spend over $17 billion a year on marketing toward children and teens. Source
In Depression Cookies, two characters suffer with anorexia, a chronic mental illness that affects many teenagers and has deeply touched my life.
• The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females.3
• 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.12
• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.13
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (Collins, 1991).
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat (Mellin et al., 1991).
The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all causes of death for females 15-24 years old. Source
2007 National Endowment of the Arts Reading Study Findings
Teen Reading Trends
(2012, from Sarah Flowers, President of the Young Adult Library Services Association, Source)
"I think dystopias and post-apocalypse books will continue to be popular, especially with the Hunger Games movie coming out in March. There are several trilogies that are still just on the first book, like Divergent, by Veronica Roth, and Ashes, by Ilsa Bick (which has the added benefit of zombie-like creatures!). And I would expect to continue to see steampunk. Paranormal romance is still somewhat popular, but vampires are definitely fading, from what I’m hearing."
More than 90% of teenagers are connected to the Internet. About 68% of teens regularly text, 51% visit Facebook and about 11% send or receive tweets every day. Many teens, 41%, admit they’re “addicted” to their devices. Around 36% of teens who responded said they wish “they could go back to a time when there was no Facebook.” (Source)
During my research, I found a great site, Love to Know Teens. There I learned some of the following (for a full list, click here):
* Cray cray - Something is really crazy, no cool
* Hater - Someone who is jealous or out to ruin a good time (they spew haterade)
* Mackin - To put on your game (example, flirting with more than one girl to flirt versus actually getting the girl)
* Swagg - individuality and coolness
Note: One of my daughters used swagg recently, and I wondered what kind of free gifts they were talking about. Once they explained it, it made sense... short for swagger.
Whatever happened to, "Gag me with a spoon"?
Teen Text Terms
From Time, I found a list of 92 Teen Text Terms. A sampling:
* 2Day - Today (really? Because To is so much harder to type than 2.)
* BOL - Be on Later
* DWBH - Don't Worry, Be Happy
* HAK - Hugs and Kisses
* JSYK - Just So You Know
I'm exhausted. OMG, BOL.
My gut tells me this is just post one of Fascinating Facts Friday focusing on teenagers.
What fascinates you most about teens?