Hi, I’m doing a survey for school and would really appreciate your opinion if you feel comfortable answering my question: What do you think is the biggest issue which needs to be addressed in today’s society regarding teens: drug and alcohol abuse, bullying, eating disorders, self harm, or depression? Thanks so much for your help!(:
Wow that is a loaded question but I will try my best to answer it for you.
In my opinion one of the biggest reasons this seems to be happening with teens today is due to all the social media at our fingertips. There has always been depression & self esteem issues over the past decades but it wasn’t acknowledged or as public back then. People have access so many more media platforms now and nothing is sacred anymore. While there has always been mean people or bullying in the schoolyard, it is now only “one click’ away from adding fuel to an already lit fire.
It is hard to believe but the Internet is only 30 years old. Your generation knows nothing else but how to connect via computers, smart phones etc. and while it can be a great resource system for people searching for answers, it can also “be the reason” for self esteem issues to be at an all time high.
Drug use has always been a problem and was a huge issue at my high school, but today it is so much easier to get access to all types of drugs. There seems to be dealers on every corner!
The peer pressure to fit in now is bigger than ever as there are so many new temptations & enticements available for teens today. Many young people do not feel like they are a part of a group if they do not indulge in some of this action, regardless of how dangerous much of it can be. One wrong move may lead to a hospital visit, overdose, a discriminating photo on Facebook or a video on YouTube. It is a tough world now because of this and some of these exploitations can cause havoc for many years to come. (Especially in careers down the road if there are any police records.) Being a teen is supposed to be a wonderful fun time but there are those few people that just have to screw with someone’s life!
Teens need to surround themselves with friends & mentors continuously that help keep them grounded & believing in themselves. Not everyone has a supportive family & this can also add to problems due to the lack of love at home. Again, this is why it is important to find a person who can be there unconditionally without judgment. It is not weak to need someone you can trust & lean on, it is imperative that this solution be available due to the loneliness so many teens feel. Support systems are crucial to everyone but in adolescent years it is the building block to having a healthy self esteem.
Friends have to be more aware of what is transpiring in each others lives. Do not turn a blind eye to a friend in trouble or support a bully so you can fit in. Kids need to bond together to combat against these aggressive leaders ~ If no one followed them, bullying would die down. High school can really suck but having awareness that it is only a short time in the realm of life can be a little comforting. Almost everyone has a few stories of tough times at school & regardless of how old they are now, the memories are still there.
Don’t let these thoughts consume you but learn from them instead. Find that special person you can trust, talk openly with and have continual support from to help you through these tough years. Never give your power to someone else who is abusive or demeaning. Hold your head up high and surround yourself with positive people. There are meet up groups online and outside your school that offer numerous opportunities to everyone. Always remember you are not the only one going through tough times & the support is there. You just have to open up to receiving it and not isolate yourself from dealing with it. There is no shame in asking for help whenever you are hurting & dealing with any addictions, self esteem or body image issues.
Make a difference to someone elses world by learning how to cope with these issues & then pay it forward to someone else in need. By doing this, maybe we can start eliminating so many of these issues that plaque the teen community today. Be careful who you let into your world and always listen to those “spidey senses” tingling~ which is your common sense talking. Your gut will never ever lead you astray ~ always trust it.
Susan McCord@ http://www.youtube.com/twobeavers