Thursday, 28 February 2013

"Society Killed the Teenager"

Tumblring on a late weeknight as usual, I came across an extremely thought provoking picture. Not in the "What is the What" sort of way, but a "how do I find words that are respectful yet can still help me execute this rant" sort of way.

This is the image. 
Honestly speaking, it was staggering how many of these images were on tumblr.
Like this..
..and this
....and this
.....and this
.........and this

Before I proceed with this choleric rant, I would like to say that this post isn't directed to anybody. If you I think I am talking about you specifically, I am not.

Firstly, let's just take a look at how each of these images say "society" Can we also take a moment to address the fact that absolutely every living, breathing human is a part of this "murderous" society. I was looking through Yahoo answers and whether they agree with this quote, and surprisingly, about 90% of the respondents do. Why do people not understand that society includes them too. And that they are not special just because they are smoking and have their own adolescent problems to deal with, just like every other teenager in this planet. 

I find that so many teenagers blame their problems on the people around them, which again, they refer to as their society. Personally, I believe that this is just an excuse to have a smoke or a quick puff of weed or a snort of cocaine. Once they are hooked, shivering in the corner of a darkened ally way, with absolutely no recollection of the previous events, they blame their friends, strangers, T.V shows, books, movies. Conclusively, blaming everyone and anything but themselves. Many of them refuse to show any sign of self empowerment, or having the ability to just say no. And if they have already made that starting bad choice, having the willpower to turn their lives around once again.

I am not saying people shouldn't smoke or drink or do drugs (actually don't smoke or do drugs, kids) but if they are, they should have the decency to take responsibility for the decisions they themselves make, since no matter how much peer pressure applied on an individual, at the end of the day- it is one's decision to do something or not to do something. They should have the ambition to get better, to climb out of any hole they have dug for themselves, instead of blaming it on "society" And by the way, factually- is themselves, which I find rather self contradicting.

8 comments:

  1. Some aspects of your "rant" I can agree with. Others, not so much. I think that you're being too harsh. There are some problems that aren't always self inflicted. Yes, deciding to smoke and use weed and other drugs and things like that are your own choice and doing but there's always something else.

    Perhaps a situation where a family member is abusive or is treating the person unfairly. That isn't THEIR fault. That isn't self inflicted. Being raped or anything alike, things like that, aren't self inflicted either. You have to see that there are other points of views and reasons for people to do the things they do.

    In what way do these teenagers who create these posts and smoke and such say that they believe they're special? They could be thinking that they're exactly alike to everyone else, that because of that they're worthless. You can't always assume these things.

    I understand exactly what you mean and to some aspect I do agree with you but it isn't always easy to "drag yourself out of that deep dark hole and fix your life". There's always a separate side to the story that you could be missing.

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    1. Megan, I am not 100% sure what you are saying. Are you saying that things such as rape, mental and physical abuse can influence a teenager's mind, so it is used as a validation for the acts that happen after?

      If so, I am not saying that any form of abuse by another person is self infliction, because in general that makes no sense. I agree that some teenagers are deprived of a positive energy in their childhood. The quote doesn't particularly say anything about self loathe, it is just saying that the decisions they make on a regular basis is due to "society" I agree that some of the decisions can be caused by angst, cowardice from whatever is going on in there life, consternation, dismay, distraught, etc.. the adjectives go on and on.

      I am not saying that whatever moral revolting events are going on in there life, is there fault. I am saying that there are better ways to get past them than drugs and cigarettes. I have thought about the other side of the story as well, and frankly, there are extremely inspirational icons that have found success in the world after having a bitter childhood such as Oprah Winfrey, Eminem, Ozzy Osbourne, Charlize Theron, and Christina Aguilera. I strongly believe this is enough evidence that shows it is not impossible to overcome tragedies.

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    2. I now realise that I was sort of all over the place, let me elaborate further. I do think that yes rape and mental and physical abuse can definitely influence a teenager's mind. Those types of things are emotionally scarring and are serious, serious subjects. Ones that will no doubt influence a teenager's mind. Those things don't /validate/ if that particular person goes on to use drugs or anything like that. But it makes it all the more understandable.

      I think you're looking too far into the pictures that are used with the quote. I think that what these people are trying to say is that the people in their environment, may it be their friends, families, teachers, peers, colleagues and such, are not a good influence. That they are bad influences that have an extremely negative affect on people. /That/ isn't their fault. Having people who can be negative influences isn't necessarily your "fault" if it's like a school situation where it is mandatory to see them everyday.

      Well obviously there are better ways to get past bad times, but those ways are never the easier ones. As people, it is normal for us to want to go the easier route. The one that will give the quickest relief. Yes those people are inspirational, and they have gotten through tough times, but not everybody are like that. Not everybody can be as strong as they were. Not everybody has the willpower to persevere on and not give up.


      Going back to what you wrote in your original post. "I find that so many teenagers blame their problems on the people around them, which again, they refer to as their society." I'm unsure about where I stand on that. Some people blame "society" for little things, little things that they themselves could change. But others, others have some sort of sense to them. Is it not society that has encouraged that victims of rape had did something to "deserve" getting raped? Not all, mind you. But there are thousands, billions of people, who think that way. Those people also make up society.

      I think that there is a fine line between blaming society and blaming yourself. And this subject is extremely hard to deal with. I think I can be lenient towards some sides of the argument but totally against others. I am still unsure of where I stand exactly.

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    3. "Those types of things are emotionally scarring and are serious, serious subjects. Ones that will no doubt influence a teenager's mind. Those things don't /validate/ if that particular person goes on to use drugs or anything like that. But it makes it all the more understandable."

      I agree, it makes it understandable- but I never said it was completely irrelevant either. My point is, is that events such as rape, child molestation, abuse etc.. they obscure the more positive path of life. These events make it more comprehensible for the people on the sidelines, such as us, but I still don't think it can be a reason for things such as drugs to occur. You yourself said, its not validating, but it is understandable. At the end of the day- the basic point of that sentence is that it still doesn't make it okay.

      "As people, it is normal for us to want to go the easier route. The one that will give the quickest relief. Yes those people are inspirational, and they have gotten through tough times, but not everybody are like that. Not everybody can be as strong as they were. Not everybody has the willpower to persevere on and not give up."

      People are not born into this world with extreme mental strength. Some infants have no idea that the following years of their life will be followed with negative events that could scar them for the rest of their lives. People are not mentally prepared for anything as disastrous as abuse, neither are they required to be. I believe everybody I mentioned in my previous comment escaped from their previous life and evolved into strong people with defiant perseverance, and a great show of courage and determination. This is built over time and staying positive. I strongly, strongly believe that *anybody* has the power to gather up that bravery and fight back, without using strong influences such as drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol as a way of escape.

      "That they are bad influences that have an extremely negative affect on people. /That/ isn't their fault. Having people who can be negative influences isn't necessarily your "fault" if it's like a school situation where it is mandatory to see them everyday."

      I had mentioned peer pressure in my post. Thanks to Tumblr, I am good friends with about 6-7 people who live in a ragged part of Australia. They are all from relatively happy families. However, they attend a low cost public school and are constantly surrounded by people with no morals whatsoever. A good example would be Dahlia (I have asked her if I could use her name) All her friends get wasted just about every night, have drastically low grades, and wear clothes that are dangerously inappropriate. Dahlia however, is a neat and clean happy girl, gets good grades, no alcohol- no drugs, about 95% on track. My point is, no matter how much peer pressure there is, at the end of the day, it is always one's choice. There are things people must sacrifice sometimes, such as perhaps being considered "cool" or joining in with the popular gang. But there is never a do or die sort of case. These decisions require a lot of mental strength, I understand that, but it is not impossible.

      I am confused between your last two paragraphs. I am not talking about blaming yourself for the things you do, I believe that's a whole other level of topic. If people do/don't deserve rape, I also don't understand what you are saying there.

      The point of my post wasn't to put down people who drink due to a rough childhood, the point, which I believe has sort of lost its way throughout our comment rebuttals: is that some people do foolish things to their body because their boyfriend broke up with them, or they got bad grades, or its now the "cool" thing to do, then blame it on society- which they in fact are a part of.

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    4. Antara, This is really good, even though I realize I am kind of late. Okay firstly when you say “Can we also take a moment to address the fact that absolutely every living, breathing human is a part of this "murderous" society.” I honestly just want to say, that is so true. People who say this are not thinking, what you love, your favorite band all the way to your mother is part of this society. Society is what shapes us and makes us as people, society will not kill, it will shape, society will shape people to act, and module in a different way.

      “Society killed the teenager” No! Society did not kill the teenager, because we as people are one, and make our own realties in our head.

      Society did not kill the teenager. Her reality did. Megan you talk about Rape. No one deserves rape but that is her/his reality. The reality of someone is how he/she is living. What they wake up to and what they sleep to. The reality of someones life, depends on who you are. Nobody has the same one. No body has a commune truth. This is why society did not kill the teenager, and I take particular interest in loving this post.

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  2. Makes me so proud to see this level of conversation. I don't have much to add here, well I do (don't I always?) but I will leave it up to you to keep negotiating meaning for yourselves. The topic does in a round about way remind me of one of my favorite songs:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bhWcT2T7UI

    Oh, it's a mystery to me
    We have a greed with which we have agreed
    And you think you have to want more than you need
    Until you have it all you won't be free

    Society, you're a crazy breed
    Hope you're not lonely without me...

    When you want more than you have
    You think you need...
    And when you think more than you want
    Your thoughts begin to bleed
    I think I need to find a bigger place
    Because when you have more than you think
    You need more space

    Society, you're a crazy breed
    Hope you're not lonely without me...
    Society, crazy indeed
    Hope you're not lonely without me...

    There's those thinking, more-or-less, less is more
    But if less is more, how you keeping score?
    Means for every point you make, your level drops
    Kinda like you're starting from the top
    You can't do that...

    Society, you're a crazy breed
    Hope you're not lonely without me...
    Society, crazy indeed
    Hope you're not lonely without me...

    Society, have mercy on me
    Hope you're not angry if I disagree...
    Society, crazy indeed
    Hope you're not lonely without me...

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  3. Not replying to any comments in particular here, because this conversation is brilliant and of high quality and I think reading all of them would taint my opinion (if that makes much sense) and just generally confuse me.

    I would like to bring down the level of intelligence and just state my opinion in my own words, because sometimes it makes it so much harder for us to understand each other, if we are constantly trying to outshine each other.

    The phrase itself 'Society Killed The Teenager'. When I see it, I think media portrayal. The pictures shown with the quote, are not saying: "I do this and I do that, and it's all because of society! I blame society for my abuse of drugs and alcohol!" I think that they're saying: "I feel like I should be doing this or that because of what society shows me everyday and all the time. See these photos with this quote, this is what we are becoming just because everyone else is." They are not pushing the responsibility of their actions on 'society' they are saying the same thing you are: 'Society is us. We need not be what everyone else is.'

    I hope you can read and try and understand my point of view on this. We are the teenagers, and we know we're not a bunch of slut shaming, society blaming individuals. Maybe the moral of this story is: 'Don't let anyone kill the teenager. We are all our own teenager. Let us live."

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  4. Me being a sixteen year old and having a "Society Killed the Teenager" Facebook cover I can tell you that in my opinion the phrase is referring to what society thinks and believes. Society creates this perfect image of how you should look. When you do not look how society says you should look, then you're ugly, fat, etc.

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