The Shocking Turth About Teenagers – Assessment

Watch out! I am from the rebellious, rioting and hated generation. I for one like nothing better than to run around causing chaos by smashing up cars and buildings. After all, it’s all I’m good for, isn’t it? To make this judgement, you merely have to log into Facebook, turn on your television or walk down the street.

The view that youths are disruptive vandals is validated and reinforced by the media; for example, the media coverage of the 2011 riots. These riots sparked up in Tottenham and the flames of destruction soon spread to Manchester, Bristol and many other parts of England. This expansion was said to be fuelled by social media such as BBM, Twitter and Facebook. One BBM broadcast called for all Londoners to join the riots.

It said: “Everyone from all sides of London meet up at the heart of London (central) OXFORD CIRCUS!!, Bare SHOPS are gonna get smashed up so come get some (free stuff!!!) fuck the feds we will send them back with OUR riot! >:O Dead the ends and colour war for now so if you see a brother… SALUT! if you see a fed… SHOOT!”

This destructive behaviour highlighted an endless succession of young people ‘getting it wrong’ (as my head teacher would say) through arson, theft, violence and complete disregard for people and property. These young people were detested by society and those caught were rightly punished. But just because certain individuals found themselves entangled in a form of mod mentality, does not mean that we, youths, should all be tarred by the same brush. Should the government and society no also ask themselves how and why those young people were sucked into such depravity?

The Scottish Attitudes survey, is an annual survey of 1,600 adults which is aimed at examining public opinion. The survey included questions aimed at exploring public attitudes towards young people, with particular reference to youth crime. The survey found that there was a widespread view that the amount of crime committed by young people is higher than a decade ago – 69% of adults surveyed THINK this. These statistics partner up with the findings that 52% of adults would be worried or uncomfortable walking past a group of teenagers. And why should they feel safe to approach us? After all, with 1,400 offences recorded in Edinburgh linked to gangs of youths, over a two month period – 23 incidents a day – should we not be feared?

However, are we not letting the dark fog of vandals over-cloud the heroic actions of young people? Two ‘hoodie heroes’, Peter Shaw, aged 13, and Connor McClung, aged 11, were praised after they sprinted into a burning house to rescue a four-year-old boy. Braving the smoke from a blazing bed, the friends rushed in after seeing flames at the tot’s bedroom window. Peter shoved the four-year-old under his hooded jumper to save the boy from choking on smoke, before making their way to safety. A fire service spokeswoman said “The two boys did a very brave thing and are to be commended. They gave no thought for their own safety and put others first.” With all the garbage that goes on in our society, it’s refreshing and encouraging to see the unselfish and brave behaviour of young people publicly praised.

The story of these two young heroes challenges the stereotype tags of people who wear hooded tops. If it wasn’t for Peter’s hooded jumper, would the toddle not possibly have suffered extensive lung damage from inhaling smoke? Whilst we’re on the subject of stereotypes, if all of these are true, should we Scotties not all be wearing kilts, have ginger hair and be running around the highlands hunting for our dinner?

On the other hand, if social media sites are said to be at the heart of the grief in society, should it not also be pointed out that sites such as Facebook and Twitter are also used by adults? Look at Bart Heller, a 43 year old man from Indiana. He used Facebook to confess that he had shot and killed three people, including himself.

He posted: “I’ve killed ryann, erin, and myself. People were warned not to f—- play me and ruin me. They didn’t listen. Sorry about your luck.”

Even celebrities such as Ashley Cole and Ashley Young can’t escape social media backlashes and have been singled out after receiving racial abuse on Twitter. Surely, if companies such as British Airways, who have apologised after tweeting racist comments, can’t keep a clean track record of what they say on Twitter, why should young people be expected to?

So what should young people think of the generation that are so quick to look down on us? Our so called ‘role models’ who complain when we follow their examples of wrong behaviour? The youth are the wrongdoers in society.  That is why not one of us will have the opportunity to have a secure job which pays well and allows us to buy a house of our own and look forward to a good pension and being able to retire at an age when we are still young enough to enjoy it.

But are youths really the cause of these problems? Of course not! The older, ‘wiser’ generation has left us with an awful mess to deal with. The credit crunch, brought on by greedy bankers, fed by a society who wants everything now and has lost the concept of saving up to buy something. It’s just a case of borrow now and worry about the consequences later. A generation who have developed drugs and lifestyles which is producing a dramatically ageing population without thinking for a minute about how their generous pension schemes will be paid for.

But it will be paid for. It will be paid for by us, the younger generation. The generation who are looked down on and condemned merely for being here. It will be paid for by us, who will have to work harder and longer for significantly less reward, and for a much lower standard of living. But don’t worry, we will work harder, so that our increased tax will pay. That is, if we are able to find a job. Already the financial problems brought on by the older generation have meant that school-leavers cannot find work. In some parts of the country 34% of people leaving school are classes as NEET, Not in Education Employment or Training.

The global financial meltdown has meant that more of us will have to work harder and for longer. We will also have to work smarter. To do this, we must receive a good university education, but this too is becoming an increasingly unlikely dream for most of us. Universities are having their funding cut by up to 33%. This means that they will be forced to make cuts to the number of places available to young people. For those lucky enough to be offered a place, they will leave with huge student debts, which will be like a milestone around their necks for most of their working lives. It’s okay though, although we won’t be lucky enough to afford all the luxury foreign holidays, enjoyed by the previous generation, we can always holiday at home. That is, if we can. The global warming crisis produced by our elder’s generations, will mean that Scotland could soon be facing a slightly more, Tropical, climate. However, don’t reach for the sun lotion just yet, it will also mean that clean water will be in short supply, crop yields will fall and food will become increasingly expensive.

The view that we are the menaces of society, that we are the ones driving the Great out of Great Britain, is simply unrealistic. The older generation have adopted a passive approach, allowing my generation to suffer through the mistakes made by our elders. However, these mistakes are passed off as ours and so we must face the consequences. The stereotype that all youths are delinquents must be challenged, otherwise how else will our generation ever be accepted as more than a bunch of trouble makers. Here is one last question to ponder over as you see a teenager like me, walk towards you down the street, will you cross to the other side?

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