Teens in the News-DIMDD
Teens in the news are Dangerous, In Danger, Missing, Dying or Dead. This is what you find in the media regarding teens in the news. Don´t take my word for it, Google ¨Teens¨ and see what you get.
I view this as one small step towards increased public awareness of the value these young people add to our lives and our society in general.
When I search Google News with the terms “Teen”, ¨Teens¨, “Teenager” and “Teenagers” I get 80+ stories with headlines containing these keywords. Some of the stories are duplicates of each other, but still, there is an alarming amount of bad press out there about teenagers.
If these stories were the only information you got about teens, then you may want to buy yourself a gun, bolt your door and put bars on your windows because they are coming to get you.
Everybody knows that media has a negativity bias and a ¨If it bleeds, it leads.¨ mentality, but even this cannot account for the shear avalanche of bad news about teens in the news. Media wants your attention and this is how they get it, with sensationalized journalism.
This is NOT an accurate depiction of today´s teens.
In fact it´s an absurd distortion of teenage life to portray teenagers as DIMDD. The media distorts the perspectives of those who focus their attention on the news, transplanting its negativity bias into the minds of its readers.
I have worked with teenagers for over 30 years and I know the truth about these remarkable young people. It troubles me that the negativity bias in media skews everyone´s perspective regarding the true nature of adolescence. Teenagers are not underdeveloped mini me´s.
Teenagers are real people with real hopes and real dreams, just like you and me. The vast majority of teenagers are just like you and I, only younger, less experienced and hungrier.
You get what you expect, so expect the best.
If you are someone who thinks teens are always dangerous, in danger, missing, dead or dying then you need to go meet some real world teens. Go to a high school sporting event. Go to a school play in your neighborhood.
How many problems that teens face today are the result of people expecting them to have these problems? Parents who fear that their kids will fail at school have kids who fail at school. Parents who are afraid their kids will get involved with drugs and alcohol have kids who get involved with drugs and alcohol.
The media perpetuates these fears with the news they report.
If you are hypnotized by these reports on teens in the news then you need to get out more. The antidote to the dismal prognosis offered by the media is to get to know some teens.
The teens you see in your neighbor hood and your local grocery stores are not those you read about. The teens you see are the 95% of real teens who are out there doing their thing. They are dealing with the same issues you dealt with as a teen.
All you have to do is believe in them. Believe they are assets and not liabilities. Yeah, sure, they are a little rough around the edges, but underneath that acne is a budding novelist, scientist, athlete or teacher.
Underneath that adolescent angst lies a heart of gold that would do anything for a friend and who would defend their family, no matter what they said the day before.
Teenagers ARE capable and competent but they lack experience, support and patience by most people. If you are interested in the good news about teens, then follow me on Twitter @rayericksonlcsw, like my Facebook page or connect with me on LinkedIn.
Teenagers are the future.
Spread the word about these remarkable teenagers by sharing and re-tweeting these stories with your friends and followers. And don’t give up!
With Love and Affection,