Teenagers Are Bored, Still

Teenagers are wired for boredom.  It’s in their chemistry.  But you’d think with all the technological developments dangling at their fingertips, between video games and computers and smartphones, there might be less experience today with the malaise of teen-hood than in the days of hula-hoops and Etch-A-Sketch.

Not so.  Teenagers are destined to be bored, and no amount of electronics can keep them fully engaged for long.

Adolescent boredom is wired into the psyche of developing minds, outgrowing the direction of parents but not entirely formed into a completed identity.  Being distracted is to be an adolescent, and a constantly-connected world of electronic distractions isn’t providing the escape one might expect.  In fact, those expectations are a factor that works against them, feeding the assumptions of parents that an expensive cadre of electronic distractions will amuse the children endlessly.  It doesn’t.

The instant gratification of a thumbs-up derived from social media and computer communications is a two-edged sword: it feels good, but is very short-lived, and leaves the recipient searching for another dopamine-driven rush to replace it.  In the meantime the family cohesion that comes from household conversation has generally devolved, even mom and dad absorbed with their own devices, lowering the chance of producing emotional satisfaction, and the resourcefulness normally developed to provide self-entertainment languishes in an environment where instantaneous entertainment is a constant stimulus.

An expression of today’s teen boredom can be found on countless You Tube channels and vlogs by teenagers who counsel other teens on how to handle boredom.  They often look terribly bored doing it, and offer tips like “clean your room” or “do the dishes,” suggestions that often fall on deaf ears regardless of the speaker.  Occasionally, there are bursts of insight. “How are you bored?” one teen You Tube vlogger asks earnestly.  “You’re on the internet.  If you’re tired of Tumblr, and Twitter, and Facebook, and You Tube, and other websites, and fan sites, and forums….maybe you just need to go outside.”

Good answer, kids.  There’s a world awaiting you outside that promises to not bore you to tears, if you can keep up.

Here are some anti-boredom You Tube channels by young people for bored young people:



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