Why does everything a teenager hear have to be depressing?Why does everything a teenager hear have to be depressing?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an excellent question particularly as it relates to the study of literature. the prevailing consensus is that contemporary and cultural novels are the best fodder for teaching literature in schools. This idea has several roots, the first being that post-postmodern novels staring with authors like Golding and such have something to teach about social values. Another root is the contemporary disfavor "dead white male authors" fell into and have stayed in. another root is the emergence of post-colonial (the end of the British Empire in particular) literature from non-European countries including Mexico and China.

As the novel as a general entity (setting asides genres for the time being) has become more and more committed to absolutism in presenting reality, narrower and narrower microcosms of reality (gang wars, life in the barrio, Pueblo religion, etc) have been represented, which is in opposition to the past ideology of presenting universal realities (love, hate, friendship, war, death, etc). When this microcosmic realism is coupled with the consensus valuing "cultural" literature and overlayed on the foundational ideology of teaching contemporary novels as literature, the end result is a lot of depressing stuff for a teenager to read in literature class. If you dislike this and disagree with this approach, make it a cause and speak up about it. The trend is only about 50 or 60 years old. It changed once because educators and others agitated against the then existing system. Maybe you can begin an agitation of your own and perhaps by the time you graduate college and postgraduate school, you'll have a significant voice that may lead to another change away from depressing all our teenagers.

marbar57 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Life is life, and our attitudes about life have everything to do with whether we're depressed or encouraged about it.  We make our own happiness regardless of the circumstances we're placed in, and if we're unhappy, it's our own fault!

I was a teenager once and remember all too well the dreariness of it when I let myself think of it that way.  I had to take the good out of every day and remind myself I had a lot to be grateful for and much to be happy about.  No matter what was happening and how bad it seemed to get, I had to tell myself, "Well, things could be worse!" and "I've got it better than others!"

I don't know what circumstances you are dealing with, but one things's certain:  you've got it to deal with, and why not make it a positive experience instead of a negative one?  You can either complain, moan, and groan, or you can smile, laugh, and shine!  It's your choice!

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not sure that everything a teenager hears is depressing.  Most teens have a lot of friends and seem happy enough most of the time.

However, I think there are reasons why teens would find things in general to be more depressing than adults.

I think the biggest deal is that teens are not as sure of "who they are" and are therefore more worried about everything that happens and how accepted they are by their peers.  Adults have to worry about work and really important stuff too, but mostly they don't have to worry from moment to moment about what someone else is going to think about them.

Because of this, I think teens feel more like they are under scrutiny either by peers or parents all the time.  I think this helps stress them out and make them think things are depressing.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To say that everything a teenager hears is depressing is an overgeneralization--just like saying all teenagers are immature. Everyone has conflict and tragedy in his or her lives. You cannot control many of those things. What your can control is your response to those things. Do you choose to view everything negatively?  That would be depressing. Now if you decide, “I can’t avoid some of the crap in my life, but I can darn well not let it bring me down, and I’ll have a positive attitude.” That would not be depressing. It would be empowering.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Teenagers are at an awkward age, they are learning about the world and what it means to be an adult. So the world can seem be a tough and daunting place. leaving the carefree life of a child behind and taking on the responsibilities of being a young adult can leave teenagers with a sense of despair and overwhelming feelings. I don't believe it is necessarily depressing, it just part of life and growing up.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not sure what your specific situation is but I would say that most teenagers that I am around don't act like everything that they hear is depressing. I can tell you though that most teenagers put their own spin on the things that they are told.

nusratfarah | Student

Teen age or adolescence is a very sensitive age. In this age, the girls and the boys need extra care. Negligence, Lacking of proper guidance, wrong selection of friends, and above all, over reliance on technology- all these lead teens toward frustration. And, it is frustration which bothers them the most. The media all over the world with which the teens are always connected is unable to present any affirmative or constructive news to them. In the society, there is hardly scope for the teens to participate in important decision makings.

The parents should look after their children with more care at this age than ever. They are adults and experienced. So, they know what the problems are which their children face at this particular stage. They must not be too retiring or too stern, rather should behave very friendly. The teachers should deal with the adolescent students with great care and sensitivity. The teens should be encouraged to nurture their creativity while developing technical skills.

Most importantly, the teen must take any sort of negative or depressing matter as a part of life, not as the whole life. S/he should always remember that, 'it is failure which is the pillar of success'. The depressing things can easily lead to take the next step in life with more enthusiasm and passion. If you are a teen, view the life with a positive attitude. Yes, there are many disgraceful things around you, still, life is colorful and has variations. Never give up until you die.

giorgiana1976 | Student

If a teenager it seems that all he hears is depressing then he/she should go to the doctor. Adolescence is a period of several physiological and psychological changes, but depression is a specific disease and can be treated , no matter the age of the patient.

epollock | Student

I don't think everything they hear is depressing; probably less than 5%. Dealing with family, friends, hopes, and dreams are the opposite of depressing and is quite happy and positive. I wonder if your friends think the same way.

mkcapen1 | Student

When a person is in his teens he becomes more cognitive about the events going on around him.  Social relationships become the most important thing happening and when something goes wrong in tha area it is often difficult to handle. 

The world is no longer the place where people try to protect a person and the real world starts closing in ward.  Half the time one is too old to do one thing and not old enough to do another.  There is school work which is equivalent to a job.  For some ,teens there is also added pressures in their home relationships as well.

It sounds like you may be experiencing a hard time right now.  Talk with some adult that you feel will listen and cares.  Maybe a parent or family member, or even a guidance counselor.  If you continue to feel depressed ask to see a therapist.  Sometimes depression is more than a reaction to being a teen.

w3moneyw3 | Student

cuz life is depressing