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Why are today's teens putting off driving, dating and drinking? (chicagotribune.com)
191 points by endswapper on Sept 19, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 198 comments

There are a pile of different answers to these questions (not question), ones that should be asked separately.

For example, excluding factors that affect all the questions, putting off drinking is likely a combination of consumer education and the difficulty in getting alcohol pre-21. Fewer adults want to provide their younger peers alcohol because of legal risks.

Driving is the combination of increasing expense to drive a car you own, mandatory insurance, services like uber, and the need not to travel that modern technology presents.

Sex probably includes factors of better sexual education. Higher pregnancy rates are seen in populations with no or bad sexual education. Also, you are 'held to the fire' by the state if you get someone pregnant.

But some of the largest ones are teens aren't getting out in the workforce at younger ages. This means less money to spend on sex, drugs, and rock and roll, along with different social implications for the people you do meet.

Sex probably includes factors of better sexual education.

I knew a guy older than me who came of age in the hippie era. He had slept with a lot more people than me. He once said "TV channels stopped broadcasting at 9pm. There wasn't anything else to do after 9 o'clock at night besides sex and drugs."

You can now get TV and internet 24/7 and even in small towns you can sometimes find stores and eateries open at all hours. Also, I think historically people turned to sex to get certain emotional needs met that can now be met a variety of ways.

As one flippant example: These days, you can post selfies to get adoration from many internet strangers telling you how gorgeous you are. You don't necessarily need a sex life to get that kind of feedback. Back in the day, an ordinary person who was not a celebrity could not get something like that any way but from a sexual relationship.

In my marriage, we spent thousands of dollars on furniture because it was one of the few things we agreed on and, outside of sex, furniture shopping was about the only time I had his undivided attention. We could have saved scads of money if he had just been willing to have more of a goddamn relationship with his goddamn wife.

For that and other reasons, I have spent a lot of years thinking long and hard about the myriad different reasons people do things. And we just have a lot more options these days for getting some need met without sex that, at one time, we would have had sex to try to meet.

I don't think that's a bad thing.

I agree that it's not a bad thing necessarily, but I think the increase in mental health issues and loneliness (which often go together) might in part be caused by this ability to get some of our needs met in ways that at best provide a surrogate for other or perhaps deeper needs.

Looking at myself, for example, I can safely say that I'm a bit of a loner. But the truth is that I get a fairly decent amount of social interaction through the internet. In some ways this meets my needs better than real life: I can't think of any real-world 'community' quite like this one, for example.

But in other ways it's become very clear to me, usually when I am forced to get out and be around people and suddenly realize how much I needed that kind of interaction, that my online communities are lacking in fundamental ways. I suppose porn is an even more concrete example of this. Another example would be the ridiculous amount of 'quality' shows/movies that offer a surrogate for experiencing relationships and places and events.

The convenience I have of being able to stay at home and 'interact' with others in particular way, on my own terms, has the disadvantage that it requires me to know what is good for me and actively manage that, in the same way that the convenience of porn makes it easy for me to not bother 'grooming my feathers', so to speak, and heading out to meet potential mates.

That's not to say any of these things are inherently bad, of course.

I was much lonelier in my marriage than I have been since my divorce. This has been very eye opening.

Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing and not necessarily even related. Loneliness is an unmet emotional hunger that is not automatically met by being around other people.

Being lonely while not alone is a kind of hell that simply being alone does not begin to match. While married, I really thought I could never tolerate being single. But it turns out my marriage was emotionally vampiric and actively draining me of any ability to experience contentment.

My post divorce experience has not gone remotely like I expected. It has been wonderfully better than the dystopian nightmare I had envisioned for so very long.

Which is not a rebuttal of your remarks. Just some late night thoughts on the topic that hopefully add something to the conversation.

Looking back with hindsight, were there any signs he would not have been a good husband before getting married? Did any of your friends tried to warn you against getting married to him?

Looking back, I made the best choice available to me in an imperfect world. He wasn't a bad husband, though I would have been happier if he had been more attentive.

So your ex preferred sex over social contact with you, as the poster above mentions the use of pornography over social contact; and between the lines, you prefer a free social life over the dominance of sex (apart from other issues your marriage might have had).

Sounds like a familiar source of contention...

Without wanting to generalise individual needs, I wonder if men and women are having trouble bridging their differences now there is less pressure of being a married couple. I imagine that's a large factor in young people trying to stay independent for longer.

So your ex preferred sex over social contact with you...you prefer a free social life over the dominance of sex

No. And your inaccurate inference is obnoxious.

I wonder if men and women are having trouble bridging their differences now there is less pressure of being a married couple.

This is heteronormative. I see no reason to believe that it is only heterosexuals who are putting off sex.

It wasn't all that long ago that people who were not heterosexual felt enormous social pressure to appear to be heterosexual. As one example: A friend of the family dated women for some years before embracing the fact that he was gay and establishing a committed long term relationship with another man.

These days, people have more latitude for arranging their lives where they don't have to put on such appearances while figuring themselves out. Being able to meet potential dates online goes a long way towards reducing or eliminating certain social elements from the process that can be insidious if you can't avoid them.

So I assumed wrong. I assume my own life experiences filtered through then – my apologies.

Of course any discussion about popularity of and reasons for marriage over the last century or so is "heteronormative", for obvious reasons. Still I think men and women experience sex differently, even beyond individual needs. I have several gay friends, but I can't really tell whether any differences they have in sexual needs would be amplified if they were a different gender, potentially influenced by different biological needs.

The title of the piece is Why are today's teens putting off driving, dating and drinking? So, the discussion here is not about popularity of and reasons for marriage over the last century.

Why? Did she/him held you back from something you are doing now you didn't do before?

So people, faced with more options, will have to do more experimenting and observing to figure out what's best for them, as you're doing. By the end of it, presumably the best set of options that they find will be at least as good as what it would have been if they had fewer options, and for some people it'll probably be considerably better.

I, for one, think that anything that helps nerds (defined as those who pursue their intellectual interests while neglecting their social lives, often not developing social skills as a result) ease their social pain while they focus on their intellectual interests is a very good thing.

> But in other ways it's become very clear to me, usually when I am forced to get out and be around people and suddenly realize how much I needed that kind of interaction, that my online communities are lacking in fundamental ways.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's realized this. I may not particularly like getting out at the time I decide I should, but I never regret it. I've been attempting to do it a little more often.

My prior is like yours: There are likely different answers to the various points listed above.

Regarding this one:

> Sex probably includes factors of better sexual education. Higher pregnancy rates are seen in populations with no or bad sexual education. Also, you are 'held to the fire' by the state if you get someone pregnant.

It's possible that the easy availability of porn has a lot more to do with this than just fear of pregnancy, which is probably why this is seen across the board (urban, rural, ethnicities, etc) and despite apps like Tinder.

I would add Tinder as another reason for less sex. You have thousands of posible candidates on your finger prints, why wouldn't you get the perfect one? So people skip most people and only small percent succeed. Before you were in the bar with few less options, darker and with more alcohol, so you were more likely to match someone more real and normal.

I sounds unlikely to me that an app for casual encounters is the reason people have less sex...

The numbers show that 80% of the girls only date the top 20% of the guys. They rate 80% of the guys below average. So an average boy find hard to find a date there. Think this way, before you could have a few opportunities to get a date in a bar, now you have thousands of them before even getting out of the toilet. You think your value is higher than it really is and decide to wait for something that has he same value of you. As this is not possible you end up waiting more for sex. In small towns pre-internet there were more relationships than in cities as they know the pool of candidates is small and fixed. If they waited for the perfect one they would have wait forever.

Sounds like an interesting study, have the source?

If you search in Google you would see people getting those results on tinder, but here I put the study done by okcupid, which probably is more accurate:


I think the parent is suggesting that there is the same or more sex, just for fewer people. If you can access a thousand people in your league there is no reason to look outside of it (we're all min-maxing) whereas before you were limited by vicinity.

I understand tinder has become more of a dating app than a quick hook up one these days anyway. At least that's what friends tell me, I prefer getting drunk in a bar the old fashioned way.

>> Less sex

When I was in high school, I had no idea of what STDs looked like. We learned about it in sex-ed but none of us knew tangibly. There were rumors it was like the flu. Now, google "Genital Warts" and you get an up close view in no time. That alone drives far more caution than what I exercised 25yrs ago.

When I was in high school in the 1990s, the web was in its infancy and I did not use it to look up pictures of STDs, but I knew what they were. I got a basic overview in school describing the cause, symptoms, prognosis, treatment and prevention of the most common ones.

My takeaway from that wasn't that sex was too scary to do, but that condoms were a really good idea.

> It's possible that the easy availability of porn has a lot more to do with this than just fear of pregnancy

I'd guess it's a combination of this and the overweight/obesity rate climbing, the venn diagrams between "people who want to sleep with you" and "people you want to sleep with" are probably diverging for many.

> I'd guess it's a combination of this and the overweight/obesity rate climbing

I agree, but for a different reason. Excess fat is an endocrine disruptor: adipose tissue makes Aromatase [1], which converts testosterone -> estrogen.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatase

  Adipose tissue is the greatest peripheral 
  source of aromatase in both males and 
  females,[citation needed] contributing 
  to the production of estradiol.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adipose_tissue#Physiology (middle

Normal Testosterone levels -> normal libido.

Excess estrogen causes problems for both male & female bodies.

I wonder if obesity is the cause for the multi-generational decline of testosterone levels.

It's probably a factor that can't be denied, just like reduction in fitness levels (e.g. exercise), less physical labor, masculinity shaming, etc.

Yes, I was also thinking porn. Porn and gaming. Gaming and porn. Who needs to drive? Or bother with actual humans?

Humans are by-and-large terrible creatures anyways.

I'd also lean towards your hypothesis since there are many, many contraceptive and anti-STD choices -more than used to be available to other gens.

What? Condoms have been around for a long time. Nothing else is really very effective for STDs.

easily available and much less social stigma

Porn was readily available on the magazine racks at gas stations and less-than-family-oriented bookstores back in the day. Easy enough to get if you wanted it.

No, that is not 'easy enough'. Many people would find that an insurmountable barrier, actually. (I certainly have no desire to walk up to a stranger in public and ask for the means of sexual gratification in exchange for money.)

Sure but only if you didn't mind people knowing you brought porn. Also what you get now is compilations of just the scenes you like, rather than having to fast forward to just the few sections with the milf.

> less money to spend on sex

This one doesn't need money ;) I would suspect other things being equal, hanging about with little to do would that costs money would encourage socialisation and sex.

Anecdotally, I feel kids are more mature in many ways than my generation (I'm late 30's). They have total access to information and I suspect this helps them learn to see the world faster.

As for less drinking/drugs, I wonder if smartphones have a big impact. In my youth we'd underage drink with friends and get a bit loose. Now days that behaviour would get uploaded fast and probably stop us doing it.

I am not sure about your claim that sex doesn’t require money. At least the male side courtship seems to be rather expensive both in terms of time and money. Granted that depends on what side of the pareto distribution you fall under. I agree with your point that having the breadth of human knowledge at your fingertips helps you make better decisions especially with how inforgiving the internet’s memory is. It does come with a different set of pathologies though. I find that socializing with real people requires a lot more work than it would if I didn’t have an amalgamation of internet people to talk to.

Dude 15-18 year olds having sex aren't meeting on Tinder and then going to an SF bar to get $14 cocktails. Sex in high school is about as cheap as it gets.

I think you are failing to take into account compounded interest and opportunity cost. Efforts you make when you’re young get compounded during the rest of your life time and the time you spend learning the intricacies of human mating is time that you could spend doing so many other things. Especially today when you can’t just start working at a factory at 18 and expect lifetime employment. Not just that, human mating has also gotten a lot more complicated with the advent of the Pill. You probably won’t be marrying your highschool sweetheart either. With the right incentives and a wealth of information I am not surprised to see the population follow a less greedy strategy when it comes to dating and drugs.

Do you think these thoughts are going through the minds of most 17 year olds?

Humans do post-hoc rationalisation for whatever acts they perform and emotional states they experience; I expect Kids These Days have biases in those directions that they may ultimately justify in ways like that, even if the real reason is, say, a general expectation in the last year of highschol that you have three to four more years to go before being an adult instead of just zero to one.

From the female side, safer sex and pregnancy prevention can also get pretty expensive in terms of time and money. Getting on the pill requires multiple doctor's appointments, and the pill itself can cost upwards of $50 a month.

Just that could be a reason young women who have received comprehensive sex ed can't be bothered to try PIV sex.

From an insurance perspective, contraception is muuuch cheaper than pregnancy. Every time I hear $religious_group complaining about paying for contraceptive coverage, I lol because it's actually a cost saving measure, like vaccination.

Of course, contraceptives can still be expensive to individuals in the US because insurance incentives aren't aligned with covering the whole society, but that's a long topic for another day.

> the pill itself can cost upwards of $50 a month

Wow! In Europe, at least in my part of it, it's like $3 to $5 per month.

Welcome to America, my friend.

I suspect the expensive side goes to the type of women your after and expectations you place on yourself. In my long past single days (and friends) you'd spend time with girls at parties, beaches, picnics, go to a museum, gallery, hike or home cooked meal.

While opinion only here I feel these are the best places to spend time vs the expensive restaurant/bar type deal. For the latter you sit still hoping the converstation is smooth vs doing something that keeps things relaxed and flowing. And the invariable dinner is finishing do we take it further moments vs having more easy access to take a moment when it feels right. So i dont get that dating has to be expensive unless you want it to be.

...I know this is very anecdotale.

I know it's easy to side with confirmation bias, but just for a second consider this.

If a teen doesn't leave his/her home much at all (reason cited - stuck to their bed staring into smartphone), there doesn't arise much opportunity to -buy alcohol (they're at home) -drive to places (they're at home) -not have sex (they're all at home)

There's strong correlations as well. Less working likely means less money. Less money means less alcohol. Less alcohol means less sex.

I find it rather amusing that people assume teens have to drink in order to have sex. In my experience as a teen, drinking was something I did with other guys mostly and the relationships I had were more about curiosity and alcohol wasn't all that involved.

Is it just me or do kids in general seem more complacent these days?

> Driving is the combination of increasing expense to drive a car you own, mandatory insurance, services like uber, and the need not to travel that modern technology presents.

Another reason is that the car is on decline as a status symbol. Tech gadgets such as iPhones are taking this place now.

Plus that iphones / smartphones are a lot cheaper and yet offer a lot more than cars do. Don't need to drive to the mall to catch up with friends anymore. People complain about the iphone x being $1000 (and previous iphones being $600, etc), but they forget that cars cost a multiple of that, both in purchase and maintenance / fuel / etc. And they don't have as much apps or knobs or screens as smartphones.

>putting off drinking is likely a combination of consumer education and the difficulty in getting alcohol pre-21

Not quite.. the US is one of the few countries with the highest drinking age in the world. The majority of countries allow teenagers to drink, and you still see the same patterns.

Are they putting off sex, or just dating?

my guesses:

- no driving b/c no car b/c less income

- no sex b/c porn

- no booze b/c ... well, is that even true?

- no booze because legalized weed, which is more fun for less hangover?

Teens are living in an isolated socitety from us that can seem like a strange stasi-germany enforced through guilt. Expectations are set for them to perform in measures that are unrelated to personal growth and developement, and from a young age. Different parties observe them and intervene on almost any deviation from expectation. The path is narrowing.

Underperform on a standardized school test, intervention. Spend too much time alone, intervention. Spend too much time online, intervention, admonishment. Test social boundaries and get in a fight, intervention, involve police. Can't spend all day in a poorly ventilated room, learning topics you never chose at a pace you can't control, without acting out; now you have to take pills. Skip class to try cigarettes, intervention and maybe CPS. Have you applied for college yet? You know you can't get a job without a degree. Apply yourself. Why are you falling behind? Apply yourself harder. Feel bad. You don't want to be flipping burgers do you? 4 more years without responsibilities, you'll remember them fondly.

Unless you excel academically or possibly athletically you are given nothing to be proud of. Anything else is a concession given in pity and children are made to know it. We make them feel bad for everything they don't master, but we make them keep doing it and we push them along so they're always behind. The only way to get off the merry-go-round is to drop out and flip burgers, but lately that has become a failure. A failure of talent, ambition, skill and - worst of all - character. It's no wonder that tey are risk-averse.

I enjoyed reading this.

Have you experienced this directly or noticed this as a third party?

Some of it are my own frustrations from first or second hand experience. I'm just young enough that I was a teenager during the later years of the statistic (allthough I probably weighed against the trend except for the driving part). Yet I've had time to teach since I came of age, and talk to people.

Most of it though is just empathic (pathetic maybe?) outrage towards what I perceive-- no, feel is a steady devaluation of diversity in people, children in particular. Diversity of experience, of interest, of priorities and values. Diversity of stories.

The collective narrative we impose on children is that we're going to give them this great education, they're gonna have such great opportunities ('yuuge opportunities), and we're gonna make extra double sure that that it's the greatest education bestowed on any generation. We'll know it's the greatest education because we're going to test them relentlessly. And they will be grateful. They had better be grateful, and make something from this invaluable opportunity.

I'm exaggerating (and sprinkled a little Trump in there) to make it more obviously self-serving, because we are not helping them grow, were growing them. And we're weeding the meadow of anyone and anything that doesn't fit the mold. And I need to get off my soapbox, because I'm rambling.

Have you read Paul Graham's essay on schools? http://www.paulgraham.com/nerds.html

I think you'll find it interesting. Email me at bcurran421@gmail.com if you want to continue the convo

They're not smoking either. Those things are no longer cool badges of maturity, independence, or rebellion. Instead, they're getting piercings and tattoos, identifying as alternative genders, sexting, and claiming more flexible sexual orientations. Alarms the old folks just as effectively.

Kids these days, now we can't even store sex in a bool. And they want another float for gender! Back in my day we had one bit for each, and we liked it.

Wasn't it one for both, or is that too far back?

Probably too far back. We had the Kinsey scale in 1948, so that's a 0-7 for gender/sexual identity, and one bit for sex. Fits perfectly in a nibble.

Federal taxes on cigarettes went up 250% to pay for health care/SCHIP in the past 30 years or so. There is a pretty good correlation with smoking rates and cost of cigarettes. http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.82.1.9...

Taxes do work, though demand for tobacco is relatively inelastic: http://www.who.int/tobacco/economics/meetings/dublin_demand_...

Those kids and their damn rock and roll :)

It's just this generation's search for identity and being different from the generation preceding it. For one generation it's edgy outfits, for another it's long hair and rock music, and I'm sure there will be a future one that will shock 'our' generation (idk what your generation is) even more, especially if it's our own kids who a few years ago were still just like us.

Please cut the outdated ignorant bigotry about gender and sexual orientation.


You were likely flagged for spouting gibberish from a troll account, and you will likely be flagged again for regurgitating it.

Please try to find something more productive to do with your time.

Why gibberish? Slightly out of context, terribly worded, troll-account, no linked sources(laziness/sloppiness on my part), ad-hoc out of context pieces of seemingly unrelated not universally agreed-upon information stitched together - OK I see your point. Anyway, most importantly, you are right about the last part, to rewrite that post in a correct way would take hours with limited to no desired effect(the focus is moving fast on HN), sorry for this unfortunate compromise

Reduced exposure to lead probably has something to do with it.


"This means that lead exposure is likely to be associated not just with violent crime, but with juvenile misbehavior, drug use, teen pregnancy, and other risky behaviors."

Wow... that would have to be almost as good correlation as vaccines cause autism. I have a feeling it is more likely due to easier access to knowledge.

Except it's well known that lead exposure during childhood can cause irreversible brain damage.

Probably a correlation of lead exposure to anti-vaccines views then. I noticed it's mostly a slightly older generation to my own that are anti-vaccine.

People even older than that remember what its like to not have them.

Good parenting? As a parent, I was proud that my sons waited to date, took public transportation or rode their bikes, don't drink cause they're not 21 yet, and decided to have sex at the perfectly reasonable age of 19.

I did like how the end of the article mentioned how scary the world is today. They should try living through the Cold War, and the time of Crips and Bloods, and gas lines, and the housing crash. Now those were scary.

> don't drink cause they're not 21 yet

That's how you get drunk people once they're free to buy alcohol. Parents should help their children discover alcohol safely at home so it is not some mystical drink you can't wait to get your hands on. A glass of good wine here and there during family reunions, one or two beers with the barbecue, maybe some whiskey and vodka to learn what the good stuff tastes like. Suddenly it becomes "this drink with a special taste which gives you a light buzz".

I think alcohol consumption is tied with the social circle of teenagers. I was a shy, silent pupil at high school, but I knew how to play guitar. So I joined a band, and instantly started going out once a week to drink. None of us were old enough to drink, but we managed to find bars which allowed us a few drinks.

For the dating part, I think this is tied up with the insecurity of kids nowadays. There is a lot of competition, the TV/internet is bombarding us with beauty ideals and perfect relationships. It is easy to give up and convince yourself that you'll be "forever alone". There are even communities online, where kids with no relationships hang out. And the longer they wait, the harder it gets for them to start a relationship.

IMHO the kids need to find a way to bite the bullet and be social.

Alternatively, drink too much right away, get really sick for a day and vow "never again!"

Then do it again anyway because you forgot the hangovers.

> That's how you get drunk people once they're free to buy alcohol.

This meme needs to die, it has no basis in reality.

I liked how at the end of the article the mom classified behaviors as "all kinds of risky stuff that I can imagine would be age appropriate." Right. As if she was never that age :)

Climate change seems like an odd thing to pick as a scary reason not to have sex or drink. Endless hysterical news stories about kids being abducted, maybe.

It's hard to get too excited about kids delaying driving if they're ALSO not being allowed to go out on their own on transit or bicycles or whatever.

I don't think it's the direct relationship of the news stories, but rather the general atmosphere of fear and dread. Where I remember being care free and adventurous as a teen, which translates into a less inhibited and more adventurous social life. I also didn't have hours of endless entertainment at my fingertips, just lame country town TV.

But that atmosphere was also here during and after WW2 up to the late 80's (the cold war and impending global thermonuclear war), the 60's / 70's (Vietnam war and being drafted). And yet there was the sexual revolution during that era. I don't think it's global fear because I think that used to be worse.

That is true, perhaps it's not much of a contributing factor. I also assumed teens were worried by the news but thinking about it more I wonder if they even watch it or if the same kind of news is in the newer media distribution.

I see what you're saying about how they're being responsible by holding off on sex, cars, and drinking, but there is an opportunity cost in holding off on those three things - They miss out on the enormous compounding effects of having their own relationships, vehicles, and high-impact social gatherings happen 2-3 years earlier.

Maybe an anecdote will be useful. I started dating, drinking, and driving at 15-16 y.o. All three of those activities have been formative in building my career as a tech worker. I had a choice to move to a big tech hub, and having a potential partner living in the target city was a key factor in moving. To even consider moving to the city, I needed to already be comfortable with packing up my life in my car and physically driving, which I had already been doing for years. Moving to the city was insanely stressful for 10 consecutive months, and I found that having an excessive amount of beer with a good friend was pivotal in helping me navigate my stressful, heavy emotions.

In conclusion, you cannot grow up slowly and expect to do big things. You need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. There's no sense in keeping your kids away from real learning because you have some notion in your head about "responsible ages to do things". There is no goodness in slapping age requirements on activities and then stopping to think about it.

And one more thing, WW2 produced the greatest generation of all time, the baby boomers - That war gave our nation a widespread sense of purpose and unity that has not been seen since. So while war is bad you must also consider that the stress of war creates great men that make great leaders.

The baby boomers are the ones who were born after WW2. "Hard times make strong men, strong men make good times, good times make weak men, weak men make hard times" is something I recently heard in regard to the ww2 and boomer generations, the implication being the boomers were the "weak men."

I feel like dating is a good social experience to get started on in high school although. You learn a lot of social skills and things that you wouldn't learn anywhere else.

Also driving is a good skill to learn while still living at the house, it's far more accessible when you don't have to pay for your own car. It's far more expensive to learn when you are in college.

I thought the article was great and am surprised by the comments here.

This theory is obviously true and quite fascinating: According to an evolutionary psychology theory that a person's "life strategy" slows down or speeds up depending on his or her surroundings, exposure to a "harsh and unpredictable" environment leads to faster development, while a more resource-rich and secure environment has the opposite effect, the study said.

For those who say this is no different than other generations you are wrong because of one variable: Work. Many middle class kids use to have to work and now they don't. This is HUGE and effects EVERYTHING.

Can we distinguish between "have to work" versus "can't find work" at this distance?

Agree 100%. I graduated high school a little while ago (2008) but was absolutely unable to find anywhere that would hire me as a high school student, even though I would have loved to have a job and have some spending money of my own.

Another comment mentioned kids have to work more, you mentioned they work less. I couldn't find a good source either way, but still interesting.

Because todays kids are coddled and have a 'safety net' of being able to stay home and not join 'adulthood'. I mean when I was a teen ager - my parents couldn't afford to support me. I had no way of staying home and riding it out.

If I wanted anything in my late teens (car, fuel, guitar, computer, books, money for dates - etc.) I had to come up with the money for it - my parents provided shelter, food, clothing and a safe environment to sleep in. Everything else, it was unsaid fact I was going to have to provide myself.

This allowed us to be a lot more free - we knew at worst we would be like our parents. Make ends meet and eck out a basic living. It wasn't too bad as everyone else was the same. So knowing that doing nothing - would result in being where we were - the only way out was to do something. Take a risk, go out and see what the world offers.

Today, I see plenty of kids having iPods, Mac Book pros, flashy clothes and driving cars all provided by their parents. Why work hard? Why take chances? Life isn't that bad after all.

The starting point is so much more comfortable for all of these kids.

Every 10 years someone posts this. The message it sends is this "I don't actually take time to understand the unique situation of being a kid in today's economy and culture. I do not acknowledge that the experience is rapidly changing. I am uncomfortable with this new world and would rather put the blame on kids being 'coddled' without any data to suggest this than confront my own lack of understanding."

Every previous generation thinks the current generation is coddled. When I was a kid, I had to walk through 10 miles of snow to get to school. "Snow day"? Schools are creating sissies I tell ya.

Back in my day, my Mum used to listen to the internet on our house phone!

The current generation is "coddled", and they should be. I grew up in rural Alaska, in one of the snowiest spots on the globe. If other people had somewhat less hellish school commutes I would consider that civilized. If on the other hand the goal is to expose children to potentially lethal weather conditions, Alaska still exists.

That doesn't make it not true. It's very possible (and seems likely to me) that each generation has been more coddled than the previous in recent memory.

In fact it's the default expectation with the rising standards of living.

However that has started to stagnate for all but the upper middle class so the next decade should be quite interesting.

I don't see where you addressed the substance of the parent post--was your own post truncated?

I don't see where you addressed the substance of the parent post--was your own post truncated?

I really dislike the whole "kids are coddled," "young people are soft" posts. I work and volunteer with young people all the time and most of them are awesome, wonderful people who are better, kinder and more intelligent people at their age than I was.

Their pressures are totally different, there is no way I would swap my youth for theirs.

-I grew up fairly free to roam around as a child, even as a teenager. Leave in the morning, come back when hungry or dark. Good luck being a parent doing that these days.

-We spent most of our evenings all watching BBC and talking about what was on the news. We had no choice but to talk to adults and other kids about the world and they had no choice either (in a positive way). How many times do you meet parents these days who are present but not really present with their kids because they are on their phones?

-Parents are cash rich but time poor. For many, even when they are home they are home they are working. We didn't have a lot of money when I was a kid but no way would I have preferred an ipad to spending an evening kicking a cheap soccer ball with my Dad.

-When I grew up, if you did something stupid like puke when getting drunk as a teenager, only your classmates would know about it. Now, your whole life is like some kind of advert - your open to social media bullying and pressures 24/7 - that's absolutely horrible.

-Parents and schools have replaced educated with homework. Literally kids are more screwed than ever with the amount of learning they are expected to do.

-Sex education, especially in most parts of US and Ireland is a joke. I got part of mine in the UK at the age of 8 and it was a massive difference - contraception, STDs sex, etc etc, all you need to know. There are still schools I know these days who think sex education is a video of a nun talking bullshit about marriage. Kids are overwhelemed by online adverts, porn etc but society in many places still isn't willing to give them the tools they need to deal with it.

-Casual first jobs that used to be easy to get as kids/teenagers have now become much harder to get. My first was working in a local shop. My next was the MIT Media Lab Europe when I was 15 - purely because I rang up and asked did they need a web master. They said yeah, why not? Do you know how much paperwork they would need to do to be able to do that these days?

When you were a kid, there were plenty of kids with the totems of success and comfortable lives. It's likely you didn't see them, because we sort by class.

Presumably, you are doing better than when you were a teen, since you're on hn. That means the kids you see probably have pretty well off parents, with the cool new toys and stable homes. You can still find kids with marginal existences and few to no cool toys.

I mean, what's the difference between a pair of Jordans circa '88 and an ipod circa now?

> The starting point is so much more comfortable for all of these kids.

I'm not sure that's a bad thing. I mean, do we want life to be uncomfortable for young people?

It wasn't just your situation with your parents. A lot of adults today grew up with Joe Camel and cartoon ads like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yHsoW6CTjM

There was no anti-bullying education. Actually, bullying was basically okay when I was in high school. No concept of diversity training for staff and administrators.

I mean if things aren't as rough on teens as they used to be, why force them to suddenly grow up anyway? Don't they deal with a whole set of separate, new challenges adults never had?

Baby boomers get to live much longer as adults thanks to recent medical advances. Why can't young people live their lives young for longer as well?

If ycombinator is right about the coming future of basic income, then not only do these folks not have to become adults very early, they don't have to "eck" out a living either. Earning income isn't necessarily a sign of adulthood.

I'm not saying people don't become adults ever, because this is already a problem. We all know adults that act like children. I'm saying why force them to deal with some of the primitive experiences you and many other folks have dealt with?

> The starting point is so much more comfortable for all of these kids.

And which kids? My children have classmates who are homeless, who can't afford field trip money, who actually do rely on the free school meals.

Those kids have always been there. Had them in my school 40 years ago.

> I'm not sure that's a bad thing. I mean, do we want life to be uncomfortable for young people?

Yes. The result of rubber playgrounds is surprisingly more serious injuries.

Never mind the secondary effects, the idea of a rubber playground strikes me as inherently dangerous, as you can't skid to a halt like you can on concrete or grass.

That's surprising indeed, citations?

from https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/hey-par...

> Even rubber surfacing doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference in the real world. David Ball, a professor of risk management at Middlesex University, analyzed U.K. injury statistics and found that as in the U.S., there was no clear trend over time. “The advent of all these special surfaces for playgrounds has contributed very little, if anything at all, to the safety of children,” he told me. Ball has found some evidence that long-bone injuries, which are far more common than head injuries, are actually increasing.

>Ball has found some evidence that long-bone injuries, which are far more common than head injuries, are actually increasing.

My assumption is that has nothing to do with rubber playgrounds, but the fact more kids are obese than ever. The less you weigh, the less you splat when you fall.

Your explanation for fewer teens (but still the majority) learning to drive, dating, having sex or drinking is that they can easily afford everything on their parent's money? That strikes me as strangely backwards.

If your parents provided you with a car, wouldn't you be more likely to learn to drive? If your parents gave you a generous allowance, wouldn't you have more dates, buy more drinks and as a result be more likely to have sex, rather than less?

Personally, the reason I didn't have those classic "growing up" experiences is that I mostly don't think they will or should be part of my adult life. I don't expect to need to drive, I don't want to get drunk and I'm not interested in meaningless hookups. How most adults today grew up has little bearing on the way I want to live.

Kids today also take less drugs and commit less violent crimes. Less drinking is nothing wrong either (plus schools treat drinking as grave offense instead of minor infraction it should be ). Responsible attitude towards sex (wait for partner you trust, do it only if you have proction) means less of it untill you have stable partner.

With exception of driving, we have bundle of starts about kids being better behaved then previous generation. Meanwhile, previous generation complains, cause if you are not like them you are weak.

There were always rich kids and poor kids. Rich kids always got gifts from parents and poor kids still don't get them.

> If I wanted anything in my late teens (car, fuel, guitar, computer, books, money for dates - etc.) I had to come up with the money for it - my parents provided shelter, food, clothing and a safe environment to sleep in. Everything else, it was unsaid fact I was going to have to provide myself.

What makes you think that's not the case for many kids today? Are you sure you are where the kids that don't have

> iPods, Mac Book pros, flashy clothes and driving cars all provided by their parents.

are, and that you notice the absence of this when you see them?

Don't worry, kids today are still suffering. Children in America today have a 1 in 5 rate of living in poverty, roughly the same 40 years ago.

Probably because the definition of poverty always shifts to make the lowest x% in “poverty”...?

The definition of poverty shifts because the wealth required to survive shifts.

You know a lot of the current generation is going to end up worse off than their parents right? https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/11/there-s-a-generation-...

And the economic situation of our parents is the yardstick we all use for assessing our own capability of providing for an adequate upbringing. A mailman's son will likely feel more at ease starting a family when he is a mailman himself than a lawyers's son when his father was a partner in a successful firm while he himself is only on a lowly salaried career (yet far above that mailman). Sorry for the gender stereotypes, but they share too much with those mechanisms to be cut out.

To make things worse, that yardstick is based on us seeing later stages of our parents' careers, while we apply it to. In times of widespread growth this does not make much difference, but in times of stagnation or worse it can be crushing. A part of the puzzle the article is marveling at might be current teens not feeling very much in a pipeline towards house and kids.

>> Today, I see plenty of kids having iPods, Mac Book pros, flashy clothes and driving cars all provided by their parents. Why work hard? Why take chances? Life isn't that bad after all.

I see the same thing happenning, but IMHO nothing has actually changed -- I have just been lucky, educated, and hard-working enough to have gone up several socio-economic tiers. What i'm seeing was likely the case even back when I was young, except on the other side of the tracks. Now i'm living on that other side.

Oddly enough, the most successful people have always provided their kids with an extensive safety net, but for kids in the middle class and below, I suspect that the safety net is withering. Student debt might be one measure to look at -- there might be others.

"Teens spend a 'mind-boggling' 9 hours a day using media, report says."[1] That cuts into driving, dating, and drinking. Kids just aren't leaving the house as much, for any reason. They don't need to.

[1] http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/03/health/teens-tweens-media-scre...

No one mentions video games? It seems like they really cut into both the desire and the time to do those things.

Would suggest easily-available adult content might play a large role. Its existence blunts the hormonal challenges faced by young men. Cars used to be a way for young couples to find privacy away from parents/guardians a la "Animal House," but in a world with substitute goods that's no longer as strong a requirement. Lack of cars also makes it harder for large groups of teens to congregate, a la "Dazed and Confused" and reduces the peer pressure effects that lead many to drink and smoke.

I am SURE video games and, ahem, online activities are largely responsible for these trends. The amount of time spent on the computers/tablets/smartphones is staggering, and it has to come from somewhere.

Likewise homework. Anecdote: My kids have vastly more homework than I ever had.

Mine seem to have far less.

Driving and drinking in common forms are wastes of time or dangerous. Commutes specifically are now the #6 cause of full blown clinical depression. The easiest form of "helicopter parenting" was turning off TV's. Now YouTube lets parents turn of ads. Novelty status seeking, post-war PTSD and novel TV 1-way broadcast made drinking or driving seem attractive. I know parents who forbid gaming, TV fictions and even cheap factory franchise food wholesale. Their kids have time to do everything else live and in person. Not dating is a demographic phenomenon. I was born in '66 and none of us feared incurable diseases. The divorce rates are so high and peer-available literacy and even maximum attention spans so low many kids have no interest in family formation. Demographer predict 25% of unmarried Americans will never even marry. During WW2 26% of Italian women were nuns. Global TFR's are falling and Japan has been depopulating faster than their deflation for net wins. Japan and Britain are net importers of water (via foodstuffs). The instincts for not breeding are smart. Various Amish populations have been booming. People seeking larger families should consider organic farming careers.

And what is wrong with that? Is this another blame piece article that teens or young people in general are less masculine and animalistic, and not as ambitious as their parental generations and need to toughen up?

So fed up with this narrative, like they know what is good for the teens, what they experienced when they were young should be shrined as norm while the young people are the ones that screwed up by turning it down. No. The teens and young people are living in a world, the adults CREATED, and if someone to be blamed, it should be the adults. However that should not be the point, the world had moved on, people are living in very different time and space now, they ought to have different ways to live it, it is the adults like the author, who can't really take the fact, and blindly shouting the remains of good days.

That sort of "the kids aren't alright" sentiment of this piece is especially rich:

"On the one hand, I know she's safe, she's not out getting pregnant or smoking pot or drinking or doing all kinds of risky stuff that I can imagine would be age appropriate,"she said. But Haskew wonders whether her daughter is missing out on life lessons those behaviors can teach. "Is that stuff necessary for human development, do you have to be risk-taking as a teenager in order to succeed as an adult?"

So these articles and parents, after years if not decades of after school specials and anti-drug classroom crusades and rubber playgrounds and helicopter parenting and initiatives to make everything about childhood as safe and as convenient as possible, are now suddenly regretting their kids not experiencing teen pregnancies or youth drug abuse? After making the world a safer place- and a more scary place through relentless hysteria and moral panics- they now think their kids are too soft and coddled? Sponsor scouting organizations or summer camps or apprenticeship programs or study abroad if you think your kids aren't experiencing the real world enough. Don't romanticize the same risky behaviors that you lobbied to abolish in the first place.

It's disturbing that, at least in Chicago, there appears to systemic conditioning that's convinced people sex is dangerous and scary.

> Among teenagers now, "there is a feeling you're getting of, 'Wow, the world is pretty serious, so why would I rush to immerse myself. . .Why don't I stay with my friends and away from anything that has heavy consequences, like pregnancy or sexually-transmitted diseases?'"

Sex is joyful. If you have sex safely, there is a very low risk of consequences, let alone heavy or lasting ones. I felt that interconnectivity and 'bar-lowering' by applications like Tinder would increase the level of frivolous sexual activity, not decrease it. My inner hedonism-bot is disappointed.

Yes, sex can be joyful.

But sex is not a play toy, even if you're an atheist. The physiology of sex creates very strong bonding, and arbitrarily creating and then breaking those bonds is usually quite damaging to the human psyche.

I recently read Welcome to Your Brain, and the authors describe the neurochemical basis of those bond formations well, for those who might be interested.

Whos the publisher? Seems like an interesting read.

According to https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-up-cu... Tinder is probably decreasing people's interpersonal skills which makes relationships less appealing.

Basically, why commit? This person eats their food oddly, that person seems to have a sweaty forehead, etc.

In the age of Tinder, why bother getting invested in anyone? The next is just a swipe away (unless you're male, then good luck).

I disagree.

Sex puts you through a lot of suffering (disappointment, self-doubt, rejection, bad life decisions etc.) and simply is a great waste of resources (time, money, energy etc.) and in modern times even more so cause it isn't usually leading to procreation or long-term bonding.

Yes sex is nice but it has a heavy price.

> disappointment, self-doubt, rejection, bad life decisions etc.

Absolutely none of these are necessarily a consequence of sex, given a healthy and productive attitude toward physicality and interpersonal relationships.

I am genuinely sympathetic that you seem to associate these feelings with sexual relationships.

I appreciate the sympathy however (I hope) I can enjoy sex as much as anyone else.

My point is rather that describing sex as only joyful (also in a context of modern teenagers) is quite shallow.

You can look no further but to a few pop songs, watch a random movie or read some good poetry to learn that sex as a driving force is leading to confusion, suffering etc. It is also a force beyond our control on some level and as such could lead to serious life consequences - you can make some dumb life decision driven by sex.

Also historically and in many different cultures sex is seen rather as confusing force. People had been choosing lifetime celibacy, chastity etc. for a reason.

I think you might be, err, doing sex wrong if that's how you describe it.

I think he is confusing "sex" with "stuff people go through to get sex"...

Random sex with near-strangers can feel that way. In a committed relationship it's quite different.

If Tinder was good at creating matches they would go out of business. It is rigged. It is designed to create emotional dependency and sell in app purchases which is does so well it is the highest grossing app in the Apple app store.

> It's disturbing that, at least in Chicago, there appears to systemic conditioning that's convinced people sex is dangerous and scary.

Where are you getting that idea? It's just a WaPo article referencing a study just hosted on Chicago Tribune (Which itself caters more to a suburban rather than city audience)

I wonder what it's like to grow up in a world you know was trashed -- likely to have more plastic in the ocean than fish, wars over resources, hundreds of millions of people displaced from their homes, population decreases, etc... all consequences of past generations' carelessness.

Maybe not all those things will happen, but some will.

That has to factor into your world view and behavior.

Do you not remember the cold war? Shitty weather and floods of refugees sounds pretty sweet compared to nuclear armageddon.

The world is more prosperous and peaceful now than any time in human history. To be born now in a developed country (of which there are far more of than even ten or twenty years ago) is an incredible advantage compared to what the vast majority of humans ever experienced.

I heard an interview with Warren Buffet yesterday where he said that the average person today has a better life than J.D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), who was in his time the richest man in the world.

He also says that "the luckiest person in the world is the baby born today in this country [USA]."

He's a tremendously optimistic fellow, still working as far as I can tell, and reading 5-6 hours a day at age 87. Highly recommend his interviews on talks.

What is considered "better" varies from person to person. I know personally, I'm deeply worried about whether or not my children will have a better life than me. I don't know of anyone my age(23) that actually has any close friends. The companies I work for don't even pretend to be loyal to me or anyone else at my income bracket. An unexpected illness could bankrupt me and my wife. Testosterone levels for men are significantly lower now than then, which sure affects a man's quality of life.

People today may have more things, and may be more healthy, but that doesn't mean their quality of life is greater unless they're part of the upper middle/upper class, and even then, it's often very stressful.

I thought you were talking about the present. It's only a mild exaggeration.

I think they were indeed talking about the present. Is it any exaggeration at all?

Anecdotal but my son is afraid he'll hurt someone while he learns to drive. He's pretty empathetic. That and he doesn't have that much need to leave the house since he can talk to most of his friends more easily on the nets.

My cousin's son explained to me that they avoid risky behaviors because there's always someone with a smartphone ready to broadcast them on social media.

And they're highly aware that there's no erasing it once it's out.

Slightly offtopic but that website jumped to 4.5GB of RAM by the time i was on the third paragraph (Safari on macOS). Perfectly legible (and memory friendly) in lynx, though!

Yup, one of the few sites that really gave my 6 year old macbook air troubles. Adblock counter was running up like crazy.

When one adds these markers of significantly decreased development or preparedness for adulthood with the increase in social isolation being reported, the levels of psychiatric issues such as ADHD and depression being observed, the relentless rate of youth suicides, the obesity epidemic and more... at what point can it be deemed a crisis?

Took how many years for opioids to be considered a crisis? And that had immediately demonstrable, measurable impacts on society. America has a lot of resistance to improvement when it requires giving up any kind of freedom.

The day that a profit can be turned, or political power gained as a result.

Oh god, not Jean Twenge.

People, please, please read the Strauss and Howe book (Generations), not Jean Twenge. She makes overly-cranky observations about generations (especially younger ones, like Millennials and Homelanders) without the context of the rest of generational theory. The things I have read from her before seem to show a very basic understanding of the topic of generations compared to others who came before her.

I mean, Strauss and Howe wrote about (predicted, you might say) that the youth would clean itself up as this current cycle progressed by way of exacting Boomer expectations (in hypocritical contrast of the Boomer's own behavior during the late 60's and 70's). To anyone who has read the book, this is news article is probably coming as no surprise.

"Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious"

Perhaps Not drinking and having less sex could be rebelling against your parents who drink too much and screw around... i am being Half serious

The reason could be supernormal stimuli. If you can get a very good dopamine fix from video games, online pr0n and social apps, suddenly the real world isn't all that interesting anymore.

These kids are basically addicts. And addicts are generally known to not behave as responsible adults. So that would explain why these kids don't "grow up".

The "Adults" are addicts to. They just relied on different things. Like alcohol instead.

In 1976, a great many seniors in high school could drink alcohol legally. Doesn't really detract from the article's point, but that bugged me.

Maybe the anomaly was the phase in the US when they did do these things so young?

If you look at history, the anomaly is today. As one example, not working some job during your teenage years is a recent phenomena (at least the last 20 years maybe 30 years).

> "I haven't heard of anyone who goes out and specifically drinks with their friends," he said. "It's not something you set out to do, like, 'Oh yeah, I'm going to go out and get drunk.'"

I think it's fascinating that the teenager interviewed equated drinking with binge drinking.

What about that quote implies binge drinking? As far as I'm aware you can get drunk without "binging", and teenagers don't drink alcohol because they like good whiskey or appreciate fine wines, they drink to get drunk.

I don't know about high schoolers but the college kids are still definitely getting black-out drunk with regularity.

Internet and digital stimulation has displaced 'real life'.

It will be interesting to see what VR does for this. I am kinda excited about AR because you need some reality to make it work, and Pokemon Go was probably a net positive. VR probably will win though for a net negative.

I can't help wondering if teens working less is because so many of the jobs traditionally held by high school kids are now critical income for low income adults. As others have observed, not working has a knock on effect on other activities

But America is shifting more toward the slower model, and the change is apparent across the socioeconomic spectrum, Twenge said. "Even in families whose parents didn't have a college education...families are smaller, and the idea that children need to be carefully nurtured has really sunk in."

One wonders if there are extant societies that are worth comparing. Maybe American family structures are becoming more like those in East Asian or Western/Northern European societies. The greater emphasis on education for credentialism, leading to longer hours spent on schoolwork or college-app burnishing extracurriculars, sounds like it.

Of course, the study claims the opposite ("noting that teens today spend fewer hours on homework and the same amount of time on extracurriculars as they did in the 1990s"), which seems at odds with the popular perception of high schoolers being slammed with AP courses.

I have friends in my age group (mid-40s) that have never learnt to drive because "They don't need a car because they live in London."

I don't live in the sea but I learnt to swim. Driving is a useful skill to have.

I'd be curious to hear how this trend compares across countries. Are teens in, say, England drinking less and having less sex than their American counterparts, or this an entirely American phenomenon?

Here in Scandinavia kids are definitely a lot more sheltered today than 30 years ago. We used to roam the streets in our free time when I was a kid, being out all day (without even mobile phones). I don't know of any parents today that would allow this.

Drinking and smoking doesn't seem to have changed much though, only following the general trends of way less smoking and a little bit of stigma associated with alcohol. Actually weed might have become more common today than back then, cocaine definitely so, come to think of it.

As far as sex is concerned, things are a bit less 'liberal' these days for lack of a better word, again following the general societal trend. The free-wheeling spirit of the 70s and 80s died down gradually, with AIDS and probably other factors.

This generation was raised eating and drinking from plastic and has a higher level of BPA in their blood than any previous generation. But, maybe that is just a non-causal correlation.

..and the number of pirates..

All of those things cost money.

When I was growing up, generally speaking, the total # of people you ever came into contact with were the people you physically came in contact with.

With the internet, social media, etc. today's kids, socially, are probably equipped with the tools (if used properly) to become my generation's equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So is it because the word is more treacherous or because the world is safer ? The logic is really poor, the author gives the impression he knows why the phenomenon is happening, but he keeps changing his arguments.

My take on it is the absence of role-models.

In the 60's LSD and the Stones, the Doors, the Hippies

In the 70's Hash and David Bowie, Disco, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Pink FLoyd

In the 80's it was Coke and New Wave, Duran Duran, Punk

In the 90's it was Alcohol and Metal, Ecstasy and Raves, Madonna's experimental phase encouraging women to test their limits.

In the 00's there was Marilyn Manson, Nu Metal? But it's already getting fuzzy.

What it is now ? Where are the big stars, i.e. drivers of youth culture. It's the Justin Bieber's and Taylor Swifts 'of this world that have a major impact on youth culture right now.

Manson peaked in the 1990s (I imagine "The Beautiful People" is his best known song). I think he was never more than a fringe artist. Taylor Swift has definitely been more influential than he was.

But there are lots of musicians that were well known for using and abusing drugs. It was practically a badge of honor for people coming out of the Disney meat grinder to make some ridiculous spectacle. Which I think is part of the explanation. Commercial music production got really really polished and artists got less important.

Listen to any pop or hip hop station. Here's Mask Off (Future ft Drake) - peaked at 5 on Billboard Hot 100 this summer. The hook is mostly this:

"percocet, molly percocet"

Then check out dubstep and EDM subculture. There is probably a massive rave event happening every weekend in the states. Molly is a massive component of these events.

"Molly" is what the kids call MDMA these days. Just a FYI.

> There is probably a massive rave event happening every weekend in the states.

How much of that is the teens described in this article? The subjects of the article seem to be mostly post-millennial (current high schoolers) who enjoy hanging at home with their parents. The average age of a massive rave goer probably skews a bit more towards the college and early 20s age bracket.

Yeah true. I think the long tail filled in the gaps left by iconic artists wrt millenials.

Smaller bands & artists, vloggers and streamers. For this unaware, check out how dedicated fans of a 500k subscriber YouTube vlog channel are.

When I was in the scene (mid 2000s) it definitely skewed high school and early college. In fact I thought about getting into it at 23 but didn't because I thought I'd be too old.

Perhaps that the pervasive and instantaneous availability of many different genres of music, current and historical, has reduced the political and cultural significance of any single one, and therefore its potential to spawn lasting social and musical movements - ie. "analysis paralysis" or "divide and conquer"? Mobile internet is the new heroin, internet peers the new subcultures.

Nah, the late '00s and '10s was about EDM and the resurgence of raves, as well as Ecstasy and so forth. Mega-DJs like Skrillex, David Guetta, deadmau5, Avicii, etc.

But are these Mega DJ's cultural icons ? I like Skrillex's and deadmau5's music, but can they compare in cultural impact to a Freddy Mercury or John Lennon? Why am I not seeing the skillex t-shirts ?

Maybe we're just less likely to have musical affinities when it's so easy to access a zillion different artists instead of what happens to be on the radio/in the record store. Could it be that the shirts you see around are for groups you don't know, and you don't recognize them?

It was quite a while (somewhat embarrassed by this) until I realized that abstract mountainous shirt I see around is for Joy Division. Similarly, if I had City of Caterpillar shirt on I'd be surprised if anyone recognized it.

More generally, there's a school of thought that the use of clothing as a signal of membership in a given group is becoming less necessary. One can discover who at their school likes punk through online means whereas before you might need to rely on who's wearing punk stuff.

They were pretty massive in the late '00s, though perhaps more in the college set than younger kids. EDM is still big but not as culturally shifting as your Biebers, T-Swifts, Kanyes, or Lady Gagas, sure.

Hip-Hop is pretty big again right now, driven more and more through streaming services and less on the radio.

And a lot of it is more fragmented - you have easy access to a wider variety of music both new and old than you had when the only music sources were radios and music shops, both with limited capacity.

the 00s famously saw the flourishing of indie rock, which seems to bear continuity with the early 10s hipster culture, and these days there is a huge mass of hyperspecific subcultures enabled by the internet

I suspect we're going in the direction of Japan, where half the population under 30 has never had sex and doesn't plan to.

I'm sorry, just downvote me but "I'm scare to be an adult because climate change"? Really??

Yeah, the internet will do that to you.

I put off driving until i had money. Pretty simple.

'Cuz they'd have to move out.

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