As with younger children, parents are less likely now than in past decades to allow their teenage children to travel alone or hang out in groups without adults present. Legal restrictions compound the issue, with curfew laws being increasingly common, as well as increased driving ages and graduated licenses. Finally, businesses that used to be popular hangouts for teenagers, such as shopping malls have become less welcoming, often having limits on when teenagers are allowed on the premises without a parent.
Makes you wonder what life will be like for children 50 years from now, and how that would compare with today.
After there was a time when making explosives was a childhood right of passage along with chemistry sets, making fires, even having a pocket knife. Today, such common activities would not end well at all, however innocent the intention. These are activities people still alive today will recall.
With that, online is still in part a wild-west and new playfield, open, less restrictions compared to real life and with that, perhaps the logical outlet for teenage freedom.
But even that is slowly being eroded away with the same mentalities that drove children into 1984 style parenting.
With that, todays children may very well in their 50's look at the children of the time and feel how restricted and curtailed they are compared to the freedoms they enjoyed in their time. That would not surprise me, but equally, when do laws, rules, restrictions reach a zenith when no more need be added or changed! Until then, the lamentations of life march on.
This sounds like 5 years from now to me, if not today in large part
Huge companies have already captured the market and can afford buy out any alternatives or pay for favorable policy, only a matter of time until they matriculate our piecemeal purchases into guaranteed regular profit.
The rest of us can watch and learn.
It works great for "normal" kids but for any kid even the slightest bit non-neurotypical, it's going to be absolute hell.
Society is not like this, family is not like this, even with your spouse, kids, or brothers/sisters you wont be like this.
Being criticized, ostracized by some, shunned by others, also helps make someone learn to socialize (which includes conforming to a few norms, that's part of being into a society instead of alone in the jungle).
And there are two other things too:
1) Everyone gets some of that treatment (even the popular jocks for example get talked about behind their backs as brainless or whatever). People that act like they are the only recipients, are too self-absorbed to see it.
2) Not everything someone brings or who their character is is good to begin with, just because its "theirs" or "original" etc. The group can have some pathologies itself, but it can help shape everyone to be better too.
Luckily for me, Girl Scouts was only somewhat bad one year. We moved, and then I hated the activities which focused around makeup and "girl stuff" instead of crafts and camping and things. My shunning was in school itself, and unfortunately the teachers didn't help at all.
Honestly a large amount of troops are maintained by mormons or others as extended wings of their belief systems.
AFAIK, Mormons recently voted to stop using Boy Scouts as their de facto youth activities organization. The looming crash in membership numbers as a consequence is partly what prompted the organization to go co-ed.
But that's fine, as it also takes a huge and heavy thumb off the conservative pan of the political balance of the national organization. Without them, BSA can now be more open to LGBT scouts and leaders. Maybe even atheists someday. But...
Each troop is shaped in some part by their individual charter and the relationship with the sponsoring organization. If a troop meets in a church, it is likely to be more religious than one that meets in an elementary school gymnasium, or other municipal-owned building.
It's not a monolithic organization. Each council is different, and each troop has a lot of autonomy to organize its own activities.
This leads to situations where every troop within a 100 mile radius of your kid might be a complete mismatch for them, but if you do happen to find one that fits, it will likely remain that way until they age out.
If you can't find a scout troop near you that isn't filled with personality clashes, your kid will likely want to move away when they get the chance anyway, because the scout troops reflect the local culture. They will encounter the same kids at the high schools.
 The program is officially no longer known as Boy Scouts in the US, now that it's starting to go co-ed.
> Granted it's almost impossible to actually get yourself killed in 24 hours
You should not under estimate the stupid thing children/adolescent can do today...
You mention concern about liability these days, but it's important to remember not everywhere is America. I can't speak to the rest of the world, but Australia is definitely nowhere near as litigious as the US. I could definitely see something like what they described still happening in Australia today.
Next to me was a big pile of wood chips for some reason. Knowing this would keep me warm and off of the ground, I lined my hole with a few inches of chips, training be damned. I was sleeping soundly (and warmly) when the company was roused at 0300 to go back to base. Nobody else slept a wink except those close enough to me to be warned. Basically, the CO got cold so we went home.
lol. I learned that survival training in the Scouts. Good times.
I had to go through SERE for aircrew (which is in Spokane, WA) and that was the first time in my life I was ever out in the woods. It was such an insane shock and learning experience. I think there’s a lot of value being exposed to that stuff even if you have no desire to do it recreationally.
We crafted meals and campfires and patrol flags and lashed together poles to make camp gateways with banners and flags hanging off of it.
We slept inside caves, rapelled down cliffsides, and did weekend-sized training trips for week-long outdoor travel destinations like Quetico/Boundary Waters for canoeing, and Philmont for hiking, and then still did the council-organized camporees.
My troop joined with several others in the council to organize our own summer camp, because they thought the one run by the council was too weak, with respect to earning merit badges. You might get two or three badges at Ransburg. In the LBL group-camp area, you might earn a dozen, while also learning stuff like bow-drill firecrafting that isn't even a requirement for any badge. If you weren't in the right troops, you didn't even know about it.
The quality of the adult leadership absolutely has an impact on the experience for the kids, and that varies greatly. The economic class of the parents is also a factor. Some of the more interesting activities cost more money. That's when fundraising and sponsorship comes in. Richer parents get to have more independent troops.
If I ever had any inkling of going into the military, it all might have been an adequate replacement for about four weeks worth of training. Which would have gone instead into unlearning independent initiative and doing things the military way, instead of the situationally adaptive way. Scouts has a lot of ceremony in it, which seems somewhat lame, cult-like, and pseudo-patriotic in retrospect. That might have helped in a military career more than knowing how to build campfires and small game snares.
- stamping pre-cut leather and using vinyl cord to 'stitch' it together to make wallets
- shooting splintered fiberglass bows at targets 5 feet away
- shooting bb guns older than my father 5 feet away
- singing cadences about "Uncle Dougie" the head of camp Belzer
Scout meetings were:
- carving soap into eskimos
- painting pinewood derby cars
- making a toolbox from pre-cut wood
- making model airplane from pre-cut wood
- doing idiotic skits that in hindsight were wildly innaporpriate like when I had to stand in front of everyone and go "When I grow up, I want to be a baker. Don't, eclaire turns and grabs butt buy my buns!" while others said things like "Be a surgeon. Needle, thread, stab him in the head" and "Be a girlscout, Heya mister, hiya mister *pretends to raise a skirt and show leg" wanna buy a cookIEEEE"?
God. I need therapy don't I?!
Camping trips were:
- Dads that have never camped, trying to drag full kitchens into the woods and burning every meal (my father refused to go on scout trips because he was a proper woodsman and they'd all be like "Mark can you help us with our tent/where's the bathroom/is this poison ivy/oh my god is this a tick/can I eat this/how do I start this fire, where's the gasoline"
- Visiting the visitor's centers in state parks
- Walking on, often paved or drastically improved, par trails
- Group trips to the general store to buy ice cream and candy
I think the suburbs are the stifling force here. They're too safe.
Schools in my district require at least 1 parent to be present at the bus stop in the morning and at drop-off time for elementary school kids. Whether or not that's the right way to go about it I don't know, but past that age everyone walks to school/bus stop alone.
Until you get arrested for trespassing launching or retrieving, or you take out someone's drone and they sue you, or it lands on someone's property and they sue you, or someone calls protective services because "a couple of yutes were playing with 'explosives', no parent in sight".
I cringed watching the new ALITA: Battle Angel movie, (Spiritual successor to Avator, directed by James Cameron). There was a teen romance section where the android and hot guy went through the tropes (riding on the back of his bike hugging tight, sneaking into his bedroom, watching him put on a tight fitting shirt)
it was weird because in Japan they are intensely lonely with people paying for surrogate GF's etc... and the robot industries are starting to develop 'romance' robots.
> there was a time when making explosives was a childhood right of passage along with chemistry sets, making fires, even having a pocket knife.
As for explosives, all the above, but far worse. By default you would get classed a terrorist until proven innocent style justice on that one, again the current climate.
No, this is untrue, please don't spread misinformation like this.
If you're carrying a small and legal knife you're okay. If you're carrying a bigger knife but have a good reason you're okay. It's only if you're taking a knife into a football stadium or school or if you're affiliated with a gang that you're going to risk prosecution, and even then jail would be unusual.
Here's the CPS saying that youths may not even be charged, let alone receive a prison sentence:
> The first arrest of a youth aged 16 years or over, for simple possession of an offensive weapon or sharply pointed blade, with no aggravating factors will normally result in a charge.
> The first arrest of a youth aged under 16 years for simple possession of an offensive weapon or sharply pointed blade, with no aggravating factors, will result, in a Youth Caution or a Youth Conditional Caution. This must be supported by an appropriate YOT intervention, preferably with elements focussed on anti-knife crime education. For a youth under 16 years, an out of court disposal which is not a youth caution or a youth conditional caution should not be used.
The sentencing council has guidance here: https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/publications/item/blade...
For "Section 139 Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Bladed and Pointed Articles)" the recommendation is here: https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/magistrates-co...
> Maximum: 4 years’ custody
> Offence range: Fine – 2 years 6 months’ custody
But you need to read it to work out what tips it into prison sentence vs a fine.
However, interpretation of what threatening is varies and for some people say walking a dog, the sight of a knife of any form would be a call to the police - however legal or not. This and the internet has demonstrated time and time again, that whatever is said or done - their will always be some who will take offence.
Take a look at - https://www.knifefree.co.uk/ which is linked upon that page. Can see what type of message they are putting out regarding knives, do recommend doing that quiz. Also interesting is the boss button on the right (quick exit from site onto google).
But then the UK is very London centric in how laws and rules get driven and more so - enforced. Compared to Canada, in which you have more wilderness, the social culture is more at ease and as such the law/system - less reactionary. Equally you have whole area's in which people don't lock their doors. Unheard of in today's times in the UK alas (though I'm sure there are small hamlets of hope). Though was common in the past, even in London.
Or if I take a chef's knife to a friend's house to cook dinner with them, the same court will intervene? Presumably following an arrest?
That second link is just so creepy to me (pacifist American). I can see how it uses language in such an incriminating way. It's so absolute: "When you carry a knife, you're risking everything." That's a sublime exaggeration. Worst case, I'm risking one life. Not trivial, but a far cry from "everything."
"knife crime has devastating personal effects on you, your friends, and your family." Meh, it may. But mostly it sounds like the effects are all visited on me by the government. Icky, over-reaching and emasculating.
I can see how it gives people who are already good the warm fuzzies, but actual criminals will mock and sneer at this "effort." ...and it looks like "knife crime" (as opposed to say "burglary" or "homicide", actual crimes, not crimes directed by a specific weapon (again with that authoritarian language)) has nearly doubled in the last 5 years, so great job with your authoritarian campaign, UK! /s https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42749089
If you're carrying a cooking knife there's no reason to stop you or search you. But if somehow there is a reason to stop and search you, and you have your new knife in its packaging with a receipt the police will say "what's this?" and you'll say "it's a cooking knife I've just bought and am taking home" and they'll say no more about it unless eg you have a conviction for stabbing people or you have a restraining order against you because you've threatened to kill someone.
In one of the Chinese social credit comment threads someone said "well of course people who haven't run a foul of an authoritarian system generally approve of it" and I think that applies here too.
The thing I've potentially fallen foul of is a chunky pocket knife I keep with my climbing/camping gear bag and have on occasion forgotten to remove before going to indoor walls in London. I suspect I'd potentially be told off a bit for that, but again no fear of being charged with anything.
If you've gone to a bar after your dinner party, and you're carrying the "cooking" knife somewhere accessible (like your pocket), that could be a problem for you.
Children in rough areas should interpret the rules less favourably.
If you try to cut someone with the knife blade, you'll likely end up breaking it off or closing it on your own fingers. A knife weapon absolutely needs to have a fixed or locking blade.
And that's why a police officer will never have a problem with a non-locking pocketknife. A cop might. A pig definitely will. As long as the latter exist, you might as well carry a tool-knife with a "legitimate purpose" that can also be used as a weapon-knife if necessary, because following the spirit of the law won't help you it a letter-of-the-law bastard gets it in his head to screw you over.
This whole thing is just nonsense and another form of humiliation of the oppressed by "the" "state".
It's almost as if this is an incredibly minor consideration.
A website is a much cheaper way of "doing something" than solving the underlying problems of poverty and drug violence.
This surprised me: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/mar/09/british-soma...
Traditional Swiss Army Knives are non-locking and most of them are under 3". Most modern multitools do have locking blades and would run afoul of the aforementioned court ruling. I'm not sure if being under 18 changes things, but it very well might given the UK has such a hostile attitude toward teenagers that it popularized the use of a low-grade sonic weapon to discourage their presence in public spaces (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mosquito).
Ultimately, if you're walking round with it in the bottom of your bag and you have a use for it, you'll be fine. They're looking to stop people from having it in their pocket as they're walking round town. Same with the kitchen knives, got it down the back of your trousers 11pm loitering around, they're gonna get you.
They're legal to have at home as well, and can be bought on Amazon.
Carrying around a bag when I'm out and about town is a bad habit I broke myself from a few years ago, but supposing it were in my backpack instead of my pocket, what's the difference? Probably three or four seconds to retrieve it, on top of probably about 10 or so to unfold it and then unfold the blade as well.
For this to even be a shade of gray is ridiculous.
I had to look that up, but the rate of incidents suggests that for some teenagers in London, it could be like that.
> supposing it were in my backpack instead of my pocket, what's the difference?
You are not "armed", it's not available for use to make an opportunistic attack or defence. "Don't run off, I need to get my knife out of my bag!"
(Do note that the knife violence is almost entirely within [youth] gangs, and shouldn't be a worry for anyone considering visiting London.)
The whole thing seems like an overblown hysteria to me. 21 thousand sounds like a lot until you put it into perspective. How low does that number have to get before knife regulations are walked back and people are given their rights back?
Our summers were filled making exotic explosives and blowing things up.
It’s a wonder we all lived, with no major injuries or jail time.
Our antics would land a kid these days in Guantanamo Bay.
I remember a time where you would see printed copies at car boot sales or numerous geocity copies.
(Ps, my local pizza shop, just down the road from the comic shop, was the feature of the Netflix doc Evil Genius. The Pizza Bomber was the dude who brought us our pizza and my best friends managed the shop when it all went down.)
Of course, its entirely possible in other circumstances for it to be less/more acceptable. While at scouts we could of course carry knives without worry, and even met police officers who came to talk to us who had no issue with us carrying it while explicitly using them for scouting.
(but yes you have to be 18)
I saved countless people from the agony of a splinter with those little tweezers.
I worked in retail at the time - Saturday job, something kids don't do any more - and many fixtures were made of wood. Splinters happened. I saved the day every time someone was in agony from a splinter. I didn't keep records but at least every fortnight there would be an incident of getting the tweezers out.
In those days leaving the house without my pocket knife would have felt like leaving the house without my keys now. The funny thing was that I didn't have keys, the lock on the door at home was only used once or twice a year when on holidays or visiting distant relatives.
Fires were also another large part of my upbringing. Nowadays we have recycling but there was a time when adults would be okay with kids lighting fires, either in a fireplace, out in the back yard or for amusement with friends and flammable explosives. You wouldn't let a child anywhere near petrol nowadays but back in the day that was something on hand and used to get damp things started. The only punishment would be for using it ineffectively.
My pen knife was mostly used for opening boxes, it was sharpened a few times by adults as a favour. Imagine that today, sharpening a kid's knife for them and that being okay.
I'm in my mid-20s, having grown up in a jurisdiction where home fireworks have been banned for many years.
Apart from my year 9 science teacher, who let off an explosion down one end of the school oval so we could time the difference seeing the flash and hearing the bang, I can't think of anyone I know who has told me they've ever tried to make gunpowder at home. Obviously I think I probably do know a few people who have but not told me. But it's not something that really ever crossed my mind as a thing you would do.
(Of course, I'm very conformist by disposition, perhaps I just don't hang out with sufficiently exciting friends.)
All things considered I think I prefer overly strict regulation on explosives to inadequately strict...
None of that is possible today I think, except for the knife, that is still okay where I live. Boy & Girl Scouts are wildly popular here for more than 100 years, that probably helps.
The late Jerry Pournelle told a story (at least) once on a twit.tv podcast about how when he was a child the encyclopedias effectively told you how to make explosives, and he did, and damn near blew himself up dropping them into a pond while he was in a boat.
More recently, as part of the firecrafter ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firecrafter )line of patches here in Indiana in scouts in the mid-late 90s we were taught out to mix various automotive, and household, chemicals to create fires.
One involved dipping cloth into an open-cell car battery, using some water purification tabs and some sugar (I think we used pixie sticks) IIRC.
Only reaction I ever got was from a security guard at a store, when I took it up to cut a piece of cable because the store's cable cutter was too dull. He asked where I bought it.
When I was a kid, I walked around with a 10 cm utility knife in my belt, at all times. If I'd done that today on the other hand...
I remember having lots of compressed air cans around my home when I was growing up and I somehow managed to not kill myself.
I worked in a pharmacy for some years. A teenager came into the store one day, went to the stationary isle, and started huffing the canned air. Dude was a bit violent towards the pharmacist, who was checking to see what the noise was. We wound up calling the cops and feeling really badly for his mother, who was waiting in the car in the parking lot.
Luckily, most folks have canned air for normal purposes - and it seems you did as well.
I'm more concerned by the label "air" meaning people don't know this. A colleague sprayed it in his mouth... (no harm done, but still)
The graphs they show don't perfectly correlate to the trends in hanging out in person. While smartphones have definitely contributed to changes in the culture (for everyone, not just teens), it's false to pretend that they are entirely responsible for changes in loneliness. It just as well may correlate to being bombarded by reactionary hatred from adults over things teens have grown up thinking about more openly, like more open ideas about gender and sexuality. Or perhaps from finding themselves in a culture of fear about mass shootings while again faced with an adult political establishment who does nothing about it. Or maybe just facing the reality that the grown-ups are making things worse, day by day, and that they're going to have to clean this all up after us.
Smartphones have nothing to do with that.
* "hatred" [check]
* gun owners [check]
Looks like this is an open-and-shut case. The problem is Republicans / red staters / etc.
loneliness? The amount and richness of communication like the number of participants, number of parallel communications, number of the topics and the range of opinions, etc. is most probably much higher when using smartphones then when it is subject to the limitations of physical presence. Our species brain development is basically history of social communication, and the smartphones transcending those limits of physical presence is the next step for the brain development of our species. Granted the adjustment period may have its quirks, like absence of non-verbal parts of communication - face emotions, gestures, etc. - that our brain evolved to expect and not receives anymore and thus doesn't get the associated dopamine - may feel like loneliness.
I’m amused by this notion that “it may feel like loneliness but it’s actually the richness of our new modes of communication you are feeling! Just get used to it!”
As for human interaction, the "right" amount is different for everyone.
This is true of most things.
the tech today allows to for example easily and frequently Skype with your family, like parents, sibling, nephews residing on the other continent. A humongous improvement compare to previous modes of expensive international phone, especially when many of those participants didn't have a phone back then. What is inhuman here?
It also allowed for communication like we have here on HN. Before, it would be limited to just watercooler chat with colleagues at work with very limited exposure and exploration of genuine opposite/conflicting opinions, whereis we can have a bleeding-trolling-edge blast online.
Isn't the feeling the whole point?
It's a bit strange to claim that, even though some people might feel lonely, they aren't /actually/. Lonely is a word that refers to an emotion -- not a word that refers to the circumstances that tend to bring about that emotion.
I'll grant you that if we had a perfect account of what those circumstances were, the two might be identical (for a physicalist, anyway). But that some people "may feel lonely" even now is a proof by counterexample that your account is not it.
It's absolutely possible to be alone and not feel lonely, possibly because one is an introvert or because they gain social fulfilment from online interaction.
On the other hand it's also absolutely possible to be surrounded with people, and even have rich social interaction with them, and still feel lonely. This could be simply due to interacting with the wrong people, but can also be symptomatic of mental health issues such as depressive or anxiety disorders.
Communication and interaction in social relationships is not just about information exchange. Non-verbal interaction (touch, gestures, physical closeness) are just as essential, if not more essential than verbal/text interaction for the majority of people.
Anecdote: my dad was stopped in an early 70s Mazda that was barely running and had a rusty floorboard hole so big you could stick your foot in it and flintstone down the road if you were a moron. He and a buddy loaded up 3-6 rifles and threw them in the back seat to go on down the road to shoot some skeets and/or whatever poor Cardinals were handy. No internet in those days, what are some bored teens to do?
Long story short, they were pulled over, told to get their erm unique vehicle and weapons outta the LEOs county before he changed his mind.
Today? Anyone getting pulled over like that would be jailed on charges of terrorism/conspiracy/something but that behavior would be considered highly irregular and put a stop to immediately. Punks like my dad would not be given a stern warning and marching orders, what police officer in their right mind would be caught on camera letting punks with several rifles go off wherever? Our societal walls of range of behavior have shrunk a lot thanks to ever-present electronic recording and unbounded fear of violent crimes.
But the internet? You can have a lotta fun on the internet, whether its HN, iwastesomuchtime.com, liliputing, Netflix, etc.
I think you have a general point that is correct, but I question this example. Sketchy looking people with firearms driving beaters are pulled over by police very regularly in the US.
The only thing in this story that police might not let slide today is the hole in the floorboards. That sounds like a legitimately dangerous vehicle that probably shouldn't be on the roads. But that isn't so different from the police not letting you drive around with a broken windshield, and is not the social catastrophe you describe.
On the way to/from the shooting range. Let the officer know what I had and why, they don't even bother to look back there.
It cost the council probably less than $1000 to turn a block of weeds in to an awesome social space.
But, I generally agree with your statement.
Oh, I have a son, some it might be vastly different for daughters.
I think the most insidious aspect of video games is that they are a success surrogate. I spent over a decade and a half playing games after dropping out of high school at age 16. What kept me going was the feeling of success and accomplishment I got from impressing my online friends in games.
Now in my mid-30s, I'm an undergrad in mathematics and finally putting my life back together. I've come to realize that video games are a terrible substitute for real life accomplishments and that online gaming friendships pale in comparison to building relationships with real people, in person.
While I would probably still enjoy playing video games, I have actively went out of my way to avoid them. I have replaced them with healthier solitary activities IMO(music production, UI design) or more outgoing activities like cultural meetups, hiking and the like.
Not sure what the difference is, but it's definitely different. Whenever I get into a game, I try and limit playing time to 2 hours at a time. Which, can be quite hard to accomplish. Even as a 38 year old.
Though my profession is probably owed to the unsanctioned time I spent online in my youth (especially time away from school), and I luckily never had access to enough unearned money to buy a fast enough computer to play video games, never really played video games much, and still don't now that I have threadrippers, hundreds of gigs of ram, and top tier GPUs sitting around everywhere.
Some parents see the issues with video games as extending to access to computers as a whole, and I think that could have its own social cost.
If I were raising a kid right now, I'd probably have them on a feature phone, and a PC which stops short of playing modern games; but I think a lot of people would struggle with hypocrisy if they did that, since they own gaming hardware and play video games themselves, and my own mother is rather attached to her smartphone.
Everyone thinks that, and then caves under the pressure.
I mean, I don't have kids, but I can't imagine being plied into spending hundreds of dollars on something which I don't want even for myself, and which I think is bad for the recipient.
It's easy to say you'll do this and that with kids, but things change when you have them.
This isn't true though, is it?
GTA V is simply cheaper for the sandbox space: but you're actually perfectly free to get some paintball guns, some cars, some gasoline, buy an old 7-11, fence it off, and play paintball GTA V.
That would just be more expensive and tiring, while less convenient.
(It sounds more fun to me, but YMMV -- and economically, you can probably rent the space to the police for training to break even.)
As mentioned above, there's just no comparison any more. I grew up in the city and had very, very few restrictions on where/when I was out from around age 15, and we still preferred online. Going out in person is expensive, not everyone had equal transit access (and no one had a consistently available car), etc.
Yes, there were people who didn't join up online, who I would've loved to see more of. Meeting up with them more often would have been great, but doing it regularly just wasn't feasible - we'd see everyone at school and maybe after for 15-30 minutes while people cleared out, but that was the only regular thing.
 Mostly of the 'tell us where and when' variety - if my parents knew roughly how to find me if needed, that was good enough.
So if online interactions is the average, it will be hard to change that.
This is byproduct of the "stranger danger", everything is trying to harm you/kill you mentality.
>Legal restrictions compound the issue, with curfew laws being increasingly common, as well as increased driving ages and graduated licenses.
Curfews are always the double-edged reasoning sword used: It's to prevent crime and/or keep kids safe. This is, more or less, the byproduct of adults acquiescing to the government's mandates, yeah?
>Finally, businesses that used to be popular hangouts for teenagers, such as shopping malls have become less welcoming, often having limits on when teenagers are allowed on the premises without a parent.
Well, this is only partially true. For one, you're not considering that malls, in the classical sense as we remember them, have been pretty much replaced by strip malls (unless you're in Europe). For two, this entirely negates swathes of teens who live "in the sticks", as it were, where the nearest town (much less, city) is 10km or more away.
I'd like to see a breakdown of these stats in an urban versus rural environment context and by social classes context.
I'd suspect that those whom are far more disadvantaged are quite more likely to meet-up in person than their more affluent counterparts. I'd also suspect that there's correlation between the urban and rural teenagers, as well, in terms of classes, which might lend directly back to whether or not they're more or less likely to meet-up in person (given the disadvantaged, who are more apt to live in rural areas, will probably have far few incidences of access to mobile phones).
We had a lot of parties. drinking, smoking, etc.
My parents were really upset with me later in life. I have always brought up to them The fact that they were allowed to drink at 18. There were bars that would accept them. They had places to go.
In 2008, me and my peers had nowhere to go. The choice is to either find a place to secretly meet, or don't congregate at all in your teens. The choice there is obvious.
Part of this is the ever increasing liability (real or perceived) of being in any proximity to somebody else's kids as a business owner or member of the general public.
This should be easy to check. If this is true, then it would be different in countries with different laws and customs. My impression (from what I read about it online) is that American parents and society tend to be much restrictive about freedom for their kids than parents elsewhere.
I certainly encourage my son (9) to go out more, but he just doesn't want to. He meets his friends online. I would love to give him a 4 day train ticket when he is 12 to travel the country on his own like I did at that age, but I doubt he'll be interested.
And the abundance of mobile phones just makes that sort of freedom easier, not harder. I think it's really just the addictive nature of computers and online interaction that makes meeting people in person less relevant.
i dont understand it personally
Its as if all the casual socializing has moved to digital.
Tell me a family that says " YOU BETTER BE HOME BY SUNDOWN "
Regardless of neighborhood...
I used to only come home for provisions and to prevent being grounded.
LET THE FUCKING KIDS PLAY. FORCE them to be outside and play. Period.
This is how you get nice things, like the internet.
I think we are more sensitive to these issues because there's less excuses (even 'traffic was bad' is less and less an excuse as we get ETAs, it needs to be something really bad happening to get sympathy).
We are more used to things being in sync (pre-checking shop opening hours or having average wait times for instance) and moving generally fast.
On your downtime, you would go to one of those locations and join the group already there, or loiter a little while until someone you knew showed up. If nobody showed up, you'd drift to one of the other locations and do the same thing. One out of 20 times you'd go home without seeing anybody that you were interested in hanging out with.
That's how a commons works, I think. The problem is a lack of a commons, and a suspicion of people in public who aren't currently in the process of shopping. The idea that in this alienated time I'd go to a particular restaurant where people go, drink coffee and just wait for somebody to show up that wanted to hang out almost sounds utopian or suspiciously foreign, but it was my life from probably age 12 to 24.
People who never flake out now gets a lot of respect from me since they respect my time.
This isn't unique, I grew up on the cusp of cellphone ubiquity, and I think it's that in the first few years after people have real latitude in managing their own time, there's a steep learning curve. In In my experience though, this started to change around 18/19 when people started to realize that being flakey isn't cool. Does it seem like that's happening/happened with your peer group?
It's a pretty dreamy albeit "canned" town, I never lived in a place that nice. Lots of cul de sacs and "mini malls" and "canned fun" places that are very walkable (unlike the poorer suburbs where kids have to cross 8 lanes of traffic to meet at a Shari's).
I noticed that before I show up at 5PM (I get to leave work early two fridays a month, yay!, the kids are sitting around on their phones. And when I leave at 7pm, kids just go home with their parents. First: few of them drive. WTF?! Then the weird part: there's a frigging movieplex down the street with a bunch of restaurants and TWO parks on opposite sides of the main E/W street... and they just ... go home. WTF.
Maybe they are lying to the adults in the room, but the parents claim they go home and text or play computer games all night.
Rad? I didn't need to drive in High School, and I still found plenty to do back in the 90s. Kids today have even more options.
> there's a frigging movieplex down the street with a bunch of restaurants and TWO parks on opposite sides of the main E/W street... and they just ... go home. WTF.
First, movie theaters are awful. Second, there's so much cool stuff to do once you get home! I can go home and play a space marine with my friends, or build castles, or ride dragons, or be the last one standing in any number of variations on king of the hill. I can jump online with my crew and be literally anything you can imagine. With tools like Roll20, I can tell stories and roleplay. I can watch Netflix with my friends online.
Restaurants are expensive. Parks are fun for a bit, but it seems pretty out of touch to say, "What The Fuck."
I think a lot of us deeply care about the future society that will cater to the people that are currently young. And it seems remarkably boring, superficial and for the lack of a better word, just devoid of anything fun.
In the end noone cares if this is a subculture (there were enough subcultures when I was in school i.e goths, metalheads etc), its more of a problem if this behaviour becomes uniform across all cultures and mainstream.
Yeah, sure, they aren't social in the same way you were. But you weren't social in the same ways your parents were either. Calling the younger generations antisocial because they've fully embraced technology as a core part of their identity smacks of patronism to me. Kids these days with their rock and roll, so antisocial!
That's the bit the old people don't understand.
Board games are fine, as would be video games in the same room as the other players. But online?
Note that the same worry would apply to a youth who spent all their free time reading alone in the past.
My high school apparently got complaints from neighboring homes that students were having sex in their bushes.
So, yes, changing social lives may be an issue, but it doesn't seem like it was easy before.
In my teenage years I played online games and had a group of online friends for years, some of which I am still in touch with regularly.
I don't understand how you get the boring bit though, partaking in outside activities does not make you interesting.
Wow. Just: wow.
I am eager to see how a generation that grew up in virtual reality deals with actual reality. So far it ain't lookin' so good.
Or you could just invite them to an online game and have fun right away.
What a privileged, demeaning tone. I don't understand this.
This is a very sad observation.
(as I sit at a computer, not looking at anyone, and type these words)
Anyway, I'm hardly surprised that kids aren't spending time with friends in person, because nobody likes spending time with people in person as default. In my childhood in the 90s, I did it only for events that require it, like board games or sports, or when the alternatives are boring or unavailable, like when I haven't had a new game to play in a while, or my sister was hogging the internet.
The separation has only increased as at-home activities have gotten less boring and more available, and as physical presence became less neccessary for social activities like games.
AIM was great, we could chat without having to be physically together.
Battle.net was great, we could play games without having to be physically together.
Xbox Live was great, we could play games AND chat at the same time without having to be physically together. (many fond memories of high school nights quizzing each other on history while blowing each other up in Halo 3)
Facebook was great, we could share stories and media without having to be physically together, and asynchronously as a bonus.
I am not convinced that face-to-face interaction is an inherent good. The last several decades of technological development have been the story of people striving to spend less time with each other physically. Especially given the article's proposed explanation that "friend groups meet on instragram now, and kids without instagram are lonely", the barriers to telecommunication are lower than ever before.
Or maybe we should cut this thread short and save the discussion for Linuxfest Northwest.
It's entirely possible that this is true for you, but generally speaking the precise opposite is true.
I think the inherent good is that young people understand social dynamics and how to read the non-verbal cues of others. I've noticed some, those who spend a excessive amount of time online, have a hard time translating their personality into IRL.
That's very far from true.
It's something I think about from time to time.
Maybe it's like eating your veggies.
Meeting together in person used to give me tremendous anxiety and as a result I would always vouch for taking the easy way out. In hindsight, I wish I had actually made more of an effort to hangout during my high school years because deep down I did enjoy those personal interactions. Nowadays I'm a lot more social than I was in the past and a lot more happier as a result too.
Even when people do venture out, it often seems to be for the sole purpose of collecting carefully planned and staged selfies that they feel will gain them more thumbs up clicks.
It's a sad situation, and I feel bad for the kids who are growing up in a world where this shit has a death grip on all of their peers.
I definitely think some of it also has to do with the level of control and protection we try to place on kids as well. It's just probably discouraging to kids or, worse, they sense their parent's fear that something will happen to them so they become afraid and ultimately pull themselves back from social interactions.
I wonder if kids also tend to feel more lonely because parents have also increased their smartphone usage. When I go out to restaurants, I feel like I am more likely to see entire families on their phones sitting around the table instead of talking with one another. That can't help either.
Graduating into GFC was terrifying.
I'm sure some were sheltered from it or blissfully unaware, but many were very aware.
not most teens.
Even with 1 year of economic stress, that's not going to suddenly make kids take a mature emotional perspective and feel less lonely.
- 2005-09: Meebo launches offering web access to AIM, WLM, Yahoo
- 2006-02-07: Google Talk integration inside Gmail goes live
- 2006-03: Nielsen/Netratings survey for active users: AIM 53M, WLM 27M, Yahoo 22M
- 2006-07-12: seamless interop starts between Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger
- 2006-09-26: Facebook opens up to everyone (not just colleges)
- 2007-02-14: Gmail opens up to everyone (not just invite-only)
- 2008-04-06: Facebook chat goes live
- 2008-04-19: Facebook overtakes Myspace in Alexa ranking
- 2008-07-11: iOS App Store launches, AIM for iOS released
- 2008-08-26: Facebook hits 100 million active users
- 2008-09-23: Android 1.0 launches
More (and sources) in my earlier posts .
 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13465483  https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11114518
But overall? In 2001 computers weren't ubiquitous nor portable. Middle-class kids were on IM on their desktops and maybe laptops for max a few hours per day.
Now kids have phones for IM all day and night.
I doubt it. How many high school seniors would have owned one soon after its release? Too much of an early-adopter luxury item.
I'd be curious to know when smartphones actually started became ubiquitous among older teenagers.
You can quibble about exact dates but it's pretty reasonable to take somewhere around 2008 as the year for online communications hitting some sort of collective inflection point.
But in my youth, also in a major city, I'd walk back from the movies or wherever with other kids around 1-2am all the time. You had to know which areas were lit and not stare strangers straight in the eye, but that's kinda normal, and certainly no one then felt walking was inherently dangerous. What world do we live in that a bunch of semi drunk adults can't handle the night for 2 miles?
No wonder their kids are spending their lives' quietest hours in front of a screen if that's the risk tolerance calibration of the parents.
Showing two graphs with opposite directions and claiming one is the cause of the other is not how one should present their claims.
It could be just the case that because of some other reason(s) teens spend less face-to-face time with their friends, and they spend more time on social media.
Beside, the second graph already shows high loneliness rates in 80s, too. Is this also because of social media which did not exist in 80s?
There can be so many other reasons for teens to feel depressed: economy, global warming, the increasing gap between rich and poor, mortgage crisis, and now student debt crisis, so on and on.
Please do not divert our attention to wrong reasons, or please make sure that you are really on top of your game.
> you still have to raise your child irl.
with the fact that increasingly I see children being strolled around with tablets mounted in front of their faces, by parents with phones in front of their faces. Imagine these strollers were self-guided, say, they were monitored and could tram children around the park while they played on their pacifying devices! I feel we aren't too far off. DJI could certainly make quite a nice stroller, I would imagine.
I recently had a baby, and we had to fend off MANY attempts to gift us battery (or plug) powered baby seats -- and still we ended up with a mamaRoo in our closet because my mother wouldn't take "no" for an answer. This is a device where you can strap your newborn in (!) and the chair will rock her for you, play gentle music either via the onboard memory or via Bluetooth, to soothe or quiet your baby for you. Behold the truly dystopian image on their product page. Our thinking was that we wanted to keep responsibility of this task for ourselves, along with the stress, thank-you-very-much, because we wanted to experience it and we wanted our baby to experience it -- physically. But still! There are emporiums, I came to learn, full of these types of gadgets that are designed to offload the burden of parenting.
With the sheer momentum of technology and the absolute hijacking of our attention spans, I can all-too-vividly imagine a world not far from now where raising your child can happen almost entirely by "remote". I fear this, of course, but I can imagine it.
But device time is robbing our children of the trials and frustrations and educational opportunities provided by the dirty, analog, political, unfair, painful and tangible-risk REAL world.
When I was growing up there was a declared difference between those with an academic education and a "street" education. Now it seems the difference is between the virtual social landscape and reality.
That's a swing. A fancy swing, but a swing nonetheless. We've had those for decades and before electricity cradles existed for probably as long as we had furniture.
they're actually ok for when you need 20 minutes to cook dinner or do some other small task.
> there are things that local (geographically) communities can provide that online communities simply can't
Identify this delta! It may just be the seed to the next big social network. :)
If your sense of "community" is so warped that you honestly believe this then I feel sorry for you.
What you're describing isn't a community at all, it's a bunch of strangers who happen to have something in common.
If your sense of "community" is so warped that you honestly believe this then I feel sorry for you. A community absolutely does not need to be geographically close in order to qualify as a community. Here's one of the definitions of community:
"a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals."
There are countless support groups, academic groups, professional and hobbyist networks, and other virtual communication platforms and meeting places that host communities of people that have never met in person.
Ideas & Beliefs aren't gonna change a stinky Diaper. Or Drive over to your house and take care of your kid for an evening when you are _BEAT_ down by life and need a break.
Maybe the rate of violent crime is roughly constant for time spent with others.
I don’t know if there is any easy way around this. I personally struggled with gaming addiction for the longest time and kept lying to myself that I was in total control. Looking back I feel sorry for all the kids who are sucked into the world of gaming now, especially when adults who grew up gaming themselves are nothing wrong with it. I tuned into a random twitch stream one time with this grown ass guy playing some mmo and his little kid came in the room and asked daddy to play with him. He just dismissed the kiddo and told him to go find mommy. Really fucking sad.
I think people are saying the opposite. When I think back at all the most fun things I did as a kid, a large chunk of them are totally unavailable to most kids now.
What is there for a kid to do outside now? Most of them could go outside and walk for hours in any direction and not find anything but rows of houses and roads. Likely all of their friends live so far away that walking there isn't an option.
Why play in the park when there may be no park you can get to without your parents driving you there and when you get there you find no one your age or that you know.
The OFC is not well understood, but it has been implicated in mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, etc.
I am judging this author very harshly for making up their own label for something everybody else already has a name for.
It appears that this dip in loneliness started as early as the late 90s when internet and cell phone technology was connecting us and enabling us to be more, deliberately, social. Perhaps in the late 90s to mid 00s we found the sweet spot for balance between social technology and loneliness. After the mid 2000s, Facebook became a thing, smart phones became ubiquitous, and user behavior was increasingly driven by non-deliberate means: notifications.
Notifications are making people miserable because its turned social into a fucking chore. You are less likely to have the social engagement you decided upon, and instead to have one generated for you by an algorithm.
It always was a chore, though, at least for anyone at all introverted. Even in the days before cellphones, I would sigh a sigh of relief when I could put down the phone. It was the same sigh when I closed the door after a visit from a salesperson or a service person. It's the same sigh of relief when I get home from a function at the city club.
Not every place you go in public is a place you feel at home to be your real, unguarded self.
Damn. Damn no really damn, the current generation doesn't fucking have the goonies. That's just so sad.
I think that is the key insight. Phone calls and instant messaging before smartphones meant that you had to make a deliberate choice to be available at a given time, and to give that communication most of your attention. When you wanted to stop, you simply logged off.
Now there is the expectation that you're always online so nobody wants to be the one to "bother" everyone and interrupt what they're doing. And you're constantly reminded of what you missed out on with the endless feed of everyone else's messages to each other.
So stay off social media. I do.
What I mean by this is that in order to seem like someone that others would want to hang out with, we present our best selves, making us appear more social than we are, thus those are the only versions anyone ever sees. People simultaneously know that they're not as social as they present themselves, while forgetting to assume the same about the version others present, thus they assume everyone is having fun without them.
That or I'm just projecting ...
Specially figure 5.4 makes it pretty clear: more internet hours = less happiness.
Does anyone think not giving them access to phones till they go to college and encourage them instead to play sports with neighboring kids help? (assuming both neighbor parent agree to this!) Is that any practical anymore?
Teens today seem very well behaved in comparison. But it seems like they don’t have much fun. We’ve given them outrage culture, a nanny state, and more restrictive schools though, so is this really surprising?
While I loved video games, I also rode horses or ATVs to see neighborhood friends and the area kids had large open spaces in which to explore and get up to mischief in.
My 9 year old son (admittedly not a teen) had a friend over, but at some point the friend went home because the two wanted to play together.
That sentence would have made no sense when I was a kid, but it's apparently how things work now. Blew my mind a bit.
A lot of more online possibilities also leads to a world where people do more things on their own.
Also it will cease epidemics easier and social anxiety.
i see my friends every other month if im lucky, but i play video games with them nightly. Friends i met in college that ended up moving away, but we still hang out and keep in touch online.
i used to have one friend that lived close by but he recently moved thousands of miles away, too. so now, 90% of my interactions with my friends is online.