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I may have chosen my words incorrectly, since in many ways I agree with you about the teenager's (or young adult's) thirst to make an impression in the world.

That said, there's a huge difference between wanting to be a creator, and actually creating stuff. In my experience, most young people quickly settle down into caring less about the acts of creation and self-expression, and focus more on 'making an impression' in their immediate peers. This path leads to obvious, uninteresting, facile, lazy, short-term, me-too, style-over-substance, meaningless creations that I can barely label as such.

Is it down to proper encouragement and guidance? For sure that must help a lot, especially when dealing with setbacks and lack of validation. But I believe there needs to be a level of inner dialogue and disregard for what's popular around oneself, that is a) at odds with the desire for teens to 'fit', b) rarely encouraged in practice in our society, and c) hard to sustain against the amount of noise (media, fashion, etc) we surround ourselves with.




>In my experience, most young people quickly settle down into caring less about the acts of creation and self-expression, and focus more on 'making an impression' in their immediate peers. This path leads to obvious, uninteresting, facile, lazy, short-term, me-too, style-over-substance, meaningless creations that I can barely label as such.

Of course- but one must give them time! They're barely starting to figure out how to interact with their peers and themselves, and you want them to create masterpieces on the side? "On n'est pas sérieux quand on a 17 ans!" ("We are not serious when we are 17" - Rimbaud had it right)

Everything in its moment; the important thing is that their creations should not be dismissed as "obvious, uninteresting, lazy [...]", because negativity is the mother of sterility.

> But I believe there needs to be a level of inner dialogue and disregard for what's popular around oneself, that is a) at odds with the desire for teens to 'fit', b) rarely encouraged in practice in our society, and c) hard to sustain against the amount of noise (media, fashion, etc) we surround ourselves with.

Some of them can figure that out on their own; some don't (and most are in between). That's where we come in as educators (which I believe every philosopher implicitly is [as in us, φιλόσοφος, lovers of wisdom- which is a description HNers rally under]) :)


The proportion of those under twenty that are interested in, to put it generally, 'creating things' has not significantly changed over the years. There will always be a large number that are passive, that simply want to be catered to.

The difference is that with the internet and social media we can actually see how large that proportion is. In the age of television, newspapers, and strictly controlled publishing you wouldn't hear from these people at all. They'd be invisible.

The ability of young people to interact directly with the creators they admire has never been greater and we're seeing a lot of achievement in that group that wasn't possible before. Instead of being shunned by publishers, these kids are just going it alone and self-publishing and in some cases, succeeding, something that would never have happened twenty years ago.

There always has been and always will be lazy people.




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