Influences: can we control them?

Teens aren’t always to blame for their decisions

Influences+are+everywhere+in+the+lives+of+teenagers%2C+according+to+a+study+done+by+parentfurther%2Ccom.+The+problem+arises%2C+however%2C+when+adults+use+those+influences+against+us.
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Influences: can we control them?

Influences are everywhere in the lives of teenagers, according to a study done by parentfurther,com. The problem arises, however, when adults use those influences against us.

Influences are everywhere in the lives of teenagers, according to a study done by parentfurther,com. The problem arises, however, when adults use those influences against us.

Photo by Infographic by Madeleine Lawler

Influences are everywhere in the lives of teenagers, according to a study done by parentfurther,com. The problem arises, however, when adults use those influences against us.

Photo by Infographic by Madeleine Lawler

Photo by Infographic by Madeleine Lawler

Influences are everywhere in the lives of teenagers, according to a study done by parentfurther,com. The problem arises, however, when adults use those influences against us.

Madeleine Lawler, Co-Web Editor in Chief

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In our 21st century world where we tell young children they can be anything they set their minds to, it’s important to tell teenagers that they can still control their lives as well. Adults need to remember that although we are getting older, we are still children: and our actions are still shaped by our influences. In other words, what we do isn’t entirely our fault.

Teenagers run into countless influences every day: parents, social media, movies, textbooks. Just like younger kids, these experiences transform our lives and decisions, forever impacting our futures. The problem arises though, when we, as teenagers, are blamed for the very things that influenced us in the first one place.

Take vaping, for example. Juul aggressively used social media, celebrities, and flashy new flavors to hook in teenage users. With vaping now on the rise, many adults are quick to blame the teenagers, completely ignoring the brands and companies that are making fortunes from brainwashing teens. Yes, as teens, we are old enough to make our own decisions. But the ads, the marketing, and the lack of information are things we cannot control. In fact, a recent study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that 66 percent of teen vapers believe their e-cig is just flavoring. If 7 out of 10 high school students are being exposed to Juul ads that provide this false information, it’s no wonder that vaping has become the new teen trend. Although adults do have the right to blame us for making these bad decisions, they have to consider the influences that led us there as well.

When it comes to teen personalities, some adults are quick to ignore what influences the person too. In elementary school, a school bully was often forgiven for what he/she did. The adults took into account the parents, living situation, and other factors that led the kid to become a bully. But as teenagers, this same thing doesn’t happen. Many adults characterize us as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, with an attitude that we are too late for saving. Not many people stop to think about what actually influenced a teenage bully, because he/she is “old enough to know better.”

That’s not to say that our negative influences can’t push us to strive to be better and pursue success.

All in all, there is a somewhat double standard when it comes to considering teenage influences. We are told we can be anything we want to, but adults act as if who we are in high school is who we’ll be in life. We are told that negative influences like friends, movies, and advertisements will ruin our lives, but when they do, it is our fault for letting them in. We are told to be our own person, to not let the decisions of others affect our success. But when it all comes down to it, we are in reality being judged by our influences, not by how we handle them, and until this is changed, our influences will continue to get the best of us.

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