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JUDGING GEN Z

How negative stereotypes affect teenagers.

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JUDGING GEN Z

Jaycee Forell, Web Site

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Over the years, a teenage stereotype has occurred, one that negatively pushes forth teenage characterizations such as laziness and rebelliousness which can lead to some people losing trust in teenagers. In our small town of Sandpoint, we are no exception to this rule.

Sophomore Faith Clark says, “I do feel that some adults view teens in a different way based [on] the stereotype … most of the time they dont get to know us for who we really are and they think that all teens are the same in some way.”

Clark’s feelings are justified when you look into how the media has viewed our generation. According to Rachel Pancare, a writer on a parenting website, teenagers are rebellious and defiant, but this is only because of how the stereotype is pushed forth. In the major news involving teenagers today, the things that seem to gain the most attention in the news about teenagers are school shootings, drug or alcohol abuse, and technology addictions, only viewing the students who have snapped and not looking at this situation from all angles. This depiction of teenagers is neither accurate nor reasonable.

However, teacher, Conor Baranski, says that “Enough teenagers do the stereotypical things that it keeps the stereotype alive.”

Gen Z may be more prone to the stereotype because of their dependency upon the technological advances placed upon them by society. Gen Z is also known as iGen, the “i” referencing the explosion of internet in our generation. People complain all the time about teenagers’ excessive technology use, however, technology is also being constantly pushed on them by teachers and parents. With the amount of effort adults use to try to get teens to use the technology in their lives, it’s no wonder they have become addicted to the thing people most complain about with Gen Z, and with all this stereotyping each student is affected differently.

Clark says “I feel that [stereotyping] affects everyone’s life in some way or another, … even if an individual tries not to let it.”

Baranski agrees but also says “Plenty of teenagers don’t care or [aren’t] aware of the stereotypes.”

Obviously what Baranski says is true for many students who definitely don’t feel affected in any way because they just “don’t care.”  However, even if they don’t care, it could definitely hurt their job prospects. In a survey done by Demos, 80% of teenagers felt that stereotyping was preventing them from getting a job even though ⅓ of the jobs were entry-level. This just goes to show that these stereotypes are reaching them minds of everyone, even though we may not see.

Of course stereotypes run much deeper than we can see, influenced by the past and our habits in general. Since some stereotypes are habitual, it will be very hard to get past the idea that teenagers are unpleasant individuals. The stereotype may be fulfilled by several teenagers, but it is more of a matter of influence caused by societal expectations. If we really want to stop these stereotypes, the first thing we need to alter is our behaviour toward the subject. Only then, will we begin to see change.

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About the Contributor
Jaycee Forell, Web Staff

Jaycee Forell is a sophomore and it is her first year on staff. She is part of the web staff.

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