The Future of the American Teen

As this video shows, the idea of the "teenager" is only about 65 years old, dating back to the years that followed World War II.    Before the War, you were a kid until you were an adult.  For many kids, adulthood began between 14 and 17, when you got a job to support your family, or you started a family of your own.

But here's the question:  what is the future like for teens?

With higher education costs spiraling out of reach for many families and jobs harder and harder to find, what are teenagers going to do?  Is there life after high school, or will adulthood now begin the day after high school graduation.

In many ways, your generation is in a "Golden Era" of teenager-dom.  Multiple media outlets provide entertainment targeted to your interests.  Movies, clothing retailers, Internet apps seem to go out of their way to make your teen years meaningful (and expensive).  Compared to this, the teen years of your parents' and grandparents' generations were relatively boring and tame.  Your great-grandparents were the last American generation without teen.

What do you think being a teenager will be like for future generations?  Will it involve school, relationships and jobs to the same extent that it does today?

Watch the video below, and leave your feedback.

Here's my take:

I see the teen years getting longer, not shorter, with "kids" finishing college in their mid-to-late-twenties with generous breaks in between for travel, work and volunteerism.  In the future kids will each English in Korea for a few years, volunteer with a church mission, or take a job as a teacher's aide before they "grow up."

What do you think?  I can't wait to learn...


  1. I would think that the future teens will be able to have more technology. The teens may or may not be able to get all the information and knowledge that we get now but they will learn other different things. Instead of things like Science or History, the government believes that knowing how to type correctly and how to work or fix a computer is more important.

    I think that later in the future, technology is much more important than other things. It would be completely different than the education system we have now.

    I have read a book series called Bar Code Tattoo that talks about how in their future, you need a bar code tattooed as soon as the teenagers turn 17. No one takes a credit card anymore for anything if you're 17. You would have to buy things with the bar code tattoo or rarely with the credit card. I don't really know if that would happen but I highly doubt it would go that far.


Post a Comment