What's up, guys? Here I am, back with ANOTHER post not related to books (I promise book posts are coming, I'm just lazy).

The idea to write this post came to me when for what felt like the umpteenth time I walked down the street staring down at my phone, daring strangers to judge me. I try and avoid doing this as a general rule because firstly it's dangerous and also older strangers seem to always be in a mood to judge. But sometimes I just can't be bothered caring, and after checking the way is clear I will do so. I do this a lot going down the stairs outside my local library (weirdly enough I think walking down the stairs while staring at your feet is safer than walking along the street looking at your phone?).

Basically what I'm trying to get that is I am, for the most part, a responsible teen and I think being a teenager, I am immediately classed as "troublesome" the second someone sees me on my phone. I don't think this is fair to me or any of the numerous people I know who are amazing and mature. In a way, teenagers are expected to be perfect, and if not then we are immediately the bad guys in every situation.

Now that that rant is over, I will list some common stereotypes which I think aren't true/should be demystified! I didn't really plan this bit of the post so I have no idea how it's gonna go, but anyway. Just a note: I apologise if any of this offends anyone, I'm not trying to hit back at people but the topic has been something that I've been meaning to write about for awhile and I'm sick of being judged by my age. So enjoy my 1.4k word essay I suppose??

1. teenagers are all in cliques/fit a stereotype

This is a big one for me. I think a group of girls hanging out in town is often judged by the fact that they are a group of girls. Not all of these groups are 'popular' and there just for attention. For example, a good friend of me was once riding a free bus with some of her friends to the botanical gardens (the bus service was run by the museum) and the bus driver refused to let them off until they paid for the free bus. She only had ten cent coins on her, and so she paid with those but the driver was like "you must have more money than that for your shopping escapade" which made zero sense since they were going to the botanical gardens, not a mall. What made it worse is that there was a family behind them on the bus who were let off with no hassle, and they also didn't stand up for the girls.

It's unfair to judge people by their clothing, who they're hanging out with, and how much they look at their phone. If this isn't acceptable in wider society why do so many people think it's fine to judge teenagers like so? Also, come on. Most of the ones that judge the harshest are old ladies and it may have been a long time ago, but they were once teenagers too. I think in this judging, while it isn't always deliberately meant to cause hurt, a bit more consideration of teenagers' feelings would help.

2. teenagers are all addicted to their phones, social media, taking selfies

Now this is just blatantly untrue. I know many people who don't even have smartphones, and the vast majority of my friends don't even have the common social media like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter. And even if they do, so what? I don't think social media influences your personality; it's how you use it that matters. In a world where internet access is easy and often more worthwhile than texting, not having social media can make it a whole lot harder for people to be able to contact you. 

Phone addiction isn't uncommon, but then again many adults are in the same boat. It isn't all that different from any other addiction and definitely isn't the most serious addiction one can have. All I have to say to this one is, why does it matter? If you look down on phone addiction then that's the same as thinking you're better than them.

Selfies. A trend which has, I feel, died down a bit in recent years, though there are still news reports of all the people who have died trying to get the 'perfect' selfie. While I certainly agree that doing such a dangerous and risky thing shouldn't be encouraged, usually there isn't anything wrong with the average selfie. So what? It's a photo. People fill entire albums with these things. What's so different about a selfie that makes it so dislikable?

3. teenagers are lazy and self centred

Procrastination plays a big part in this stereotype I think. We've become a generation of procrastinators, and I'm not going to ask whose fault this is; it doesn't really matter. But procrastination is present in even the most productive and motivated people. What I'm trying to say is that everyone can be lazy, and teenagers aren't an age bracket where everyone suddenly becomes lazy and stops being lazy once they reach the age of twenty.

Similarly, anyone can be self centred, not just teenagers. I think it could be more likely when one is in this age range because they haven't learnt all the lessons of life yet and hormones can make it feel like your world is collapsing, etc; it is natural to be a little self centred during this time because your brain makes you feel like everything is about you. But the key is to realise: not everything about you. The world doesn't revolve around you. Getting back to the point, I'm not arguing that teenagers aren't centred; we as a group certainly are, and I can testify to that. But I also think we should be cut some slack because it's very much a phase that most will grow out of.

4. teenagers are irresponsible and rebellious

This is something I laugh at quite a bit. There are definitely both sides of the spectrum, but I like to keep my feet firmly on the responsible side of the line, as do my friends. A bit of rebellion is natural, but if it becomes anything serious that's more a result of upbringing/mentality than age. Irresponsibility continues for some all throughout the twenties and while it is just a phase for some I think this is more to do with personality than anything else.

5. teenagers are unintelligent and bad with spelling, grammar

While I admit this one is becoming increasingly true with the common use of lowercase 'i's, the use of all lowercase for aesthetic (I am guilty of this one but I refuse to ever use the lowercase 'i' standalone in a sentence!!) and mixing up words like "your, you're", "they're, their, there" and other common homonyms that does not mean all teenagers are unintelligent. I'd argue there are groups of teenagers who are extremely intelligent and will become the next generation of world leaders, and their personalities and habits aren't represented by the general population.

Another big one for me is being treated as a child. From a young age, I've been more mature than most my age and when trying to initiate 'adult' conversations with older people around me, such as teachers, I've been shut down because they don't think I have the capability to hold those kinds of conversations. For me that's been a massive knock on the head and I felt discouraged from speaking my mind or learning about important issues. Especially as people reach the teen years, it's important to stop treating teenagers as children. We are not. Many of us are extremely passionate about one issue or another, and some are even creating change in amazing ways. We are more than capable of holding a conversation about serious issues and it is a discredit to you if you don't believe that.

So I end this post on what hopefully is a high note: please stop treating teenagers like rebellious, arrogant, ignorant, unintelligent individuals. Thank you.

Do you think teenager stereotypes are overly played up? Are there any additional points you'd make?