September 06, 2010

WaPost states obvious (yet again) regarding tech and teen life

Once a technology-trend hits the front page of a newspaper; the, so-called, "trend" is simply commonplace. The newspaper company is trying to go assimilate into the zeitgeist of the 21st century. Ultimately they are months, in many cases, years too late.

Take the lovely Washington Post. I suppose they need a laughable article to cope with their tacky front-page layout. But of course, the article needed to be about teen life and that, pathetic attempts to try to show how horrid and intoxicating technology is on this young generation and how every damn moment must be spent reading a book or living life as if it was the heydays of grunge.

The story is about a new, "hip", and "modern trend" in terms of grounding teenagers for when they do idiotic teen activities, or as they call it: having fun and chilling. Facebook, texting, not Twitter and PlayStation 3/XBOX 360 have long been the culprits of teens being punished for poor grades, bad behavior, and so on and so forth.

So much that tech blogs, probably Mashable, and other social news sources/online newspapers have long printed identical stories to the newest Washington Post front-page headline about it. Which in itself came out today.

Speaking on behalf of the laughable journalism the Post does on technology, lets get into the title that takes longer to read than to make an obvious judgement on the useless article: "A new-age twist on the age-old parenting technique of grounding."

I'm not going to even both proving commentary on that. It goes without saying how way too damn wordy the headline is. But lets just get into the opening paragraph of this story:

"Not so long ago, teenagers in trouble got grounded. They lost their evenings out, maybe the keys to the family car. But lately the art of family discipline has begun to reflect our digital age."

They might have gotten away with it two or three years ago, but the fact of the matter is, social networking has been commonplace in youth–and adult–society for quite sometime now. Texting even longer. Some of the quotes provided by the parents and teens make the story even more stale, and corny to a new extreme.

Harvard psychologist Richard Weissbourd tells the most that it's the modern version of grounding for starters. Another evident statement piled into a rather dated article.

Along with comedy provided by the story for its obvious statements, comes to the sheer inaneness provided by one of the teens. Not going to provide the name other than Ian, but because of his bad grades he couldn't use social networking. He whines and complains that he wasn't used to sending emails and probably had no idea of what a phone plugged into a wall actually did.

Could be sad, but lets be real. Most teens use email still, except the idiotic preteens and tweens who feel rebellious making Facebook prior to their 13th birthday and "like" any page that expresses their useless desires.

But it's a building story! Ian learns his lesson! Horray! AWESOME! Let's celebrate. NO. He cautiously uses his technology privileges.

Follow Ian's story there's a story about a girl named Chelsea Welsh (obviously a fake name) who would only get technology taken away based on the degree of heinousness of her crime. Then, the tween twins who can't play JellyCar 2 or Angry Birds on their fancy iTouches until they make their beds and do their chores.

Look, my point is this: So many people I know, myself, and my brother always have to do little chores and favors before we are "privileged" to stare at screens or tap away on our phones, and usually if we screw up Internet, computer, text, and all gets taken away first. Washington Post is just way too late in writing anything about it. Must have been too little to write about. It's not like anything important in the World's occurring right now.

About the Author

Tyler Walter

Author & Editor

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