Brain Game: What are the things adults get wrong about teenagers today? (Round 2)

  • Our weekly writing competition starts with 10 participants, who are eliminated one-by-one based on your votes – who will you choose?
  • This week, contestants share how they feel misunderstood by adults – from their use of electronic devices to their distaste for harmful jokes
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Adults don’t seem to understand why teens use technology, or why they need emotional support. Graphic: Shutterstock

Read through the responses to this week’s Brain Game prompt, and choose which answer you like most. Based on your votes in the Google form below, we will eliminate one contestant from the competition.

Contestant 1

Has this ever happened to you? You’re talking to your parents when, suddenly, they tell you to stop talking back.

If you have experienced this, you know how bad it feels. Adults, we’re not trying to be rebellious. We only want to show you what we think even if you don’t want to listen. We don’t mean to bicker with you – we just want you to understand us.

Contestant 2

Many adults perceive Gen Z as being too vulnerable. Nowadays, many teenagers are stressed and anxious because of academic pressure and interpersonal issues. In Hong Kong, more than half of some 3,600 secondary school pupils showed signs of depression, according to a poll in October 2021.

Adults blame us for not being tough enough to handle our emotions. But in uncertain times, all we want is empathy and emotional support from our parents.

Contestant 3

Adults usually think that online friends are not real friends. But in fact, friends who are online are the same as real-life friends – they have something in common and would like to share it with each other.

Besides, when it comes to friends, it doesn’t matter where you met – it’s the emotional connection that counts. Online friends can have an unbreakable bond because the anonymity of the internet can help them share their true feelings.

Contestant 4

Parents constantly discourage teens from worshipping celebrities. “Don’t spend time on these useless things!”

But is it really useless? I have learned how to speak Korean and edit photos, and I have become more eager to talk to strangers. More importantly, parents shouldn’t deprive us of relaxation amid our stressful academic lives. Communication is the key to maintaining a good relationship with our parents while pursuing our hobbies.

Contestant 5

A common misconception about teenagers is that their mood swings are mere exaggerations. This has led many people to reduce teens’ problems to insignificant products of their overflowing hormones.

Although biology is partially responsible for how young people act, this doesn’t invalidate the difficulties and hardships they face, let alone their emotions. Because of how they are neglected by some adults, teenagers often feel misunderstood and fall into hopelessness, which can harm their mental health, too.

Contestant 6

Adults always think we can’t take jokes and that we are super sensitive about everything. But that’s not true – we just don’t like disrespectful jokes! It is disgusting that people expect us to laugh when they say these horrible “jokes”.

They should not even try to brush it off by saying it is just a harmless joke. Homophobic, transphobic, sexist and racist jokes are just unacceptable. Words can be powerful weapons.

Contestant 7

Adults are wrong about how teenagers use mobile phones, video games, the internet – and the list goes on. They often believe these things are a waste of time and assume that teens will become so engrossed in the virtual world that their studies will suffer as a result.

However, teens have been at the forefront of the rapid adoption of modern technology and novel ways of networking – from freshly-launched consumer products to up-and-coming social media platforms, just to name a few. Isn’t this how teenagers are contributing to the community?

Contestant 8

Adults believe that when teenagers use their electronic devices, they must be playing video games. However, they do not understand the role of our electronics. Our phones, computers and tablets can be used for research, homework and even communication, especially as face-to-face classes have been suspended.

Most adults do not understand this since they didn’t have to use the internet to study in their time. Therefore, teenagers are usually misunderstood when they are using phones.

Contestant 9

Adults always think teenagers are addicted to video games and social media because technology is developing so quickly.

The thing is, we also have other hobbies and interests, for example, reading or playing sports. I wish that adults wouldn’t be so sensitive about this. It can get annoying when they keep telling us not to spend so much time on our phones and laptops.

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