5 Reasons Teenagers Are Terrifying

There is never a worse time in life than being a teenager or tween. Everything feels momentous. Your body is out of control. Your brain is a carousel of nightmares. Your friends are a-holes. Everything is the worst. You’re like a hardened inmate looking to get back at the people who put him away — you feel like you’ve got nothing to lose. I sympathize. We’ve all been there. (And obviously not all of you are like this.) But man, oh man, I get it. Being a tw/een is the suckiest.

And to the rest of us in society, you are freaking terrifying.

1. Mob mentality/ susceptibility to peer pressure

I’ve seen enough movies where teenagers goad each other into murder to know that whatever your friends — or like, the strongest alpha in the teenager group — tells you to do, you do. Have you guys seen the 2001 film Bully about a bunch of teenagers who murder their psychopathic teenage friend? That is a true story. It happened in my hometown.

There’s this dangerous game of escalation that goes on with teenagers. It’s animalistic in nature. So…base. They’re constantly one-upping each other. When I was a tween, I rode in a carpool with a few other tweens and teens and we just flat-out tortured each other. I had bruises, personal property was broken, every little thing was mocked — there was this delight in causing trouble and pain. But it was all because we each had an audience in each other. Separate, we were angels. Together, we were Hell’s Angels.

One teenager is scary enough, but when you see them in a pack like raging hyenas? I am not sticking around for what happens next.

2. Grew up on the internet

Teenagers now grew up on the Internet. They’ve seen things, man. They’ve seen Vietnam-level sh-t just sitting at home on their family computers. An average day was looking at pictures of dead bodies on Something Awful and then watching a porn clip where a woman sticks five dildos up her behind. And that was all after Math Club, but before piano lessons. Teens are totally desensitized and, subsequently, are probably all tiny sociopaths.

The only way for them to deal with everything they knew at such a young age is, I guess, to burn cats or try to get high from “smoking” banana peels. The Internet won’t teach you sympathy or remorse, teenagers. You’re all cold-dead robots now, thanks to the web.

3. Unpredictable behavior, yelling

Oh my lord, what is with the yelling? SO much yelling. All the time. Every place. Everything they say is shouted at such a volume I’m surprised spontaneous avalanches don’t just start around them. Whenever a teenager, or god forbid a group of teenagers, gets on public transportation with me, you can bet there’s gonna be some yelling. I see them board the train and I tense up like I’m walking through a live minefield. My eardrums prepare themselves to weep. I gear up for unpredictable screaming. “Just don’t make eye contact,” I think, shriveling into myself.

My theory is you’re so loud because you all want to have sex with each other, but you don’t understand what sex is yet. Being loud won’t drown out the sound of your rushing hormones, teens. WE CAN ALL HEAR YOU.

4. Everything is a disaster

You will never convince a teenager that what just happened wasn’t the worst disaster of all time, oh my god, please kill me, my life is over. I mean, even the smallest thing is an epic horror for the ages. Lizzie McGuire had a whole episode on the massive shame of buying a bra, which at the time, I was all, “Yes.” Now, I’ll buy a bra off the street in full daylight, who cares, it goes on your boobs, whatever. Talking to a teenager is like trying to rationalize with someone drunk off tequila — they’re these terrifying bundles of rowdy emotion and they can not be controlled or confronted with logic.

If you find yourself in the wake of a teenage meltdown, try…I don’t know, climbing a tree or playing dead? Basically the same steps for getting away from an angry bear.

5. Making me Feel irrelevant

In college, my roommate and I had an inside joke where whenever we saw a gaggle of teenagers, we’d stop and ask them, “You guys like the Jonas Brothers?” It was a funny reference to feeling out of touch with the youth — even as we were still technically youthful. It was an ironic “dad joke.”

These are becoming less and less ironic and more and more “I am actually on the same wavelength as my parents now.” I consider myself pretty savvy but pit me against my 19-year-old sister and I become a legit grandfather. Every time I see her, she’s got some new thousand songs I’ve never heard that “obviously everyone knows.” (I don’t know them, girl. I don’t know them.)

Don’t laugh at me, teenagers. I can’t handle your derision and mockery. How is it that I wasn’t cool when I was one of you — and I’m still not cool now? Ya’ll like hashtags?! YOLO! Do we still say “SWAG” or did Justin Bieber kill that? Is Justin Bieber still a thing? OH GOD SOMEONE KEEP ME FROM THE INEVITABILITY OF DEATH. IT APPROACHES. IT APPROACHES SO FAST. TC Mark


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  • SharpieLife

    While not feeling on the save wavelength as my parents when it comes to music and TV shows, and clothes. I certainly don’t feel like the standoffish teen anymore, in a way that I can’t relate to a Linkin Park song without feeling embarrassed that I ever thought it was deep or cool. I’m an adult, and there’s no conflict with my parents because they can’t tell me what to do and they say this now. I only graduated High School in 2007, and it surprised me how much things have changed, how much teens have changed in that short period. I’m not on the same wavelength anymore, and I really don’t think I want to be. I find teens annoying now, but I guess that’s how 20somethings saw me an my friends back then. I have a teen cousin who tries to key me in on the teenage cool, and I just ignore here because I just don’t care about what teens find cool.

  • Nadia

    “My theory is you’re so loud because you all want to have sex with each other, but you don’t understand what sex is yet.”

    Haha! Owned.

  • SaraLily

    I grew up on Lizzie McGuire and got maybe a bit too excited to see if referenced here!!! I miss that show!

  • Ace

    Teenagers are so stupid!

  • jessesummer


  • http://twitter.com/LegendxLM Marcus Ingram (@LegendxLM)

    Reason 1 is dead on. I live next door to a bar, that during the summer months turns in to a club for teenagers 16+. When the clubs closes at around midnight it turns in to a war zone. Rocks and fist are flying all over the place. I’m 6’4 270 lbs and I’m terrified to go out past midnight. I’ve seen them attack drunks from the neighboring bars, and bands, I’ve stopped a group from taking a guys guitar case after they smashed his car windows. I’ve seen these kid individually around the neighborhood, alone they seem harmless, together… Fucking monsters.

  • http://stefmagura.wordpress.com stefmagura

    I hate to think what I might’ve inflicted on the adults around me when I was a teen. I do remember that I was a lot more withdrawn at that time. I was also at a point where I was right and others were wrong.

  • http://twitter.com/heronkady10 Kady Heron (@heronkady10)

    Yeah this is so true I am now worrying about my 6 year old boy..
    Saving Thousands of People Hundreds of Dollars a month. Join the club today. Just click -> http://www.saversclub.us

  • Kayla

    I’m only 18 and I hate teenagers. I have always hated teenagers and their high school problems. I am fully aware that I went through the same things, thinking everything was the best or the worst it could ever be, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Teenagers, especially teenage girls, are just insufferable.

  • chrisitna

    the last paragraph was the funniest thing all day, thank you

  • http://twitter.com/Bealtaine6 chloe cass (@Bealtaine6)

    Best thing I’ve read on Thought Catalog in awhile.Loved the last paragraph especially :)

  • Indra

    great piece, gave me a good laugh :)

  • Ka.yt


  • http://postcardsandpaperplanes.blogspot.com/ KSB

    The next generation of teenagers are desensitized robots. We are “the Last of the Reals”.

  • Kitty

    Agreed with KA.YT, we’re not all like that! This was a pretty funny read though.

  • Taylor

    The only one that applies to me is number two. I attribute this to my introverted personality, however.

  • Ebun

    Please stop speaking about teenagers as though they’re a collective. Don’t let the activities of a few taint the way in which you view the many. We’re not all like that, most of us in fact dislike the teens that you’re talking about. But people always look for bad things, and that’s why those teenagers stand out. Every other teen who acts ‘normal’ is overlooked, when in fact we should be.

  • https://gratzke.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/what-is-me-me-is/ What is me? Me is… – Being a runner, reader and nerd in the same year

    […] People have been describing me my whole life as either one of two things. I’m stubborn and I’m loud. Neither of those sound very nice and I’ve heard from the nicest people. Now I could go on a rant about how horrible society has been to me but thats not what I want to focus on today. I want to focus on what it means to me. I mean after all, there are a ton of reasons to hate teenagers…and I don’t think I have too many. […]

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