4 Teenage Activities That Technology is Making Disappear
Photo by Scott Crawford To be fair, kids would probably still want to drive, if cars like this were easily available to them.
1. Fewer young people are driving.
One trend that's surprising to me is that a lot of young people are not buying cars, driving much, or even bothering to get a drivers license at all. Why is this surprising? When I was young, almost every kid I knew was just waiting until they turned 15 and could get their learner's permit. Being able to drive was a major key to teenage freedom, and a huge rite of passage for me and most of my pals.
The number of teenagers driving climbed steadily until peaking in 1983, when 72 percent of them got driver's licenses. Today, only a little over 50 percent do, and the number is projected to fall over the next couple of decades. There are lots of reasons that this is thought to be happening, including economic factors such as rising fuel costs, but it's also clear that owning a car does not have as much social significance to many younger people that it held in past generations.
They are increasingly moving to urban areas where walking or biking is a viable way to get around, and mass transit is an option as well. Owning their own vehicle may seem unnecessary or even an expensive hassle. Online socialization also plays into this trend. As more and more of our interactions with others take place online, teenagers no longer have to drive to places like the mall to hang out with their peers. Instead they can just hop on Facebook and enjoy as much social drama as they can handle, from the comfort of their own room.
It seems clear that the ways people socialize and play are changing dramatically, and will continue to do so. These changes are not limited to young people of course. Almost everyone seems to be on social networking sites or spending time interacting with others online, but it is most obvious to me noting that so many of the things I grew up with are either disappearing entirely, or becoming much less important to today's youth.
Now please excuse me while I hop into my Trans Am and head on down to the arcade.