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Teens May Just Need Some Time to Think

With so much information thrown at them, a little break could do wonders.

Key points

  • Constant input from social media, video games, and entertainment can leave little time for anything else.
  • Teens are especially prone to concentrating on social media to the exclusion of other priorities.
  • Creating space for adolescents to give thought to what they find important can help them make better choices.

Today’s world has so many options available to us when it comes to keeping our brains occupied. With social media, hundreds of TV channels, and a constant stream of entertainment, what chance does sitting and contemplating our futures have in our lives? As a result of this barrage of information, we are constantly in a state of mental stimulation from sources that occupy our mind. As a result, we often don’t spend a lot of time sitting with our thoughts and thinking about what matters to us.

This can be especially true for teenagers. Teens are still figuring out who they are and what’s important to them. Without taking the time to think about what matters to you, it’s easy to stay occupied day after day with video games and other time-consuming pursuits that keep our minds constantly focused on entertainment from morning to night. This can get in the way of a teen figuring out exactly who they are and what’s important to them. It can also hinder their ability to create a plan for their futures as a result of not having the time to truly think about what inspires them and motivates them.

The Times Have Been Changing

It's quite a different world now than it was just 30 years ago. The past few decades have dramatically altered our society. With the emergence of the internet and being able to access just about everything we ever wanted to know at our fingertips, the world has gotten a lot faster. Adding to the rush are the thousands of entertainment options available. Whether it’s 24-hour-a-day music streaming, social media, immersive video games, or binge-watching shows, it’s easy to see that someone can become so absorbed, they may not spend much time thinking about what really matters to them.

Sometimes the greatest advances in a person’s thinking come from their downtime or being bored. Sometimes this can lead to exploring their feelings and thoughts about their lives. It seems that with the barrage of information available every minute of the day, the amount of time available for contemplation continues to shrink.

Source: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels
The media choices we have can occupy a teen's mind all day long.
Source: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels

The Value of Ideas

People who had to generate their own interests to occupy their time often became more creative. As a matter of necessity, they had to find ways to entertain themselves or figure out what interested them. Currently, there is no need to do this, as there are hundreds of websites ready and willing to entertain people without much investment from them. While this can feel good at the moment, it doesn’t help a person truly reflect on their own future and goals. It can get in the way of truly contemplating what really matters and what they want to pursue in their life.

This can be especially difficult for teenagers. Teens want to fit in. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. As a result, they're often less likely to take the time away from their entertainment and social pursuits to truly sit back and decide what works for them. They are rushing 100 miles an hour toward their futures and may not be slowing down long enough to consider their choices. That’s why it’s so important for teens to recognize the value of taking the time to truly give thought to their futures. When teens are willing to take a break from the barrage of information coming at them, they can actually look inside themselves to discover their own feelings and goals. In this way, they can give themselves the space they need to actually explore what is important to them and create goals for what they ultimately want in their lives.

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