Cliques, gangs, posses, groups have all been a big part of teen culture. But now, more than ever, teens value the group mentality and the ideals of their friends.
Lets look at some of the facts of this culture:
Do you know the first day that you and your best friend became best friends? Many teens do, and they celebrate it just like a real anniversary with a couple. Friends are celebrating their friendships!
Don’t you love this? I used this term a lot in college when talking about Fraternity brothers who spent all of their time together as if they were being bromantic. The guy-guy time is becoming so important its sacred, sensitive and common.
Non-Sexual crush. I have a NSC on my friend Margo. She is awesome, I love spending time with her, I get excited when she calls…just like a crush, but I do not want to hook-up with her (sorry margs!). This is a popular term that defines the idea that friends even can become moderately obsessed with each other.
4) Constant Access
Many teens I know will leave on their ichat videos while they clean their room, do their homework, eat breakfast and will have four of their friend’s rooms on their screen. Why? Just because. They like to be able to have constant access into each other’s lives.
I have thousands of friends on Facebook..I don’t even know who some of them are. This phenomonen of constant friending gives rise to what I call Cotton Candy friends–very surface and meaningless relationships that leave kids feeling lonely.
6) Friend Dating
I have talked to kids who go on group dates all the time, but do not really have a concept of who is with who. But, everyone is on a date. Also it is becoming more and more popular for teens to go to Proms and dances with friends and in big groups.
Overall, this trend is calming my anxiety about the effect of superficial Facebook friending was having on teen social culture. At least teens are realizing friends are important and celebrating them!