10 Weirdest Trends for Teens in 2010

We are kicking off the new year with a ton of cool posts.  One post I wanted to write was about some odd and flat out bizarre trends and behaviors I am seeing in teens in 2010.

1. Daylighting

I actually love this trend.  This is a play on Moonlighting when people take a second job to supplement their income. Daylighting is when people take day jobs (or regular jobs) to supplement their living they make at night. Typically this is writing, painting or acting.  It is a way of switching the focus from “I am a waiter and act on the side” to “I am an actor and wait on the side.” This is hugely popular for teens and twenty-something entrepreneurs and artists who need to work ‘mainstream’ jobs during the day to keep their alternative, and more fulfilling night lifestyle.

2. It’s Social to Be Sad

When did it become cool to be sad? It is way cooler right now to love the rain than the sun.  Complaining seems to be the new social lubricant–teens use it to start conversations, build relationships and bond.

3. Not Slackers, Sprinters

I always here older generations call Gen Y’s (me) and Gen Z’s (teens and tweens) procrastinators.  I want to make a correction here.  It is true, many of my generation put off work and sometimes do not get it done at all, yet I find that we are more bursty than previous generations and this can be leveraged! Instead of working long hours with slow progress, you see teens today working in bursts, quickly and effectively but in shorter time. Think sprinters rather than long distance runners.

4. Intergeneration Gaming

I recently heard a mom say that she has to play video games while the kids are at school to ‘level up’ and catch up to them so they can all play on the same level when at home. The Wii has also made it cool for parents and kids to play games together. When dad travels, he logs onto World of Warcraft and bonds with his son via WOW chat instead of calling home.

5. Sheepwalking

Unfortunately many teens are desperately searching for their passions and ultimate meaning.  When they can’t find it, many of them give-up and follow the corporate, parental or counselor written path.  I call this sheepwalking…following what is in front of you because it is where you are supposed to go and often inducing sleep from the creativeless and mindless work you do.

6. Awkward is the New Normal

I asked a few of my teen writers what they thought of Michael Sera (I thought awkward, geeky, funny) they said “Hot!” Awkward is the new normal, according to my sister, a freshman in college, the most awkward guy on her hall “Awkward Brian” is also the most popular.

7. 3rd Life

1st life is a kid at home, 2nd life is a kid’s life at school, 3rd life is a kid with their friends and now there is 4th life.  The complete area or a kid’s life that deals with netiquette, e-tact, online photos and chat. They have favorite areas they hang out in online (like the cafeteria at school, the living room at home and the ice rink in town), people they like only for online social time and persona’s and reputations they display on their profiles.

8. Old School is New School

I wrote a post on this rising trend: New (or Old) Teen Trend: Oldies and Nostalgia When one of my teen clients proudly showed me her Sesame Street sheets. Slinkies, Bedazzlers and Slap bracelets will be on everyone’s Christmas list next year!

9. Grandparents

I know this sounds weird (these are the weirdest trends), but more and more teens are talking about, visiting and honoring their grandparents.  I see this in a number of ways:

-Teens get a kick out of teaching the generations of yesteryear how cool their new gadget is.  Parents are burnt out, friends already have it too, but grandparents give the right amount of genuine oohs and aahs because they really have never seen an iPhone do that.

-“My Grandma is hogging the Wii” one of my teen interns said when chatting with me about how she can’t play her Wii, but loves watching Grandma.  Grandparents also have time for kids and can even be more open-minded than parents.

-Retro is in! Raiding or cleaning out Grandma’s garage or attic has never been more exciting with the recent popularity of vintage and old school tshirts coming in this year.

10. Cuddling for Funsies

Funsies is a new word I hear teens use a lot, it is just a variation on fun, but implies a smaller joy. Cuddling is the new hug. You see purely platonic teens at school often cuddling up against each other in the hallways at school or on the couch during a movie. Again, just for funsies.

You got any big predictions?

Our Sponsor This Week:

Frog or Prince? The Smart Girl’s Guide to Boyfriends.
By Kaycee Jane

“A prince is a metaphor for a healthy relationship, a frog is the opposite. When we know better like what to expect from a relationship—what needs we deserve and how we deserve to be treated—we’ll all make better choices.”

Our teen reviewers LOVED this book at Radical Parenting, we highly suggest you buy it for the teen or tween girl in your life!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “10 Weirdest Trends for Teens in 2010”

  1. Ashley
    January 31, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    On #6.

    First, small typo. It’s Michael Cera.

    Second, my response would be that awkward is not only the new normal, it’s the new ideal. The examples that immediately come to mind are the sensation that was Napoleon Dynamite and “hipsters.” Napoleon Dynamite was absolutely huge when it came out. This small, indie flick with relatively no big stars was an instant favorite. In the movie, Napoleon is ultimately celebrated for being himself, his completely socially awkward weird self, and letting all hang out there for everyone to see. He said, I’m going to do what I want and whatever, like it or not. This idea – I’m gonna go what I want and either you like it or you don’t – has always appealed to teens. I think it’s the badassness of it. The check out my private rebellion thin.

    Now, with “hipsters,” there’s even a term for kids who feel like they always have to be doing something different. Finding the next best thing before anybody even got tired of the last thing. And, from this idea, stems a whole new idea of cool.

    At least for me, in a given situation it would be cooler to be the kid “dancing to the beat of his own drum” then the kid that so seamlessly fits in with the “cool crowd.” In the end, the leader of the “cool crowd” is gonna be the kid that figures out what’s cool before it IS cool and then has the cajones to pull it off.

    It would seem that awkward is not the new normal. Awkward is the new cool.

  2. Vanessa Van Petten
    February 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    So true and thank you for this addition, Ashley. I loved Napolean Dynamite and I think you are right in it being the catalyst for this trend.

  3. Robert
    August 16, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Okay wow. This is slightly accurate but it’s not how it is. It’s not “social” to be sad. Alot of teens are actully sad. But since emo started people are more accepting about coming out and not stuffing there feelings in. And I actully laughed at the generation thing. This has been happening since stereo came out. Also video games? That’s a trend for everyone. My dad is 59 and has been playing video games since they first came out. It’s not a teen thing. Your way of putting everything is shallow and misleading.


  1. Guest Post on Radical Parenting: Pursuing Passions « The Scene Partner - February 8, 2010

    […] recently wrote a post on the top weirdest teen trend predictions for 2010. The first one is not as much weird as it is awesome! I’d never heard of it until I read this […]

  2. Bizarre trends bij jongeren « Is het nu generatie X, Y of Einstein? - February 9, 2010

    […] trends bij jongeren 10 02 2010 Onder het label 10 Weirdest trends for teens in 2010 verzamelt Vanessa van Petten van Radical Parenting, wel euh, 10 voor haar vreemde trends. Nu, […]

  3. Some More Links for Everyone! « being jake wood - February 11, 2010

    […] 10 Weird Trends for Teens in 2010 An interesting read for parents and anyone who works with teens […]

Leave a Reply