Remember when you were a moody teenager who thought your entire life was pain and you were the most significant and sad person ever? Yeah, so do I. We all do.
When you grow up, you start to forget about this process, but it's still going on all over the place. I see it at work fairly often, although obviously I can't share and specifics. But the place it is most apparent is on Tumblr.com
I conducted an experiment recently. I have added a picture from this post of an alarm clock that donates your money to a charity against your will while you snooze. It got re-tumbled a couple of times by different people.
I then added this picture to my Tumblr...
It was the most teenage angsty thing I could think of doing without having any idea of how to create gifs or do anything remotely artistic (otehr than drawing a crude stickman). The picture was retumbled numerous times within a short space of time by people I had never met. Proof alone that Tumblr is being used for teenage angst "I feel so sad" outlets.
I don't have any problem with this, it's a phase we all go through, but it does make me upset that it's so rife. It's almost a competition for who can be the most tortured or upset. The most disturbing picture I saw being retumbled by users was this one...
It's practically advertising cutting yourself as normal. It just makes me sad that this teenage sadness is so apparent. It also makes it difficult to work out which individuals are genuinely suffering from depression, and which ones are forcing it upon themselves in an effort to appear to have depth. The phrase depressed is being batted around by young people for anything from feeling a little gloomy to practically suicidal.
As someone who works with teenagers, these issues worry me. It is not healthy for depression to be something to envy in others. It's not something to aspire to. Clearly teenagers are entitled to express and feel however they want to feel, but perhaps this should be addressed more openly in schools and colleges. Also, perhaps there is something wrong with our education system if so many young people are feeling this way.