Being Noah Tesfaye #50: Teenage Things I Don’t Understand… as a Teen

I would like to consider myself an aware teenager. I like to keep up with what’s cool and what’s not, even when I genuinely don’t give to craps about any of that. And for the most part, I just understand and respect those my age for their favorite things to do and activities they participate in.

HOWEVER. No matter how much I attempt to make myself more understanding of teenage behaviors, I struggle to get these things. These are the things teenagers do that I, as a teenager, just don’t understand.

Private Instagram pages. Help me, please. Most of us have our own personal Instagram pages, where we don’t allow the public to see what we post. That’s expected. After all, I don’t really want the rest of the world to be super aware of cousins graduating or my dog passing away. But, most teens go even further than that with so-called “private” or “spam” accounts. Whether it’s memes or random wacky things we do our age, I just don’t understand it. I want to, but I just don’t get it. I know we are all insecure about things, and that’s totally fine to keep certain tidbits separate. But is there a point to having a whole sneaky, stealthy username that comes up only with your contacts? Maybe. But my ignorant teen mind maybe just doesn’t get it. I’m cool with it, but I just don’t get it.

What’s another thing I just don’t understand as a teen? Snapchat streaks. I totally see the point and respect the notion that I might want to stay in touch daily with certain people. I’ve had streaks with a couple people that would break every now and then, but for the most part, it didn’t matter a ton to me personally. But you know the side, 1/4 face look away standard streak message? I just don’t understand why we do it, why people my age do it. I remember how my brother got a couple of people to help keep his streaks while we were in Ethiopia last summer, and he was always paranoid every single day that he would lose them. I just don’t understand it. Most of my friends, to my knowledge, don’t really brag about how long their longest streaks are, nor do we discuss them out in public that much. So why do we do it? I honestly don’t know.

Another weird compulsion, which I am 100% guilty of, is whenever we share every single time we’re out and about with friends. I get this weird itch that for some reason, I need to post to my friends and show them that I’m with another friend. Does that mean I want to show off? Absolutely not, but maybe that’s just me. But for whatever reason, regardless of insecurity, I want to show people other people. I guess it really is my own insecurity, and you know what? Maybe I don’t really care. That’s why I stopped posting whenever I’m out and about, just cause I know the only people that I’m focusing on and caring about at that moment are the people I’m with, not whoever I am around.

Most of this stuff, not by coincidence, is all social media-centric. And for the most part, I want to help pull my focus away from that and the real world. I’m not going to say I’ll stop using Snap, Instagram, Facebook, and most certainly Twitter, but I think I could do more when it comes to understanding why I’m posting, or why I’m sharing whatever. If it’s because I find something cool and that others might be interested, you’ll see it. But if not, then there isn’t really a need to do anything with it. And that’s okay. Unless, of course, it’s to brag about coffee, in which, well, you’ve been warned…

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