Monday, October 29, 2012

Facebook & The Modern Teen

This Thursday marks day one of NaNoWriMo and I must admit…I’m rusty. Lately I’ve been doing little projects like poems, haikus, and a lot of internal brainstorming. Brainstorming that could be handy if I was, you know, writing it down. Shame on me! Anyway, back to the point. I snapped out of my self loathing while thinking about enhancing the credibility of my characters. In my last post I talked about the power of character quirks and in this one I’d like to touch on Facebook. Hold the phone! Yes, my friends, Facebook.

Before I deleted mine last week (long story…) I started noticing a lot of those annoying fan pages in my feed. They typically bear names such as “We Are Teens” or “That Is Teenlife” and post age specific content. It hasn’t been that long since I was a teen, but there are some things I’ve forgotten about like how crazy emotional love can be. Sure, we experience that as adults, but love is an Earth shattering topic for teens, often all consuming. Many of the images on these Facebook pages revolve around wanting and needing to be loved so desperately. They’re doodled images in a notebook about being young and free. Matching outfits and pep rallies. Knowing every lyric to a song that makes them feel out of control. Single or taken statuses or “what do you think about me?”

It’s all about affirmation and finding a place in this life. Regardless of what group we are casting our characters in, they all want the same basic things. Love. Acceptance. And this is why I think Facebook can be a handy tool for YA writers. When we get a little rusty and it’s hard to recall all of those restless, angsty years Facebook can portal us to that world. We may have to do a bit of digging, but it’s there. How are you relating to today’s teen audience? What outlets and social media are you using?

Thoughts? Opinions? I’d love to hear them!

1 comment:

  1. I have my diary from high school. Oh the angst! I can't believe how one little thing was sooooo monumental back then, but that's the teen brain for you. It's easy, as adults, to forget how tumultuous it was.

    Great post.