We were asked this week to make a Pinterest board with pictures of things that appeal to youth. This has been my first attempt at creating a board though I have seen many created by my eighteen year old daughter and she has promised to help me. Pinterest is one of her favourite things. She uses it more than Facebook and finds it a lot more satisfying.
She suggested I try not to stereotype youth but instead to examine the broad range of things that interest them as they search for meaning and try to work out who they are and where they fit into the world. How do I do this, I wondered? She suggested I look at doing Indi, Hipster, bohemian, etc searches and see what I could find. This proved to be a bit overwhelming. So many images. And always in my mind the question, do these images reflect things that actually interest youth or are they the things we as adults impose upon them? Because we have certain ideas. We have stereotypes of youth. Some include seeing youth as rebels, because youth is such a crazy time of experimentation, of discovery, of pushing the limits to see how far we can go. Such a time of excitement, of uncertainty, of fun and freedom, of longing to fit in, of longing to stand out. So many questions. So many places to look for answers. But like the teenagers themselves, deciding what direction to take is the hardest thing and the thing that causes the greatest anxiety because it will hugely influence where I end up…
I’m actually finding this task so much more difficult than I first imagined. The sheer amount of material on Pinterest is overwhelming me and I’m finding it very difficult to decide what pins to include. There is indeed a huge diversity of things that teenagers like just as there is a huge diversity of teenagers themselves. Even just looking at the teenagers in my own home, there would be vastly different things pinned on their own pages if I gave them the opportunity to pin their favourite things. Even my two boys, aged 16 and 14 would be very different. Perhaps I’ll explore this in a later post if I have a chance.
Anyway, here’s what I’ve come up with – neither an exhaustive or an authoritative list, but a few ideas to kick around: