Tag Archives: teenagers

What Is Progress?

What is this thing
Called progress? I asked a girl, who stood alone,
But her phone
Did ring
And technology (the king)
Who rules all
Led her to answer that call.

What is progress? I asked a teenager sitting at his laptop.
He answered me not
For he was engaged in the plot
Of a game in his bedroom
Which he played long into the gloom.

What is progress? I asked the statistician.
She gave me rhemes of data to analyse
Which led me to pedition.

What is progress? I asked my dog as he lay in the sun
He did an answer lack
But rolled on his back
Just for fun.

What Does It Mean To Be A Teen?

What does it mean
To be a teen?
At sixteen one may smoke
But may not buy
This means to die,
Which some may say is a joke.

One may not star in films obscene
Until the age of eighteen,
Though sex at sixteen is OK
With a guy
Where the difference in years
Will bring tears
To a parents eyes.
Such is the law in the UK today.

In the UK it is legal to smoke at sixteen but illegal to sell or gift tobacco products to anyone aged under eighteen.
Until 2003 it was permissible for those aged sixteen to feature in pornographic material. While the age of sexual consent remains at sixteen, the age at which teenagers may legally appear in pornographic films etc is set at eighteen. It is, however perfectly legal for a man (or woman) in their eighties to have sexual relations with a person aged sixteen.
Some may agree with Mr Bumble that “the law is an ass”.

The Garden

Warm summer days.

The haze

of belief.

Time is a thief

that steals

our ideals.

The secluded garden.

Ideas that harden.

The truth

youth

doth know

Oft ends in woe.

A book.

The path forsook.

The backward look

to a place

lost in mist

he can not resist.

A Girl Singing

A young woman sings quietly.
What has been done can not be undone, yet her song continues, words floating on the crisp morning air.
Barely out of girlhood, she sings the song of a man who beats women, her mind filled with dreams of street gangs, “power flows from the barrel of a gun”.
What has been done can not be undone.
Just a girl, late teens, heading somewhere, singing.

Teenagers Are Taking Steps To Protect Their Online Privacy

Earlier today (15 March 2015) I wrote a post entitled “Post In Haste Repent At Leisure”, (http://newauthoronline.com/2015/03/15/post-in-haste-repent-at-leisure/). In that article I drew attention to the dangers of posting content which could come back and bite the poster (for example unsubstantiated allegations have led many a social media user into very hot water).

I was interested to read this article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2995686/Teenagers-tired-sharing-aspect-lives-online-taking-steps-ensure-privacy-social-media-report-reveals.html). The report appears to contradict statements by the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg that people are less concerned about online privacy than was previously the case. It shows that many teenagers have both a private and public Twitter account and will share confidential information with friends using the former. Teenagers are also creating false identities (you could have knocked me down with a feather when I read this snipet of information which, as Basil Fawlty might have remarked is, surely a statement of the “bleding obvious”). The use of false identities has the potential to put a spoke in the wheels of marketers who use online activity to market products, (if they don’t know the identity then how do they target). My heart is sore on behalf of all those poor marketers.

 

Kevin

Post In Haste Repent At Leisure

I deleted that Facebook post I wrote after having consumed 10 pints of strong beer, the one in which I made unfounded allegations about Ms Y and Mr X. Its no longer showing on my Timeline so it’s all fine now, isn’t it?

Well no, it isn’t! Once something is out there on the internet it is impossible to completely erase it. In the above (fictional) example the post has disappeared from the Facebook user’s timeline. It has, however already been shared many times before the drunken Facebooker had the nouse to delete it. Mr X’s lawyer has already written to Facebook asking that they disclose the poster’s details in order that legal proceedings may be commenced against him. To compound matters Ms Y’s boyfriend knows who the poster is and is on his way round to his home to “have a word”.

In this purely fictional example one may smile at the stupidity of the poster. However such instances of stupidity are commonplace. Take, for example the unfounded allegations regarding certain prominent persons that they where paedophiles. Quite rightly the persons libeled took great exception to the slur on their character and sued.

I feel sorry for young people today. While at university there was no internet so student antics could not be plastered all over the World Wide Web (not that there was anything to plaster in the case of yours truly I hasten to add. I was, of course a model of rectitude …)! However in this age of the internet every unguarded comment made online can come back to haunt the poster. A young teenager, their emotional and mental development still in flux says something on social media which on reaching adulthood they bitterly regret. Sadly it often seems to be wholly irrelevant that the poster now genuinely disavows their youthful comments. The media shows no mercy and they are pilloried for comments which, had they been made in the pre internet age would have been, in all likelyhood long since forgotten.

In Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell introduces Memory Holes. All scrap paper and documents which are no longer relevant or are embarrassing to “The Party” go into these recepticles and are taken to furnaces in the depths of The Ministry Of Truth for destruction. It is never made explicit in the novel but one is left with the strong impression that there are no such furnaces. The Memory Holes are just what it says on the tin – a place where information is stored by the authorities to be used at a later date against the population of Oceania. Virtual Memory Holes are alive and kicking for anyone with the patience and technical expertise to access them. Post in haste repent at leisure.

 

Kevin

Inner City

A cold space, vast, aisles stretching seemingly forever. Musak plays,with occasional monotone interruptions regarding offers which one simply can not afford to miss.

Outside, an icey wind blows newspapers along streets lined with discount stores. Young men unable to articulate beyond “yeah” wander down urban pavements where “the decent” fear to tread. The inner city. Cold, desolate, dead.

Snatches Of Conversation

“I picked up the can, threw it at him and”.

As an author, the above snatch of conversation, overheard by me while on my way into work this morning had me intrigued. I longed to hear the remainder of the incident but the speaker, a teenage girl, rapidly disappeared into the distance, her words lost to me forever. What kind of can was it? What, if anything did it contain? And, most importantly what caused the young woman to throw it in the first place? In an alternative reality the following exchange between me and the speaker took place,

 

Me, “I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation. I am intrigued. Why did you throw the can? And what was the reaction of the person you threw it at?”

Teenage girl looking at me as though I had just appeared from outer space, “P.. off. What has it got to do with you?”

Me, “I’m an author, I can’t help tuning into people’s conversations. I’m interested as to what motivated you to throw that can. Perhaps there is a story in it somewhere”.

Teenage girl,walking quickly away from me, “Get lost before I call the police”.

 

There is, in the above incident the makings of a story. I would love to hear your thoughts as to how the tale might go. Also I am sure that I can’t be the only writer who can not help but speculate on snatches of overheard conversations.

Teenage Kicks

Below is an extract from a story I am working on. The story looks at what happens when a lonely and confused 14-year-old girl, pretending to be 18-years-old, places an advertisement on the internet. Will she, as she hopes “have a laugh” or will what Lizzie perceives as a bit of harmless fun end in tragedy. This is just a taster. It is not my intention to publish the whole story free online. When finished and polished it will be on Amazon. I’d be interested to hear what you think. Kevin

 

“Don’t kiss me darling. You’ll smudg my makeup” Monica said giving her daughter a perfunctory hug. “I’ll be back late so don’t wait up. There’s a pizza by the microwave. Don’t answer the phone or the door to anyone. You know I’ll always call you on your mobile”.

Lizzie raised her eyes heavenwards. “Yeah mum, see you later”.

“Bye darling” Monica said picking up her fake crocodile handbag, which complimented the boots, and headed for the front door.

Lizzie grunted unintelligibly and headed for the stairs, the pizza could wait.

“I wish you wouldn’t do that darling. You can speak well when you choose. You don’t need to grunt like an animal”.

Without pausing in her stride Lizzie climbed the stairs. As she reached the halfway point the sound of the closing front door could be heard. Lizzie sighed continuing to climb the uncarpeted stairs. Reaching the top she walked straight on entering her room.

Lizzie pulled out a folding dining chair and, sitting down reached for her laptop. Clunk, she turned to see a screw from the chair lying on the threadbare carpet. Lizzie bent and retrieving the screw proceeded to tighten it with a mini screwdriver she extracted from the desk drawer. She knew her handiwork wouldn’t last. The thread of the screw was so worn but it should hold for a while longer.

Lizzie reached for the switch on her laptop. As she leaned against the desk it wobbled. The desk had come from MFI a DIY shop which had closed some 25 years ago and had been given to Monica, by Lizzie’s grandparents as had the Windows 2000 laptop.

“All my friends are using at least Windows 7 but I have to use fucking 2000!” Lizzie said banging her fist on the desk which shook precariously with the impact.

Lizzie switched on the machine and as it powered up glanced listlessly at her history homework. “World War I was caused by imperial rivalries between the great powers. Discuss”. “Who gives a fuck” Lizzie said outloud. “What has what Germany, Russia and the other countries did 100 years ago got to do with me? I don’t give a shit”. With a flick of her wrist Lizzie sent her homework over the edge of the desk. The momentum carried the papers across the room where they came to rest under Lizzie’s bed. The act of clearing her desk relieved some of the pent up anger in the girl. Feeling somewhat calmer Lizzie entered her password. Once logged on she sat stirring for long minutes at the monitor. Did she really want to do this? It was dangerous, you never knew what weirdos lurked out there in cyberspace. But she didn’t have to actually meet anyone. It would be a laugh, something to giggle about with her mates. She would put an ad on the web, maybe chat to some guys, get them all excited, maybe promise to meet them but she wouldn’t actually go through with it. God they would be pissed off waiting for a girl who never actually turned up. She imagined guys sitting in restaurants, glancing at their watches until, eventually the penny dropped that the girl they had been chatting with wasn’t going to show. “Serve ‘em right, the dirty pervs” Lizzie said as she clicked on one of the many sites which offer free advertising.

“18-year-old blonde seeks no strings fun with a generous guy”, Lizzie giggled as she typed. There was an option to upload a photograph. Lizzie thought about doing so. It was unlikely that her mum or any of her teachers would see the ad but, being a cautious girl she decided against posting a picture. Possibly she would send one to blokes if they asked.

“I confirm that I am at least 18-years-of-age or older and that I have read and agree to abide by the terms and conditions”. Lizzie checked the box and clicked on the create account button.

A brief moment of panic seized Lizzie. What had she done? She was 14-years-old for Christ’s sake, who knew what pervs would answer her ad. But the site provided her with a unique e-mail address ensuring that no one need know her actual e-mail unless she chose to let them know it which, of course she had no intention of doing.

Time for that pizza Lizzie thought as she switched off the laptop. She would come back later to see what saddos had responded to her add. At the bedroom door Lizzie hesitated. She turned back and sat down at her desk. Lizzie reached for the laptop’s power button. She would delete her ad. “I must have been out of my mind putting that ad on there, I’ll delete the bloody thing. Fuck it, why should I? My life is boring as fuck. Mum doesn’t give a shit about me. I was an accident she once told me. A split condom in the back of a car and she couldn’t be bothered to have an abortion. Typical selfish bitch. I didn’t ask to be born but I’m here and I’m going to have a laugh. I won’t meet the blokes but it will be something to tell the girls about”. Rising from her chair Lizzie headed decisively for the stairs.