In Search of… Teen Behavior

Xena was a typical teenager on Earth 22. But on this Earth in the multiverse, teens were different. Their advanced curriculum allows them to begin their chosen occupation at the age of 16. Because of her intense curiosity toward other worlds in the multiverse, Xena started her career as a surveyor to observe other worlds and document their evolution and ways of life.

She was interested in teenage life on Earth 1. Her short mission was to study a typical high school in America for a few days and log her surveillance. No one could see or hear her, as they are able to move about undetected. And she must adhere to their primary rule, observers can’t interact or interfere with the natural evolution of any world, whether is it detrimental or not.

Here are her findings:

Log Day 1:

I found kids are separated into groups for daily interface. I overhead students refer to the following groups: beautiful people, sportos, smart kids, creative arts types and a group they called the losers. The daily conflicts seem minor, but I did observe that strong kids continually prey on the weak in a feeble attempt to raise their standing and personal self-esteem. We went through this on my Earth. It was gone by the time I was in school. I wish I could just tell them that hurting others will not make them whole and will cause development stagnation and impair their personal growth. But, of course, I can’t interact with anyone.

Log Day 2:

I wanted to view the entire student body at once interacting with each other. I noticed large crowds of them gathering in a place called a cafeteria, so I stayed in there all day to watch. There were obvious divisions in the room where different groups congregated. I noted the collections I logged before, but this time I also detected some division by skin and hair color. I did hear about the ancients on our world separating people by skin color before, which was later outlawed. I can’t imagine categorizing people by these differences. What’s next eye color or clothing? I was very curious about the hair color segment. Some had pink, orange, purple, green, blue and some with multiple colors.

I was very perplexed by the actions of several male teens who went by the hair table, spilling drinks, knocking things over. One young person exuded fluids from the mouth in their direction. That seemed highly unsanitary to me. Then they shouted various words at them in a loud hateful tone and left, smiling and clapping their hands together in the air. They seemed very pleased with themselves, but I did not see what they accomplished. The hair teens at the table did not engage them. The obvious disdain by one group for another is puzzling. Their obviously bullies, but I saw no difference in the kids, except for some their hair color. My information on this Earth showed an above medium level of evolution in technology and socialized civilization, but if skin and hair color causes ruptures in social behavior, I may need to recommend a downgrade. I still don’t understand what they were doing. The minor conflicts I observed on the first day seemed less intense. And it was interesting that no one from other tables reacted. Were they ambivalent or just engrossed in their own situation?

Log Day 3:

I heard about a sporting contest called basketball, so I attended. We have similar games on my Earth. The rules seemed rudimentary, so the game was easy to follow, but I was taken by the repetition of the movement as the opponents went back and forth with the ball many times, attempting to get it into a mesh pocket suspended in the air.   

Although my research indicated this game was recreational and common among teens and adults, I was baffled by the violent nature of the game. Opponents repeatedly pushed and knocked each other down in attempts to take the ball. This caused me to view some of their other teen games like football, soccer, hockey and baseball. It seems that all the contests are prone to violence, some more than others. I will need to note that in my report for further research and discussion toward the rank level of this world. Violent games of contest are typically more apt to stifle evolution.  

I noticed many different group members in the student body in attendance. The sporto group were mostly engaged in the game and I noted some of the females from the beautiful people group yelling encouragement on the side of the court, as well as performing astounding feats of acrobatics.

The atmosphere among the teens was generally cordial and joyous, with no incidents I observed. Perhaps these contests are useful to create comradery. Note to self to check on that.

Log Day 4:

I overheard several teens talking about an off-campus meeting place called a mall. I followed them to witness this out-of-school activity and realized it was an assortment of retail establishments. They even had someone playing the piano in an echo chamber to entertain them. This was a good opportunity to examine a societal cross section. I meandered around and saw people buying clothing and other items.

One random note was the high-pitched screams of the girls in the stores. I need to check if the hearing levels are decreasing in the people here.

A place called the food court seemed to be a centralized meeting place. I found several groups of boys and girls interacting and other groups observing each other from a far. It was a strange occurrence which I did not understand. It seemed to have no purpose. I made a note of it for future research.   

I also detected a confusing pattern of different patrol groups of young adults walking back and forth a few times with no intended destination. I noted a few strange interactions that seemingly led to nothing, as sometimes the groups passed by each other with only a minor word exchange. Other times, they would stop upon meeting and exchange loud words, then move on quickly. In one instance, two groups seemed to get into intensely heated discussions that caused pushing and shoving each other. The presence of the security authority disbursed the altercation before it escalated, and the groups resumed patrol. I’m still puzzled about what their purpose was and what caused the confrontations. However, I did notice a couple youths brandishing weapons that will need to go in my report toward the perceived violent nature of these E1 subjects.

Log Day 5:

When at the mall, I noted many students locked gaze on small electronic devices called phones. One common discussion was something I later found is called social media. At first, I thought it was a propaganda medium as youths were eagerly interested in communications they called posts. I found the reactions to these posts were extreme. It resulted in excessive laughter and talking in some cases and severe anger in others.

I concluded it’s an odd form of communication where pictures and text are disseminated by others and viewed by many. In an attempt to reconcile and record my personal findings, I read a series of posts from the various outlets on their processing systems. Most were very difficult to interpret. A lot of it seemed to be a very dysfunctional and disconnected series of arguments and harassment. The words and reactions created a disturbing loop. My conclusion is that is another form of detached bullying whereby some teens can post pictures of each other or verbal rants, accusations or name calling without direct interaction. This maybe even worse as it is more prolific than the physical bullying I saw in the school and my observations show it may cause more psychological damage.  

Log Day 6:

I saw a poster on the walls at school about a dance. According to my research, this is a recreational activity with music and movement, but what I found what it seems to be an odd teen ritual.

I observed several groups engaging in different activities. There was a group others mocked as the wallflowers. They were boys and girls standing along the walls and sitting in chairs watching others dance. The look on their faces gave the impression they wanted to join, but did not. Others in couples, but also in groups were dancing together and looked like they were having a good time.   

But the most curious examination of all was a strange custom of a couple girls or boys approaching another group, talking for a few minutes and then running back to their group. It was a similar occurrence from what I saw at the mall. After watching several incidents of this routine, I now believe this to be a reconnaissance mission to examine the behavior of others before interaction. I’m not sure why they need this when they can discuss in person, but from their reactions I gathered it is used to ensure success and not rejection of potential contact.

Personal Mission Log Conclusions:

Teens on E1 are somewhat similar and different from our E22 teens, but many of their rituals seem harmless and fun. But the various observations of violent tendencies and harassment based on personal appearance is disturbing. I also noted more study is needed to potentially update the ranking of this Earth due to the violence and presence of personal weapons.

I hate to see another Earth descend into the same ridiculous rivalries, corruption and cruelty toward each other. Despite rule one, I decided to leave something behind to spark some ideas. I left a sign that says, “Open Mind. Open Heart. Accept.” I hope someone takes it seriously.

I’m going to recommend we don’t visit E1 again for at least twenty years. Maybe this generation of teens can improve things for the teens to come.

© Suzanne Rudd Hamilton, 2022

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