The Young Person’s Guide to the Modern World
Finding your way in the 21st Century is not an easy ride, there are so many things out there that your parents never had to deal with, it’s hard to find someone to understand. There are pressures put on you from your parents, from school, from your friends and it can feel overwhelming and frustrating.
Technology is fantastic, but every so often you end up having to unpick a mess on social media. Sometimes it is easier to retreat to your room and escape the world, but even then you don’t get left alone.
Life in the modern world is great when it’s all going well, but at the same time it is a bit scary and you wish you knew what to do about some of the concerns you have.
That’s why I wrote The Young Person’s Guide for the Modern World. I originally wrote a book just for parents, but then I realized that it would be far better to talk to you directly. So I rewrote my book for you.
I start by explaining to you the changes that are happening in your brain as you approach adulthood and why these are important to helping you find your own identity. Most of the book is then devoted to going through the different aspects of life, from gender identity and sexuality to gangs, to drugs, to social media and technology. I give you information on the risks related to each to help you to make easier decisions. Finally, I talk to you about the world that you will see in the next 20-30 years, getting you to think about the ways you can prepare for the technology that’s just around the corner.
Want your parent to understand all of these pressures on you? Why not get them to buy The Parent’s Guide to the Modern World.
Purchase on Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Young-Persons-Guide-Modern-World-ebook/dp/B06XCFSWJ9/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_2
About Richard Daniel Curtis
Based in Southampton with his partner and their young son, Richard Daniel Curtis is an internationally renowned behaviour expert and futurist passionate about helping people understand mindset and psychology. A former teacher, and mental health support worker, Richard is known for his impact with turning around some of the most extreme behaviours and is consulted about adults and children around the globe, even having two assessments named after him. He has founded The Root of It -an organization of qualified professionals available to support schools and individuals with behavioural difficulties- for which he was awarded the Gold Scoot Headline Award in 2015 and Best New Business in 2014. Most recently he launched The Mentoring School to train the psychology related to mentoring people of all ages. For his work and expertise, he has been interviewed for the BBC, ITV and Sky News TV and various international print media and radio. His previous titles include 101 Tips for Parents, 101 More Tips for Parents and 101 Behaviour Tips for Parents (2014) and Gratitude at Home (2016).
The Young Person’s Guide To The Modern World
Richard Daniel Curtis
Peer pressure is a huge factor in the teenage years. Technology and social media have amplified the effect of this unrelenting pressure from others. You simply cannot escape it even in your bedroom, the messages still keep coming through. Here’s a short piece on some of the things you should be aware of about peer pressure.
Part of growing up and finding their own identity is a vital part of a young person’s development, particularly during the teenage years. During the teenage years, the brain is rewiring, in a similar way it did when they were a toddler. In middle adolescence, a teenager’s brain starts to connect up the new parts of the frontal lobes and this allows them to reconnect with their own personality. This, in turn, helps them to develop their own personality, belief systems and sense of what is right or wrong.
As they struggle to connect with themselves and their friendship groups, it is easy to become judgemental or unkind to others in a bid to make themselves feel better or be part of a group. The power of the psychology of a group can often result in the same victim being targeted by members of a social circle; with the members of the group wanting to be ‘in’ with the group, this increases the need to be ‘seen’ to be doing what the group wants.
Group minds are created when a few individuals form together to create a social circle of some kind and the members of the group will put aside their own needs for the needs of the group at certain times. At its most basic this can be a relationship, where both people put aside some of their views or beliefs in order to empower the relationship. At its most extreme, we see riots, where a large group of people combine against a ‘common enemy’, such as the government or police. In the latter group particularly we often see individuals risking their own personal safety or beliefs for the common cause. Supporters of sports teams are another example of how group minds work, where one group unites to demean or put down the opposing team through their chants, although on an individual basis many tone down this behaviour and taunt a friend who supports a different team. The human race, like many animals, is driven to be part of a group.
A very simple demonstration of this is a person’s social circle. Imagine the scene: a group have not met up for some time and arrange to meet up for a meal. Now one of the party doesn’t really like the restaurant, but all of the others are really keen, so they agree to go, they do what is best for the group. Whilst there they enjoy talking to their friends, they realize it’s like they’ve never been apart and they’d forgotten how much they loved being with them, how they made them feel. They are careful to make sure they pick something from the menu they enjoy, but it’s never quite how they like it, they didn’t really want to come to this restaurant after all. But they pay and eat it, because they are enjoying the group experience. Humans all forfeit little things to be part of a group, we all feel peer pressure at different times.
What are the risks?
For those teenagers who are feeling low or insecure, this has a huge impact. Their brain is already struggling with reduced reasoning and self-control skills as a result of the rewiring process. They are often desperate to be part of a social circle or group. So very often they have two routes to follow: they either isolate themselves and reject the group, or they submit to whatever peer pressure is put on them to be part of the group.
Rejection from a group can increase the isolation and depression for someone. Many teens choose to avoid this by forfeiting their beliefs to the needs and desires of the group. This combined with the changes in their brain cause a risk-taking type of behaviour where teenagers can seem not to be bothered about the impact of their actions. This can result in bullying, offending or self-injurious behaviour, such as drug or alcohol use.
- Be open to trying new activities, hobbies and experiences to help your brain development.
- Remember, that your parents will have experienced peer pressure too, it will be different from what you are experiencing (the world is a very different place than when they grew up), but they are still a good place to sound things out.
- Deny the emotions you are feeling as you experience social problems, they will feel very real. Try and find something else to do to occupy your mind fully and let the negative emotions fade.
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