As I was browsing through Quora, I came across a very interesting question “What are the most over-rated things among Indian teenagers?” Now the article had several things teenagers do which they felt were over-rated. So for this post I decided to compile a list of most of the points put forward and score myself on those points. Scoring shall be a 1 for ‘I don’t do this at all’ to a 0 for ‘Shit, this is very me’. Obviously, though I shall try my hardest to be unbiased and give a true picture of myself as a teenager, some self-partiality may creep in and for that I apologise. Self-criticism isn’t exactly my strong suit. Narcissism, though I am very good at.
1. Dating: Most teenagers nowadays tend to get into relationships for the sake of it or because their friends said they ‘look good together’. And to make it even more melodramatic they upload statuses discussing their last hangout or post a picture of them together at some café.
Me: Never had a girlfriend. So don’t know how to score myself on this. However, if you are 13 and have a ‘girlfriend’ or update your relationship status as ‘It’s complicated’, I have no respect for you. Let’s give me a 1.
2. Posting Pictures on Facebook: Teenagers tend to keep changing their profile pictures almost every day. And creating a First Name Last Name Photography page just because they own a DSLR.
Me: I have changed my profile pic 16 times in over 5 years. Don’t own a DSLR. Haven’t come across such photography pages. So I get a 1.
3. Owning a smart phone: Most teenagers will get an I phone or a blackberry or some 30k smartphone just to play TempleRun2 or Angry Birds.
Me: I own my dad’s old Nokia 5235. Forget Angry Birds that stupid thing can’t even access Wi-Fi. So yeah, I don’t have a smartphone but I really need one. Because though we use it for games, we also use it for taking high-res photos of records to copy, reading lists of selected students for some company as an excel attachment to an email and save net packs by accessing Wi-Fi for Whatsapp. 1 for me.
4. Obsession with reality TV shows Like MTV Roadies and Emotional Atyachaar
Me: Guilty. From 17 to 20 I was obsessed with Roadies. I thought Raghu was the shit. I used to try catching every episode and I used to enjoy the seedy environment of shouting and politics. Then of course came “Splitsvilla” and some other crap. And I decided to stop. But I get a 0.
5. Reading Chetan Bhagat passes for being an ‘Avid’ Reader: Teenagers these days read stuff like ‘5 Point Someone’ by Chetan Bhagat or ‘Ohh Yes I am Single’ by Durjoy Dutta. Teenagers just don’t go for classics or real novels.
Me: Firstly I have pretty strong views about Chetan Bhagat. I wrote an article that you can read here. Now about this issue. I have read all of Chetan Bhagat’s work. However I can call myself an avid reader because I have a childhood steeped in Enid Blyton, Richmal Crompton, J.K Rowling, R.L Stine and K.A. Applegate. I then explored the most perplexing mysteries with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. I have read classics by P.G.Wodehouse and Jules Verne. I have wandered through the streets of Malgudi with R.K. Narayan. I was lead through strange worlds with Issac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke. I could name lots of other authors but I believe I have made my point. Definitely a 1 here.
6. Having an accent and using slang: “Dude, did you like submit that shitty assignment? I am yet to finish it man! But it is so fucking boring, it’s like so lame!” as a common example.
Me: Guilty as fuck. But why the fuck not? See my speech is not as bad as the given example. I abhor the use of the word ‘like’. But I have a predilection to abuse when I am worked up. Which is pretty often. Either about some shitty test or how ‘Chennai Express’ is topping the charts. But I use words like ‘bro’ and ‘dude’ because that’s how our generation addresses each other, even including ‘Macha’ and ‘Da’. I see nothing wrong with this. Give myself a 0.
7. SMS Text: Ppl who wrt sht lyk dis. Hey can u get mah lappy? Kewl.
Me: I hate this. I hate it. It makes me want to destroy something. I feel like chucking my phone away ,then scooping up the broken parts, burning them, then scooping up the burned debris and ash, packing it into a plastic packet, renting a local helicopter, getting the requisite air space permission to cross various foreign borders and then dumping the bag into an active volcano, preferably the one in Hawaii. Because I am extremely lazy and am not financially capable of doing this, I don’t do it. So let’s give that a 1.
Great so I have a 5/7 on the non-overrated scale. Should I now be happy? Should I now look down upon others because I like perfectly spoken English or because they like Chetan Bhagat? Nope. The basic concept here is the definition of over-rated. When a significant part of our demographic decides to do something because it is ‘trending’, that part is usually composed of teenagers. Because that’s what teenagers do. This is the age at which we assume responsibility for our choices. This is the age at which we try out stuff. You decide to try smoking. You decide to never drink till you get a job. You decide to learn a guitar. You decide to get a good CGPA. You decide to try weed once. You decide to try out photography. You decide. You decide. You decide. Whether you were influenced by your friend’s or your parents the decision was yours. Who is to decide if what you did was over-rated? Because this is the age where we make mistakes. We fall. We learn to pick ourselves up. We have rash impulses that end up as poor decisions which turn into funny stories. This is the age to live. So speak in an American accent or listen to Yo Yo Honey Singh. Over-rated? Who cares?
I would greatly appreciate comments on stuff you think is over rated. Comment away!