Depending on what generation you are from, either Jay-Z or Rod Stewart made their mark in epic albums that defined our respective generations with the message to Stay Forever Young.
It is time that our teen moms need a jolting reminder that adult life sucks. My parents were right – high school, closely followed by college, were in fact the best years of my life thus far, and a lot has changed in the world since then.
In the past decade we have seen reality TV explode due to MTV’s refusal to play music videos and social media took the internet by a Hurricane Katrina-sized storm because people stopped enjoying talking to people on the phone. MySpace broke into the mainstream early on but blew their load too early and now Facebook and Twitter seems like they are going to take over the entire internet.
So, what does this have to do with teen moms and teen pregnancy? MTV’s Teen Mom, their second most popular reality TV show of all time and social media networks have had a stifling impact on the glorification of teen pregnancy.
I can’t debate that MTV’s Teen Mom or social media has played a role for or against teen birth rates – unlike MTV who is quick to assume their teen pregnancy reality TV shows Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant are the reasons behind the slight national decline in teen birth rates in 2010. The data simply isn’t there to back it up and national birth rates rise and decline organically each year. Despite 2010 holding the lowest teen birth rate on record in over seventy years according to the CDC, the United States still has the highest teen birth rate of any industrialized nation – with the UK in a far away second place. One fact data does support is that Americans are deeply socially connected and we watch more reality TV than our British counterparts.
The stars of the show (or victims, however you want to view it), as MTV states are, “typical teen moms” who have become instant reality TV celebrities, with massive Bieber-esk teen and adult fan followings. With Teen Mom 2 premiering and these “typical teen moms” bringing in a reported $65,000 per season just from the show, red carpet status, book deals and brand new cars, it’s obvious that these teen moms are far from typical and in all actuality, live a better life than the average responsible, hard-working American – especially with our economy looking straight into the Great Depression mirror.
So what is a teen to do? Follow in the limelight, of course and intentionally or “accidentally” become pregnant and join a high school pregnancy pact in hopes that they too can have a camera crew follow them around while they play out their fabricated arguments with their boyfriends they act out as truth. We all want to grow up to be like our idols, right? I can tell you from experience, I am a grown ass man now and I am still nothing like Chuck Norris – so much for wishful thinking.
With e-mail usage dying as the age demographic lessens, it’s clear that pre-teens and teens turn to text messaging, Facebook and Twitter for instant communication. This is great for teens who want to reach out for help, for instance those who seek emergency contraception from the services of NHS Direct and Bebo who provide teens with the needed information. Social media networks also allows for a free rein, no-holds-barred platform to express ideas, thoughts and to talk endless amounts of shit about pregnant teens when you are a sexually active teenager. Don’t you realize you are one good hypocritical thrust away from that being you?
The latter shows that one of the original MTV “typical teen moms” Maci Bookout’s 420,496 Twitter followers watch her Twitter stream flood communist-red propaganda about the glorious life of being a teen mom, and her post-reality TV life as a college student, public speaker, author and teen mom celebrity. Oh, how glorious it seems – and with an influential teenage girl mind reading each 140 character or less tweet like it was like the goddamn Bible being re-written, she contemplates that maybe teen pregnancy isn’t so bad after all. And so it begins.
Teen pregnancy costs the United States at least $7 billion annually. One out of every three girls will become pregnant at least once before they reach the age of 20, and eight in ten of these pregnancies are unintended, totalling up to 750,000 babies per year. Close to half of these teen-born babies are being supported with bastard child support payments and welfare – so with glorified teen pregnancies on Teen Mom and Twitter and your ex-boyfriend and government to pay for your child, why wouldn’t teenagers be influenced by it?
Keep an eye on these teen moms. Check back after the spotlight has passed and they burned through their six-figure yearly incomes on lawyer fees, attempting to collect back child support from their baby daddy who couldn’t afford a child when they were 16 and still can’t at 26.
Stay Forever Young.