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An Average Teenager?

Seth remarks today on an article from the LA Times. It’s a very detailed article on 12 to 24 year-olds.

Interestingly enough, the article speaks to kids out of Hollywood … but my son (17) is right here in Indiana! You’ll find that the thousands of miles finds little difference between the two, though. On any given day, here’s what you’ll find my son doing:
Bill

  • Instant Messaging
  • Updating his MySpace
  • Updating his Blog
  • Recording his own music (Check out BillKarr.com)
  • Writing music with his friends
  • Mixing music using Acid Music Studio
  • Going to shows (small concerts)
  • Commenting on other MySpaces
  • Listening to music
  • Talking on the phone
  • Dating
  • Trying to Date
  • Learning to Drive
  • Church Youth Group
  • Reading (I make him read… but he’s starting to come around)

Bill is out with a couple friends right now at the movies. Going to the movies is pretty rare, though… it cuts into his music budget. You may notice one item missing from his list… TV. I have to practically beg him to come watch a TV show with me! My son is incredibly intelligent, good-hearted, and healthy. In the past, he’s played football, basketball, baseball, skateboarding, rollerblading, etc., etc. Once in a while, he turns on his XBox and plays a few games with friends.

Without pressure from me, my son is well-mannered and a very social person. All of his friends are very similar. They have very peculiar taste in music, clothing, hair, shoes, etc… all of which are not mainstream. In fact, mainstream is the enemy. Which brings me back to Seth’s comments:

If you’re busy marketing like you’ve got my attention, you’ve already made a huge mistake.

My son must be a marketer’s nightmare. Virtually all of his ‘taste’ comes from his social behavior, and none of it by mainstream advertising. That’s really something to think about! I don’t think my son is bored. In fact, I think it’s just the opposite. He absolutely is trying to do something productive every minute of every day. He’s living life to the fullest and doesn’t want to waste a minute of any hour.

And… unlike most fathers of teenage sons, he doesn’t drive me crazy. You’ll find us laughing and messing around every single night. I would never label him as average – he’s a fantastic young man that I’m confident will achieve so much in life.

PS: I still have to yell to get him to take the dog out, but I’ll deal with that any day compared with what my father had to handle!
PPS: I have a 12-year old daughter who is equally as impressive, but I keep her off of the internet.

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