Phone-addicted teens aren’t as happy as those who play sports and hang out IRL – New Study

To no parent’s surprise, too much smartphone use makes teens unhappy.

Teens with screens


So says a new study from San Diego State University, which pulled data from over one million 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders in the U.S. showing teens who spent more time on social media, gaming, texting and video-chatting on their phones were not as happy as those who played sports, went outside and interacted with real human beings.

But is it the screen time bringing them down or are sadder teens more likely to insulate themselves in a virtual world? Lead author of the study and professor of psychology Jean M. Twenge believes it’s the phone that contributes to making them unhappy, not the other way around.

“Although this study can’t show causation, several other studies have shown that more social media use leads to unhappiness, but unhappiness does not lead to more social media use,” Twenge said.

Though abstinence doesn’t seem to fix the problem, either, as noted in the study, there’s something to Twenge’s theory. Another recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also lead by Twenge, found a spike in depression and suicide among teen girls increased the more time they spent on their phones.

That’s alarming, especially considering the age in which kids get smartphones has continued to climb lower – dropping from 12 in 2012 to 10.3 years in 2016.

Twenge has been studying teen behavior since the early 90’s and has been on the forefront of research suggesting an abrupt change in behavior and emotional states of teenagers due to smartphone use. She says there’s been a dramatic shift starting in 2012 when younger and younger kids starting getting more screen time.

Researchers found more of the same while sifting through the data for this study. Teenagers’ life satisfaction, self-esteem and happiness plummeted after 2012.

To back up that work, Twenge’s previous studies suggest kids who spend at least four or five hours on their phone increase their risk factor for suicide by a whopping 71 percent, regardless of whether it was cat videos or something else. It was the time spent on the device, not the content, that mattered most.

“By far the largest change in teens’ lives between 2012 and 2016 was the increase in the amount of time they spent on digital media, and the subsequent decline in in-person social activities and sleep,” Twenge said. “The key to digital media use and happiness is limited use.”

She suggests teens aim to spend no more than two hours a day on digital media, exercise more and try to hang out with friends face-to-face to increase happiness – all things adults could probably use more of as well.

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Three Pennsylvania teens charged with purposely exposing classmate to pineapple

Three teenage girls are facing multiple felony charges after reportedly devising a plan to expose their classmate, who is allergic to pineapples, to pineapple juice.

According to Pittsburgh police, the girls had knowledge of their classmate’s allergy when they came up with the idea, WBUT reported. 

“It’s well-known at the school,” Lt. Matt Pearson, an officer in Butler township, told the local station. “They don’t even serve pineapple during this specific lunch period because of the severe allergy.”

RELATED: Most outrageous mugshots and crimes

But that didn’t stop three girls from exposing the 14-year-old student to the tropical fruit during lunch on Dec. 14. And according to local authorities, the girls used a high-five to trigger their classmate’s allergic reaction.

“The suspect got the pineapple from another student, put the pineapple residue all over her hand, and got the victim to give her a ‘high-five’,” Pearson said.

After the victim began to experience an allergic reaction from the residue, she was rushed to the school’s nurse to be administered an epinephrine pen, the Butler Eagle reported. Shortly after receiving the injection she was taken to a  hospital nearby via ambulance. Fortunately, she was released from the hospital later that evening.

SEE ALSO: Man slit wife’s throat after she uncovered evidence of affair with middle-school student

According to WPXI, the 14-year-old girl who intentionally exposed her classmate to the residue has been charged with criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, harassment and disorderly conduct.

And police say the other two girls, ages 13 and 14, have also been charged with criminal conspiracy, disorderly conduct, and reckless endangerment after helping their friend plan the assault.

RELATED: Most famous US crime trials over the past 25 years

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Total stupidity of online herd mentality on display as teens challenge each other to eat Tide laundry detergent "pods"

Image: Total stupidity of online herd mentality on display as teens challenge each other to eat Tide laundry detergent “pods”

(Natural News)
Doctors and parents are concerned about a dangerous new trend that is sweeping the internet. Teenagers across the country are daring one another to eat poisonous laundry detergent pods, part of a so-called “Tide Pod Challenge.” In 2017, poison control centers reported more than 12,299 toxic exposures to the liquid detergent.

In a culture saturated with toxic chemicals (including the food we eat), teens are rushing to drink laundry detergent pods as a form of entertainment. Trying to impress their peers, teenagers are getting on their webcams and popping the caustic Tide laundry pods in their mouths. The colorful liquids are highly poisonous and pose severe health risks when ingested. Once inside the body, these chemicals are quickly rejected, causing diarrhea and vomiting. Stomach pain and breathing difficulties may result as the chemicals enter the bloodstream and attack the nervous system. These chemicals can also affect blood pressure and slow the heart rate, causing vital organs to shut down. None of these serious health consequences matter to these teenagers who have no clue what they are doing to their bodies.

Even when they are not ingested, these chemicals can cause burns to the mouth and skin, rashes, and severe irritation to the eyes and throat. Tide is “dedicated to the safe handling of its products” and warns parents to “keep them out of reach of children” but the company has no way to stop stupid teens that are looking for the most ridiculous way to win the Darwin awards.

Nineteen-year-old YouTuber Marc Pagan started his “Tide Pod Challenge” saying, “I cannot believe I’m about to do what I’m gonna do.” With herd mentality on full display, he continued, “I’m just bored, so I’m doing something right now that is completely stupid. I know I shouldn’t do it and I don’t want to do it, but I’m doing it.” Similar videos can be seen online, with teenagers grimacing as they bite down on the colorful Tide pods, chemicals oozing over.

The colorful Tide pods first came into the spotlight in 2015 when a toddler accidentally overdosed on the poison detergent. This led to calls for new regulations, led by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).  The focus has been to make Tide’s packaging less attractive to toddlers and teens alike. To date, ten deaths have been reported with thousands of accidental poisoning cases called in annually. This hasn’t stopped social media from hideously glamorizing the detergent goblets, with memes and hashtags idolizing Tide’s pods. One sardonic Tumblr post included a meal recipe that featured the detergent pods as an ingredient.

These caustic liquids are also full of fragrant chemicals that disrupt hormones and contribute to sinus issues. With so many safer laundry detergents on the market today, there’s really no reason to apply these caustic, hormone-disrupting, carcinogenic chemicals to clothes and wear them, let alone have them around for some toddler or idiot teen to pick them up and stick them in their mouth like they’re candy. (Related: Seven dangerous ingredients found in laundry detergents that could be harming you and the environment.)

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1,000 teens charged with child porn distribution via Facebook

The charges followed an extensive, co-ordinated police effort that dates back to March 2015, when the video was widely shared online and gained national attention as “one of the worst sexual violations recorded on camera in Denmark.”

It’s a very big and complex matter that has taken a long time to investigate. Not least because of the large number of charged. We have taken the case very seriously as it has major implications for those involved when such material is spread. And it must be stopped,” said investigator and police inspector Lau Thygesen from North Zealand Police.

More than 1,000 girls and boys under the age of 18 have been charged with violating section 235 of the Criminal Code on the sharing of child pronography. If found guilty, the charges will appear on a registry and may be subject to the criminal record.

If you receive a listing on the children’s certificate, it is there for at least 10 years. This means you can not get a job at a kindergarten or become a football coach. If U.S. authorities get information about the relationship, it can also cause problems with entry into the United States. So it’s serious and it has serious consequences far into the future,” said police commissioner Flemming Kjærside from NC3.

The case centers around the Facebook chat platform, Messenger, where two videos and a sexually explicit image were shared by youths around the country. The majority of those charged shared the footage a couple of times, according to the police statement, but some shared the footage “hundreds of times” online.

READ MORE: Teen girl’s ‘sexting’ prosecuted as felony child porn, ACLU fights charges

Facebook alerted US authorities to the underage explicit material, as they are required to by law. The US authorities then passed on the information to the Danish police via Europol. North Sea Police then launched a co-ordinated investigation with Copenhagen authorities and the National Cyber Crime Center under the operation name, Umbrella.

It is our opinion that young people know that it can have major consequences for the victim to share that kind of material. But they may not know that it is also punishable and that they may be sentenced to distribute child pornography,” concludes Flemming Kjærside.

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Video Surfaces Showing Killer Cop Beating Up Teens Months Before He Murdered Daniel Shaver


Arizona police officer Philip Brailsford became known on the internet after he was caught on video shooting and killing pest control worker Daniel Shaver. However, before Brailsford was acquitted of murdering Shaver—who was innocent and unarmed—he reportedly had a history of violent behavior.

In January 2016, police arrived at the hotel Shaver was staying in after someone claimed they saw a man with a rifle. While Shaver did have a gun in his room, it was a pellet gun using in his business of pest control. Last week, a jury found Brailsford not guilty in Shaver’s homicide. However, there are still members of the public who do not believe he is innocent, and they are determined to prove Brailsford’s true character.

A recording resurfaced in the days following the verdict that shows Brailsford and other Mesa PD officers making contact with what appears to be a group of teenagers—some of whom were reported to be gay—inside a convenience store. Brailsford wasted no time in escalating the encounter, it seems, when he grabbed a young man by the neck and threw him violently to the ground. He is the officer closest to the camera.

One of the boys attempted to exert his rights to be treated humanely by insisting there was no need for him to “get on the ground” as the officers demanded, given that he was already in handcuffs. The officers, possibly knowing they were being recorded, went to an outer aisle where they began throwing the young man against the product displays, making a mess of the store. One officer then began kicking the handcuffed boy in the stomach. Instantly, they slammed him to the ground to finish securing the cuffs.

The incident in the video below serves to illustrate the violent nature of the Mesa PD, which chose to escalate rather than de-escalate a situation—arguably one that could have been easily defused. Unfortunately, the complaints against Brailsford were ignored as he was able to keep his job until the point at which he killed Shaver.

Fired Cop Philip Brailsford Past Excessive Force

Here is the cell phone footage of Philip Brailsford’s excessive use of force that was issued against him in a previous incident. #PhilipBrailsford

Posted by Justice For Daniel Shaver on Monday, August 1, 2016

The Justice For Daniel Shaver Facebook page uploaded the video on Monday with the following caption:

#PhilipBrailsford had many excessive use of force complaints against him. Between this and the “you’re fucked” inscription on his AR15– it was only a matter of time before someone fell victim to his mindset. #DanielShaverunfortunately happened to be that person.

As the Facebook page demands justice for Shaver, civil lawsuits are making their way through the court system. Others are not so gracious or patient, and they are demanding “street justice” for Shaver.

While it has been said that justice is blind, it seems once again a police officer has been given a license to abuse (badge). He then used that badge to violate the civil rights of numerous citizens, eventually killing a father of two young children. Some say he got away with murder. Cop apologists, however, applaud him for “doing his job.”

Even though the public was in an uproar over previous civil rights violations, and apparently attempted to tell Mesa PD there was a problem with one of its officers,  unfortunately, the department did not listen. And if they were listening, they did not take preventative action soon enough to save Shaver’s life.

Mesa’s police chief at the time of the killing was John Meza. In March 2016, Meza fired Brailsford after the officer was charged with Shaver’s murder but for crimes he’d committed on the force unrelated to killing Shaver. The subsequent investigation into Brailsford found he had engraved the rifle he used to kill Shaver with the words “You’re Fuckedd.” That was a violation of police department policy, and he was terminated.

It was the first time in Mesa PD history, according to the police officer’s union, that an officer was terminated under those circumstances. Predictably, the union objected to his firing. It is unclear if they will attempt to get Brailsford rehired with the department—now that he has been found not guilty and Chief Meza is no longer with the department.

A fundraiser has been set up by Daniel Shaver’s widow to take care of the family’s needs while the civil suit is proceeding.

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‘Because You’re White!’: Teens Record Cop Harassing Them For Their Skin Color


Chicago, IL — A Lake Villa police officer is in hot water after a group of teens secretly filmed him going off on a racist tirade. Lake Villa Police Department detective Esteban Gomez is now ‘YouTube Famous’ after telling a teen he is harassing him “because he’s white.”

Dezi Baczek, the teen who recorded the video, explained to the local news station that she was with friends at a local pawn shop, selling an item so her little brother could buy a book he wanted. When they came out of the shop, Gomez accosted them.

“I was yelled at to sit down,” Baczek told NBC 5. “I said, ‘What’s the reason?’ And he said sit down or I could turn around and be arrested, so I sat down at that point.”

After she sat down, Baczek pulled out her phone to record this belligerent peace officer.

In the video, Gomez is seen screaming at one of the teens who asked what he did wrong. He then starts to yell and says, “Wanna be hard with me? Be hard with me, go ahead. Think you’re a tough guy?”

In an attempt to intimidate the teens, Gomez starts to walk away and then turns around and says, “Who’s got the weed on them?”

The group reacts to his comment and Gomez turns around once again as he’s walking away and says “Did someone say fuck off?”

The group responds and says, “no,” just as Gomez points at two of the teens and says “You and you.”

As NBC 5 reports, police said the detective was conducting a theft investigation at the time and was questioning someone in the group. While the remaining members of the group sat on the curb, one teen can be heard in the video recording asking why he’s being detained.

“Because I’m a teen? Because I have baggy pants?” the teen asks, just before the cop lost his demeanor and turned back to the group.

“Because you’re white!” barked Gomez just before walking away again.

“I was speechless,” Baczek said. “Like I wasn’t comprehending what he actually said for a minute.”

After she saw the video, Baczek’s mom call the Lake Villa Police Department to file a complaint against Gomez.

“I was outraged. I was very upset,” Missy Maczek said. “I felt like we were being outcasted because we’re white, which is just unheard of.”

Lake Villa Police Chief Craig Somerville said Detective Esteban Gomez reported the group of teens was accompanying the suspect of a theft investigation at the pawn shop and one of the group members gave the officer a false name. That person was charged with obstructing police, according to NBC 5.

“When the subject questioned Gomez about his arrest, Gomez reacted by answering the teens [sic] inquiry with an inappropriate response,” Somerville said in a statement.

Somerville claimed that Gomez knew about the video and told him before it went viral. However, no statement was released until the video was picked up by local media.

“Det. Gomez admitted his words were poorly chosen and insensitive and he immediately regretted what he had said,” Somerville said. “The Lake Villa Police Department does not condone this type of behavior of its officers.”

Somerville claimed that Gomez was disciplined “for behavior unbecoming an officer.” However, no details of the alleged ‘discipline’ were released publicly and Gomez remains on active duty.

“I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by what is depicted on this video,” Somerville’s statement read. “This occurred on my watch and I assume full responsibility.”

If a non-law enforcement worker acted the way this detective did, while on the job, they would most assuredly be fired immediately. Instead, this man will get a pension and golden parachute at the taxpayer’s expense.

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BREAKING: Video So ‘Gruesome’ Cop Sentenced to 5 Years For Shooting Into Car of Teens, 16 Times


Chicago, IL — In August, Chicago police officer Marco Proano told a jury that when he fired 16 shots into a car full of unarmed teenagers, that was not threatening him, he was just doing his job. However, the dashcam video was so ‘gruesome’ that a jury did not agree. After only a 4 hour deliberation, Proana became the exception to the rule by actually getting convicted for his crimes.

Proano was found guilty on two felony counts of using excessive force in violating the victims’ civil rights. He was facing a maximum of 10 years in prison on each count but moments ago, he was sentenced to just 5 years. Given Chicago’s irresponsible and incredible ability to utterly fail at holding violent cops accountable, the sentence is surprisingly lengthy and precedent-setting.

During the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman rejected Proano’s argument that he was forced to shoot at the car to save a teen’s life.

The judge said that at the time of the shooting, Proano “was not a police officer . . . He was the source of chaos and violence.”

As the Chicago Sun-Times reports, Proano’s sentencing hearing followed a week that saw prosecutors drop several criminal charges in state court in connection with alleged police misconduct — including what is believed to be the first mass exoneration in Cook County history.

Daniel Herbert, Proano’s attorney, told the judge that prosecutors “can consider the message received.”

“Every law enforcement officer on the streets would not dare step into the shoes of Marco Proano,” Herbert wrote earlier this month. “Marco Proano was a decorated police officer who now is branded as a criminal. A search of his name does not reveal heroic arrests or public service awards, rather it is story after story about his indictment, trial and conviction. The unqualified anguish that Proano and his family have endured throughout this ordeal cannot be naysaid. His reputation is gone.”

This sympathetic description of a dangerous cop who nearly killed six kids as a hero should come as no surprise given the fact that Herbert is also representing Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer facing murder charges in state court after fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in his back as he ran away.

The family of McDonald is likely encouraged by this conviction and subsequent sentencing as it could pave the way to hold the man accountable who murdered their son.

Naturally, the Fraternal Order of Police took to expressing their disappointment with the verdict at the time and attempted to paint Proano as a victim of public scrutiny.

“The pressure on the police is making the job extremely difficult,” FOP President Kevin Graham said in the statement. “It seems that the criminal elements in our society are not accountable in our justice system, while the police face an intense scrutiny for every split-second decision they make.”

Given the fact that Proano is the first cop to be convicted in memory, Graham’s claim of scrutiny for Chicago cops is laughable.

As TFTP reported in 2015, the deeply troubling police dash cam video was kept from the public by the city of Chicago which showed Proano fire into a car occupied by six unarmed teenagers. Police did not want the public to see this video, and after you watch it, you will know why.

After the shooting, city lawyers successfully convinced a federal judge to put the video under a protective order, which prevented parties to the lawsuit from releasing it publicly. However, after watching the video, Retired Cook County Judge Andrew Berman was so disturbed by what he saw that he leaked it to The Chicago Reporter. Neither Berman nor the Reporter were subject to the order.

“I’ve seen lots of gruesome, grisly crimes,” said. Berman. “But this is disturbing on a whole different level.”

In March of 2015, the teens won a federal lawsuit against the city and three police officers, using the video as the center of their case.

In the video, Proano shoots into a moving car of six unarmed teenagers. Two of the teenagers were shot – one in the shoulder and the other in the left hip and right heel, according to court documents.

CPD’s policy prohibits officers from firing at moving vehicles that are not a threat. The teens in the car posed zero threat to Proano, who jumped out of his cruiser and immediately unloaded his weapon into multiple unarmed teenagers.

After the shooting police discovered that the car was stolen. However, the teen was found not guilty because prosecutors were unable to prove he knew the car was stolen. Even if they had stolen this vehicle, the actions of Officer Proano would not have been justified.

For nearly two years—because he and his cronies hid the video—Proano was never disciplined and remained an active member of the Chicago Police Department. Thanks to a judge with a conscience, however, all that has changed.

Below is the video you were never supposed to see.

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New Study: How Smartphones Make Today’s Teens Unhappy & Cause Dramatic Shifts In Their Behaviour

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It’s concerning to see just how many young people have become consumed by their smartphones. We know the dangers associated with the use of various electromagnetic emitting devices, like cells phones and WiFi, and how cellphone companies suggest that users “use hands-free operation if it is available and keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.59 in (15mm) from your body (including the abdomen of pregnant women)” to avoid radiation exposure. But what about their psychological risks?

Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, was recently interviewed by NPR‘s Audie Cornish on “All Things Considered.” In the interview, she argues that we can directly link the loneliness that has become so prevalent in modern society to the introduction of smartphones in 2012. While “you can’t absolutely prove causation,” she says, through “a bunch of different studies, there’s this connection between spending a lot of time on social media and feeling lonely.”Twenge has been researching generational differences for 25 years and has shared her findings in her book iGen, a name she uses to describe young people born between 1995 and 2012. She adapted her book in a story published on the Atlanticwhere she delves deeper into her concerns:

Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data—some reaching back to the 1930s—I had never seen anything like it.

It’s not all bad news, however. Homicide rate among teens has declined, teens are drinking less, driving later, and waiting to have sex, making them “physically safer” than their predecessors. But the role smartphones occupy in a teen’s life has gone deeper, making them more vulnerable psychologically instead.

Teens are also choosing to spend more time “hanging out with friends” via social media rather than in person. A 75-year-old study directed by Harvard psychiatrist Robert Waldinger determined that “good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” The study explicitly confirms that interaction is necessary for us to thrive, as loneliness is a killer, adding further weight to the findings of Twenge’s research.

“Being more connected to family, friends, and community makes for happier, physically healthier, and longer lives compared to people who are less well-connected,” the study asserts.

The suicide and depression rate for teens has skyrocketed since 2011. “It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones,” says Twenge.

Twenge also refers to iGen’s surprising lack of independence. They depend solely on their parents for transportation and are less likely to have a job in high school. “Across a range of behaviors—drinking, dating, spending time unsupervised— 18-year-olds now act more like 15-year-olds used to, and 15-year-olds more like 13-year-olds. Childhood now stretches well into high school,” she says. This is truly concerning, particularly because when an individual doesn’t feel capable of caring for themselves or taking important risks, they are less likely to feel inspired — an indescribable feeling that helps to motivate an individual to spring to action — and become confident in their abilities and comfortable in their skin.

With the amount of time teens are spending at home and not engaging with friends, you’d assume that they probably have a better relationship with their family, but the opposite seems to be true. They are more likely to seclude themselves in a space where they can freely access social media platforms and engage with friends there.

Many parents assume that if their child is at home rather than out spending time with friends, they’re less likely to drink or have sex. What parents don’t realize is that the biggest danger is lying right in plain sight. Parents need to become more aware of the screen time their child is engaging in, and Twenge suggests prolonging the introduction to a smartphone as long as possible: “If you feel they need a phone, say, for riding a bus, you can get them a flip phone. They still sell them. And then once your teen has a smartphone, there are apps that allow parents to restrict the number of hours a day that teens are on the smartphone, and also what time of day they use it.”

There are so many risks associated with online use for children, and there are even sneaky ways they can be manipulated and tricked into engaging with or watching something inappropriate. Aside from SM use, texting has been found to have a very negative affect on us psychologically as well.

It appears that human connection is an essential ingredient to overall happiness and well-being. When we engage with others, we are offered the opportunity to experience an array of emotions and create timeless memories. Lessons will be learned and friendships crafted, so if you haven’t yet, call up your best friend today and spend some time together!

What are ways you’ve limited your screen time or that of your child? If you’re a parent, have you noticed any behavioural changes in your teen since they got a smartphone?

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Teens are as inactive as 60-year-olds

Aren’t young people supposed to be filled with boundless energy? There’s something very wrong with this picture.

“Nineteen is the new 60,” Lenore Skenazy wrote last week in the Wall Street Journal. Now, as every parent knows, there are a lot of ways in which teens act older than their age, but in this context Skenazy is referring to the dire lack of physical activity among teenagers, whose lifestyles resemble those of near-retirees more than the energetic young’uns they’re supposed to be.

A recently published study, conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, gave tracking devices to more than 12,500 participants of various ages, in order to measure how much time was spent sedentary or engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. What researchers found was that teenage activity is at an all-time low, worse than young adults in their twenties, when the frequency and intensity of exercise tends to pick up.

The study’s senior author, Vadim Zipunnikov, described activity levels at the end of adolescence as being “alarmingly low,” and by age 19, “comparable to 60-year-olds.”

Skenazy writes:

“In elementary school, a quarter of the boys and half the girls weren’t getting even a single hour of ‘moderate-to-vigorous activity’ each day. By ages 12 to 19, those figures were even worse. American kids reach their Geritol years before they’re old enough to drink.”

What’s going on?

Not surprisingly, Skenazy, who founded the modern Free Range Kids movement (that we at TreeHugger love), blames a culture of hyper-parenting, where every hour of a child’s life is scheduled and parents spend much of the day ferrying around their offspring in vehicles to (mostly sedentary) extracurriculars. She points out that, even when kids participate in group sports, studies have shown these adult-led practices and games to result in less physical activity than if kids were playing an unsupervised pick-up game.

Another obstacle is parental paranoia, since many parents do not want to let their kids play outside unattended:

“The idea of running home for milk and Twinkies, then heading out to play till twilight sounds like something out of ‘The Hardy Boys.’ (Google away, young’uns.) Parents have actually been arrested for letting their kids romp outside on their own, even though crime rates today are lower than a generation ago.”

One could also point a finger at the popularity of handheld devices and unchecked screen time. It’s hard to run around while playing an addictive video game. Unless parents place strict limits on such activities, a pleasure-seeking teen will have difficulty tearing themselves away.

Study author Vipunnikov thinks that scheduling can be used to kids’ advantage. “For school-age children, the primary window for activity was the afternoon between two and six P.M. So the big question is how do we modify daily schedules, in schools for example, to be more conducive to increasing physical activity?”

Skenazy’s solution is to keep schools open till 6 p.m. It’s cheap, safe, and the kids are already there. Students could be left to their own devices.

“As for the parents—woo-hoo! They wouldn’t have to pick up the children and drive them to yet another activity. True, playing tag in a gym isn’t learning Mandarin or violin or gymnastics, but it does build crucial skills like focus, creativity and leadership. Kids solve their own arguments. They organize games, an early lesson in project management (only fun).”

It’s tough to imagine many parents going for this option, since letting go is precisely the opposite of working to pad a teen’s college application with unusual and expensive experiences. But, as adolescent health deteriorates at a rate better suited to that of a much older person, hopefully parents will wake up and realize it’s not worth it — that free play time is really where it’s at.

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'Legends of Chamberlain Heights' Teens Fake Gayness to Get Girls

In the August 13th episode of Comedy Central’s Legends of Chamberlain Heights, the absurdity of mandatory niceness to gays in order to support their social agenda is mocked and explained. It’s Homecoming Weekend at Duncan High and the Legends see a chance to get dates with popular girls.

Grover, Jamal and Milk pretend to be gay after discovering girls give them more attention when they do. Andre, a high heel-wearing gay student takes advantage of this and demands the guys become his “slaves” to work on his Homecoming float – a gay pride float that is all about him. Andre is running for Homecoming Queen – of course – and also demands the guys help him in his campaign. He tells the Legends he has to be Homecoming Queen because “that’s what I identify as.” Oh, boy.

In order to win the Homecoming Queen vote against the popular girl, Cindy, a pastor’s daughter and the object of Grover’s affection, Andre makes the Legends break into the school’s office and stuff the ballot boxes. “I could shoot a bitch in the middle of the hallway and they would still vote for me,” Andre says, in a twist of a Trump campaign quote. Andre wins with 114% of the vote. Election fraud, anyone? At the school assembly, he thanks himself first for his victory for his “courage” and pledges to “Make Duncan Great Again” – more not-so-veiled references to Trump.

Andre tells Cindy that he was only pretending to be her best friend to become Homecoming Queen and then he chooses Jamal to be Homecoming King. When Jamal turns Andre down, the principal tells Jamal he can’t do that – he has no choice but to agree. If he refuses, “it’s discrimination.” “We don’t want a lawsuit around here. Or worse, a concert by Lady Gaga.”

The Legends finally snap out of it and seek revenge on Andre for treating people badly. They enlist the help of a gay football player, who tells them that there are two kinds of gays – the sassy bullies and the proud gays. He helps the Legends take out Andre during the Homecoming parade with paintballs. Andre’s Vera Wang gown, on loan, is ruined, as is his Instagram opportunity.

The clincher was at the very end of the episode. A character pops up and introduces himself by saying, “Oh, hi there. I’m Phil. I work here on Legends of Chamberlain Heights. I’m also gay, or, if you prefer, ‘homo’.” He goes on – “Anyway, wasn’t that a fun episode? We sure did laugh a lot today but you know what isn’t funny? Violence against people who dare to be different. Unless they’re assholes and they deserve it. And that’s the moral of today’s story. Well, I’m going to go suck a d*** now since that is all the writers think I do all day. Remember, gay people are Legends…” And, scene.

In today’s world, it is refreshing to see gay people make fun of themselves and the militant wing of their social agenda who demand respect without earning any. No doubt an episode about transgender people will be in the works soon.

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