Now, I'm aware this is nothing new, and I'm aware this is one of the defining characteristics of adolescence. That age group (which amorphously ranges from 11 to 25+ years, depending on how long a person's brain remains in flux) traditionally has no real power within society's institutions, and spends a great deal of time under the influence of some adult's rules. That age group, therefore, seeks ways of expressing itself, ways of leaking out between the rules, ways of claiming pieces of society for themselves despite the best efforts of parents, teachers, police, and all the other gate keepers of the adult world. As far back as the 1940's, collective teenage rebellion existed in subtle forms: my mother still delights in pointing to a lavender sweater she wears in a high school photo and repeating (every time she sees the picture) that she is in fact wearing the sweater backwards. Yes, my goodytwoshoes mother pissed off my grandmother by buttoning her cardigan up the back. But as we all know, technology is the gasoline put to the fire of adolescent rebellion. When it was my turn to go bonkers, TV was in its earliest days of co-opting concepts like "cool," using the hippie culture to sell everything from Coke to pantyhose. Today, the speed with which technology enables change is literally as fast as kids can think. And we all know who are the masters of today's new technology. So, welcome to my box of quicksand.
This is why I like and occasionally use websites like Urban Dictionary. Before composing this post, I knew I'd better look up the word "noob" if I wanted to use it in a title. Sure enough, the sand shifted under my feet as soon as I read the UD definition: