How Today's Teens Spend Their Friday Nights

When I was a teenager there was a rollerskating rink one town over called Skateland East. It was the place to be on Friday nights. All the pretty girls were there, and Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" got them all out there skating gracefully - some of them even backwards! It was a sight to behold. Then Journey's "Open Arms" would come on for a "Couple's Skate" - a terrifying yet exhilarating three minutes in a 15-year-old's life that I sadly never got to experience. Mostly because I can't skate to save my life. 

Vent brushes jutted out of the back-pockets of the skintight Jordache jeans worn by the considerable 'Staven talent. Orange had its own place to skate, just down the street from the movie theater on Marsh Hill Road. But that was so many towns over it felt like you'd need a passport. So 'Staven it was, can of Tab with two straws, fistfight in the parking lot to end the night as we waited on our moms. Hard to believe how Wild West Coe Avenue felt back then, when what today's teens have to contend with renders those days quaint. 

A survey of 2,750 11- to 18-year-olds found one in 10 admitted checking their mobile phones for notifications at least 10 times a night. Many of the notifications are tied directly to body part selfies being sent or straight-up porn. Others fall under the heading "cyber-bullying." Friday Night Lights, this is not. 

Of the 45% of survey respondents who check their phones, almost all (94%) are on social media - with a tenth saying they would feel stressed about missing out if they did not check their device.

A third of teens and nearly half of 17-year olds attend house parties on Friday nights where parents are present and teens are drinking, smoking marijuana or using cocaine, ecstasy or prescription drugs, according to the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XI: Teens and Parents, an annual back-to-school survey conducted by CASAColumbia (CASA) at Columbia University.

Somehow I get the feeling a Skateland East wouldn't be open very long in today's America. 

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