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Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

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Redefining Concentration: How Teens Juggle a Multifaceted World

Chances are good you will not read past the first paragraph – even the first sentence – of this article if you are the typical distracted teenager, according to newspapers everywhere and most adults in our lives. Well hey there, adults! You might think we teenagers are incapable of concentrating, but I am here to set the record straight. 

It is not that we cannot focus. It is that we have to focus on a million things at once, including sports, five or more academic classes, clubs, internships, jobs, community service, college applications as well as friends and family. These days we are required to have that secret superpower called multitasking. It is not optional. While you might see us texting, scrolling through Instagram and watching a YouTube video all at once, we are actually doing some advanced mental gymnastics. Think of it as the Olympics of concentration, where we are going for the gold in balancing school responsibilities, social life and self-care.

Illustration by Ava Stephens

Imagine this: we are having a deep conversation with our bestie over text while pretending to listen to you talk about the latest adult drama. It is a mental tightrope walk. We are maintaining friendships and keeping up with family news, all while doing our best impression of a focused individual. It is a high-wire act we have mastered and hope you can appreciate!

You might wonder why we seem to concentrate on homework for only 30 minutes before we need a YouTube break. Well, it is because we are living on the edge, trying to complete assignments while also keeping up with the latest trends and news. It is a thrilling race against time and a struggle against procrastination. 

Truth be told, social media is not a distraction; it is an integral part of our lives. Scrolling through our feeds is like having a daily cup of coffee, except it is free and offers way more laughs. So when we are engrossed in our phones, we are not ignoring the real world – we are simply taking our stress levels down a notch before refocusing on our numerous commitments.

And Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is real, folks. If you think we are distracted during family gatherings or classes, it is just because our social lives are thriving in real-time. We are not intentionally being rude; we are just trying to keep our friendships alive amidst the whirlwind of multiple interests, endless family dinners and responsibilities.

So dear parents and teachers, we hope this glimpse into the teenage world of concentration has enlightened you. We may seem distracted, but we are actually finely tuned machines, juggling various priorities. The next time you catch us lost in our screens, know that we are not daydreaming, just excelling in the art of teen multitasking. It is a balancing act, and we are the masters of it. 

We are concentrating all right and despite appearances, we are focused. Whether social media is causing mayhem or is just a misunderstood rockstar is like debating whether pineapple belongs on pizza – everyone has an opinion and it is bound to spark some heated discussions. As students, it is our lives – not our attention spans – that are a wild roller coaster ride!

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About the Contributors
Michael Seton
Michael Seton, Reporter
Michael is a senior at Redwood High School and a reporter for The Redwood Bark. He likes anything to do with space, rocketry and AI technology. In his spare time, Michael also reads a lot, runs for fun, and plays video games.
Ava Stephens
Ava Stephens, Staff Illustrator
Ava Stephens is a senior at Redwood High School and is a staff illustrator for The Redwood Bark. They enjoy spending time with friends, art and politics.