March 17, 2014

Death of the high school dance

Here is a nice little report from the NY Post about the decline of high school dances in Westchester County, an affluent suburban area outside of New York City.

This time they dug up some numbers to put on the phenomenon — although when the schools don't hold any dances except prom, and even then the kids are eager to just get it over with, perhaps leaving early, you can already tell the situation is dire.

It wasn't because of blacks, poors, etc. Kids these days just don't feel comfortable being around other people, no matter if it's their peers or so-called friends. The article tries to rationalize such profound anti-social tendencies as the only logical response to a world of texting on personal phones, snuggling up in bed with a laptop to use Facebook, Instagram, or whatever.

Well, I don't do any of that stuff, nor do most people over a certain age. We're just as bombarded by all of that crap, it simply doesn't resonate very much with us. We're what you call "halfway normal." Only deeply distrustful people would choose to adopt the texting and social networking technologies and use them as substitutes for the real thing, rather than as a supplement.

LOL at the author's attempt to confer an air of rebelliousness on today's youngsters, suggesting that their use of texting and internet exchanges allow them to interact outside the watchful eye of their parents. Their exchanges may not be monitored, but they're still locked up in the home with nowhere to go and no one to interact with for real.

It's depressing that they don't think to disobey their parents — which you ought to do when they've gone off the deep end — but perhaps after 15 to 20 years of solid helicopter parenting, you might feel as apathetic too? I doubt it, but perhaps.

Dances are needed to bond a group together, every culture in the world does it. Now, parents conspire to prevent their kids from establishing bonds with their peers, and the kids themselves are too full of themselves to feel like it'd even be worth "forming bonds with my peers — as if they were cooler than moi. Seriously."

When both the parents and the kids are against the community, what is the community to do?


  1. High school is such a waste of time.

  2. Kids also don't want to bother because the rules have gotten super strict. It's not unusual to be breathalized before going to a high school dance, and god help you if you try to sneak a flask in. And even the kids who want to dance get kicked out for being too sexual.

  3. You forgot that parents now attend the 8th grade dance. My parents didn't show up, but a lot did, perhaps a majority of everybody else's, and were lined up against the wall watching.

  4. Got to this a few days ago, and cited this blog.

  5. There is vicious cycle of narcissism and risk aversion and cocooning reinforcing each other. School dances are difficult and awkward and are far as image construction goes a much higher bar to get over than building identity around social networking and miscellaneous fandoms. You can't just fake being good and dancing and socialization. Of course the long term effects of an unreal life are bad and compound over time but that bill comes due much later.

  6. A commenter on the Business Insider version makes a good point

    "citizen1 on Mar 11, 1:08 AM said:
    I think it also may having something to do with, if reports I hear from around me are true, SWAT teams policing the kids if they want a cigarette or to sneak a beer or even pass around a "joint" (whatever that is???)

    Which they can do at someone's home or driving around or a hotel room."

    - the helicopter parents are not content with micro-managing the home - they micro-manage the dances too. That and the "zero tolerance policy" for substance abuse can make these types of events dull to teens. What fun is it if you can't even sneak a beer or some vodka in without getting arrested by overzealous cops and butch lesbian school administrators? What if you have a beer and blow a .02 on a breathalyzer due to some DUI checkpoint? What if you can't even sneak in a joint or a cigarette? What if for every two kids dancing there is a parent chaperone, cop, or school administrator?

    In a way you can't really blame the millenials for dropping out of these sterile, policed environments and organizing a house party via text.


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