Teenist, I Think So!

November 4, 2009
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Walking into Hootenanny’s with a group of my friends, my fingers typing down onto the full keyboard of my cellphone, I can tell even without looking up from my intense conversation, that the workers are just waiting to kick us out. I walk to the opposite side of the store, feeling awkward with every step, trying to ignore the watchful eyes. Across the store my friend takes out his phone and snaps a picture of one of my other friends posing in a winter hat.

“No pictures in the store,” the employee barks.

“I didn’t take a picture,” he challenges raising his arms in front of him, a sign of surrender.

“I just saw you take a picture, delete it,” the tattooed man argues back.
We start sharing looks with each other, snickering and staring down the owner.

“You could leave now,” he responds abruptly. Following his rude comment we leave the store laughing it off.

Banning pictures in stores seems logical and harmless to most adults, but to a teen this is a major affront to our way of life. As kids mature into young adults and teens, their feelings change and they get more responsibilities. Along with this comes independence and privileges on the internet. Being part of the "in" crowd for us teens used to mean hanging out where the cool kids chilled--the mall, the friends house, the rave. But now all we have to do is be within cellphone range. Over the years the cellphone has become the primary mode of socializing with friends over text or picture messages, but let us not forget about the internet.

In the world of fourteen year olds, networking websites such as Facebook and Myspace are all the rage. These websites are places where you can keep in touch and stay connected with old and new friends, writing on other people’s walls and updating status to inform your friends about what’s new. Since these websites also allow for members to share pictures with others, it makes it all the more fun to do.

Publishing pictures usually gives quick response of opinions on clothes or anything really. It proved to actually help when choosing a dress for my bat mitzvah. At the mall with a couple of my best girl friends, we went to several stores to shop for the perfect bat mitzvah dress. We took about fifteen pictures with our phones and later posted them into an album on Facebook asking our friends to comment. I ended up getting an amazing dress. Telling a teen they can't take pictures is pointless, useless and stupid. Which is due to the fact that first of all telling anyone that they can’t do something will make them have the urge to want to do it, even more than before they were told that they couldn’t.

I ask myself why stores disallow photos. Do stores think that there might be a chance that pictures taken would be sent to other designers to copy. Think deeper, since the pieces are already shown and are labeled with the designer’s name, other clothing companies can't replicate the designs, because they would already be copyrighted. Chances are that if this rule didn't stand in the way, popularity of not only the store, but also the brand would increase. Being viewable on the internet, more people would discover it and buy it, which would increase the store’s income. Stores should urge teens to sell their products, not hinder them.

So what is at the root of the problem? Teen bias. Asking adults about this problem one replied, “That’s interesting because I always take photos in stores and no one ever stops me or follows me around the stores I go into.”

Teen bias overall is a huge topic up for discussion. Most teenagers experience teen bias, but the question remains, is it fair? Fair for teens to be treated differently than adults? Or to make rules that only apply to teens? Personally as a thirteen year old I think that teen bias is more wrong than people wearing Jonas Brother jeans (which is extremely beyond wrong). I believe that we, the kids of America, should be treated with the same respect adults receive in their every day lives. This includes being allowed to take as many pictures to our hearts desire.

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This article has 7 comments. Post your own now!

KatGrace said...
Jan. 25, 2012 at 10:29 am
No, they aren't banning pictures in stores just to squash your fun. They didn't think when making those rules, "Oh yeah, let's do this to make kids unable to take duckface photos with their friends." Yes, there's a bias against young people. There always has and, unfortunately, always will be. It's not right, and it should be changed. But this no photo rule is not an example of that discrimination. The world does not revolve around you and your friends. You will not always be young. You will not... (more »)
JoPepper said...
May 21, 2011 at 4:17 pm
You know how the adults literally drill into our heads that phrase "Don't judge a book by it's cover" adults do that everyday at least a million times.  I think it's extremely hypocritical!!!!!!!!!! :P
Harrypotter202abc This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I know!

Like if I call some place with a question...and they hear that I sound like a teenage girl (My voice is kinda high pitched, even for a girl), they never take me seriously! It's like they are expecting me to prank call them or something.

jemter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 1:17 am
I know what you mean. It's like as soon as we became "teenagers", no one trusts us. Some people just put us in the general category of "Trublemakers", and some expect so much that it's simply unrealistic. I'm hating the lables that shape not who we are, but how we're seen. HATING them.
Scarecrow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm

It's not like you have the right to take pictures. It might be courteous for the buisness to let you take pictures, but they still own the stuff you're taking pictures of and the place where you're doing it. "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."

And as far as kids being treated the same as adults, perhaps you haven't noticed that we're rather different than adults. It's not "Teenist" to prevent us from driving, for example.

Sweethearrt said...
Jul. 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm
i know what you mean exactly!!!!!!! good work :)
Bethani said...
Jun. 25, 2010 at 1:04 am
I've never heard of anything like this with the picture thing. good to know. i hate people like this. please check out my work. 
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