The feeling that most teenagers have due to one specific reason. Our mental evolution has outpaced our societal evolution. It was only a couple of generations ago that teen angst would not have been an issue because the teens in question would have been out working their little asses off picking cotton, hoeing corn, slopping the pigs, etc. These "high schools" we have are just a holding pen for kids who do not need to be spending so much time thinking about life. Life used to happen; now it is a theory.

It's like the joke about the consultant who looks at something that's working great and says,

"Hmm, I wonder if this will work in theory?"

Words hurt. The candle's out. I wanna take an icepick and break your frozen heart.

Hi Everyone.

My name is Wigs, and I am a Teen with angst.

This is my 5th "Teens with angst anonymous" meeting and it's been 2 months 11 days 5 hours and 47 minutes since my last bout of angst ridden misery.

TWAA has helped me tremendously, just by seeing how utterly useless and depressing the rest of you are has allowed me to move forward in my life. I have come to realise that you guys are so much more screwed up than I, and this has really helped my with my self-esteem problems. So I just want to say thanks for all your help. I will be coming back from time to time whenever I feel an anxiety attack approaching, or start getting angry and frustrated at society.

Thanks again, and goodbye.

I'm not sure exactly why, but for some reason teen angst struck me in sixth grade, about the same time I began puberty. It seemed as if my brain had completely shorted out. All of my friends suddenly became incredibly irritating. I believed that my entire class hated and despised me, which I'm fairly certain wasn't the case. I viewed myself as an absolute dork with a horrible personality. My clothes were suddenly inadequite as I realized I was the only person in the class who still wore sweat pants on a regular basis. Everything anyone said to me was like twisting the knife, so I isolated myself and talked with others as little as possible. The circuitry connecting my face to my emotions apparently went off-line, because my parents continually bugged me about wearing a very unpleasant expression and I honestly had no idea what they were talking about. There was a circus in my pants, to say the least. My teachers believed I was clinically depressed and recommended me for psychiatric counseling. I tried to play basketball on the school team in hopes that it would somehow fix the problem. Usually, I just ended up crying in the car after the game had ended, lamenting about my ineptitude at sports while my mother tried to figure out what was wrong and somehow console me. The one thing I was fairly good at, gymnastics, suddenly became a source of endless frustration as I went through a growth spurt and lost the vast amount of my previously known tricks due to the accompanying uncoordination. Religious beliefs were rudely questioned by my new-found skepticism, and I always started arguments with the poor resident priest who stopped in at religious class every once and awhile (something I really regret, even if I don't agree with him).

To put it succinctly, it sucked. Luckily, I recovered in about a year and now I can deal with high school sans neural instability.

Yeah, this is a getting to know you node. But, I didn't think anyone had really listed any symptoms of it, so I went with my own experience. YMMV.

The Machine That Ran On Teen Angst

Carl had the idea one day to build a machine that ran on teen angst. He figured (correctly) that teen angst was one fuel that had never been in short supply and would be unlikely to run short in the future.

Throughout his life Carl had tried to find the ideal power source. He had experimented using death, taxes, and infidelity, but none of them were potent enough for his purposes. Then he thought of teen angst.

Initially he considered trying to harness its power by feeding the teenagers themselves to the machine. This proved to be unfeasible not to mention illegal. His next plan was slightly more practical and involved the escapist dreams of the teens. This again failed to pan out when he couldn't get the machine to grasp the ephemeral nature of their nocturnal visions. He finally found the solution in the volumes of awful poetry that they produced.

When the machine was built it stood six stories high and smelled of motor oil and stale coffee. The motor oil odor was no mystery, as Carl had used copious amounts of the liquid to keep the poem intake system working smoothly, but he didn't know where the coffee smell came from. Carl was never known for his powerful curiosity, so he quickly forgot about the aberrant smell and began feeding sheet after sheet of trite poems to the colossal machine. The machine happily accepted them -- perhaps the first willing recipient of any of the poems.

It wasn't until six days and thousands of poems later that Carl realized that he hadn't designed the machine to DO anything. It generated plenty of power from the terrible verses, but the energy was just radiating away as heat. Had Carl been more inclined to be philosophical, he might have drawn a comparison between the futility of the poetry and the machine. He did not.

It took Carl another six days to think of a purpose for the machine (other than a repository for otherwise useless poetry). He came up with the idea when he was drinking his tenth cup of coffee of the day. The machine would factor large numbers. Carl had heard once that even very powerful computers spent a long time on such problems. So confident was Carl in his machine that the first number he gave it to factor was over one million digits long.

The machine accepted the number without complaint as it continued to consume line after line of melancholy text. Even Carl was surprised when the machine returned an answer scarcely seconds later. It turned out that the number was prime, which meant that it had no factors other than one and itself. Carl thought this was an auspicious sign. Carl didn't know this, but Carl would have interpreted any answer an auspicious sign -- such was the mentality of Carl.

This pleased Carl so much that he immediately inputted a number larger than anyone had ever thought of. Unperturbed by this, the machine again returned an answer within seconds. Another auspicious sign, Carl decided. Time for a bigger number.

Carl spent the next few weeks entering the next number, which was so big that it defied description. And again the answer came back immediately.

This pattern repeated itself for approximately the next three years. Eventually Carl inputted a number with infinite digits. He didn't realize that this was impossible, so he did it anyway. The machine did realize that it was impossible, but it nevertheless returned an answer almost instantly. Even though Carl didn't know this was impossible, he still felt that it was impressive. The next number he entered was bigger than itself. The machine still answered.

Eventually Carl had entered in every possible number and every impossible number. Still the machine voraciously devoured the poetry. Cryptography was blown all to hell and gone, because the factorization of all numbers was well known. Carl didn't feel bad, because he had built another machine that made unbreakable codes. It was powered by arguments between teens and their parents, especially arguments having to do with curfews.

Carl never realized it, but there was a moral to the entire experience. Carl never realized a lot of things. The machines had figured everything out long ago, but they wisely kept this fact to themselves.

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