I was one of those teenagers in the 90s (well, OK, 2000s, but this is when it started) targeted ceaselessly by every marketing campaign under the sun. Some of them worked, but most of them didn't, and fortunately I grew out of caring about popular brands or what was "hot" pretty early on. So many people I knew simply didn't, and it speaks to the mentality of both consumers being bred to be consumers as well as the predatory mentality of advertisers and marketers worldwide.
Perhaps now, in the fact of the reality of what their greediness has brought them, teenagers will be a little less focused on what brands they wear or what artist is popular, and a little more focused on fiscal responsibility and setting up a path towards a productive and debt-free life - as well as understanding that material goods are nothing but distractions, and not at all necessary to live an incredibly happy life.
One could even argue a life without such material goods could be a key to happiness...
At least, I can only hope so... for all of our sakes!
The American Teenage Market Crash will only further the US’s current decline into a primordial soup of reversion back to a darker age. Parents 15 years ago were spending $200 billion on their teenagers. Parents were once generally at peak earning power when their children were in high school. In fact, there appears a direct correlation between the teenager and family debt. If, in 2006 there were more teenagers than ever, and, considering it was before the market collapse beginning in 2007, parents were generally at their peak earning power. So, many of those families would have bet on a continuing of the status quo – i.e a stable marketplace, a stable family and continued income – and taken out loans loaded with these expectations. For that reason, the Teenage Debt Bubble – bore by the family credit card – and the Student Debt Bubble are very much the same thing. One scantily exists without the other.