I don't think that some JW things have changed. In school, today kids have to worry about not getting shot, so I imagine that their JW background is a secondary issue now.
What's it like these days for teenagers?
JeffT - "What's it like these days for teenagers?"
With the Org's increasingly heavy-handed passive-aggressiveness, I can't imagine it's particularly pleasant.
My teenage years were the mid 90s to early 00s. Looking back I'm suprised I turned out relatively well adjusted.
I wasn't an elders kid so I wasn't in the clique. Always left out of parties and wedding invites when literally everyone else my age in the KH was invited. I wasn't allowed to play out with friends because they weren't JW. The only JWs in my school were my two sisters and one of my cousins. I did manage to make friends in high school - being a geek I was in the geek gang but I really enjoyed it. It was great to have friends (about 10 in our gang).
Wasnt allowed to stay after school for clubs like sports or extra classes that I actually would have loved to do. I always wanted to learn German and my school offered it after school on Thursdays and Tuesdays... meeting days. But I wasn't allowed to join after school clubs snyway so it wouldn't have mattered.
By age 15 I started to just ignore my parents demands and I would stay behind after school to use the internet with my friends. Internet wasn't allowed at home due to some Watchtower article or something my parents had read. My mum actually said "I don't like the internet. It's full of information". So Yh, that's the sort of mentality I was up against. But my dad relented because I was learning guitar and all the sheet music was online free so it was actually helping me. My dad came from a very musically inclined family so he was over the moon to see me take an interest in music.
One major thing for me about high school was handling bullies. I was never bullied as such, but kids knew they could do whatever and I wouldn't hit them back. My asshole mother had indoctrinated me since day 1 that to fight back is unchristian and I should wait for Jehovah to handle them in Armageddon. Bullies didn't make an issue of the JW thing because one of the tough kids that everyone liked had a dad who is a JW and min servant (this kid was fortunate enough to have a non JW mother and wasn't raised as one).
I didn't seem to have it as bad as others. I genuinely believed the Watchtower crap. So wasn't ashamed of being identified as a JW.
Eventually there sprouted up a great party scene in the NW of England and my sisters were always invited because boys liked them. I would tag along and slowly broke out of my very shy self. There was a party almost every weekend. Manchester, North Wales, Liverpool, Bolton - you got to meet loads of people and I have some great memories. Funny, the vast majority of these people have all woke up and left!
I remember one guy used to host epic parties. He'd empty his house of all the furniture and every room was bouncing. It was so good he got disfellowshipped for it. Now THAT was a party.
I think because being a JW is mostly a social outlet these days and the adults who grew up as JW's aren't as uptight as the old hard core JW's I grew up with, the kids today probably have more opportunities to have fun and know lots of JW's around the world.
It used to be all about bible knowledge and defending the truth. Now it seems to be about presenting an image and playing along with the rules just to fit in and pass yourself off as acceptable to the group.The kids now have social media to keep in touch with their friends and they have access to more information than we did and it's probably easier for them not to take the religion too seriously yet still take advantage of the social aspect of it.
They've seen so many videos of the JW leaders, that they've become commonplace to them. Many JW's don't seem to be as in awe of them anymore and some will even get up and go back to the bathroom, during their televised talks.