rites of passage

Teens Don’t Want Cars, Just an Uber Account, Thanks!

<em>Home Alone 2</em>, a.k.a. the teenage dream.
Home Alone 2, a.k.a. the teenage dream. Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

The teens, ever a fickle bunch, have now decided to forgo one of their favorite rites of passage. According to Nick Bilton’s reporting at the New York Times, the teens aren’t that into getting driver’s licenses anymore. The number of American 16-year-olds with driver’s licenses is down to 28 percent as of 2010, which is down from 46 percent in 1983. Now, they are just happy to be registered for an Uber account.

This is not, in any way, surprising. Cars involve responsibility (ew), a test (ew), training (ew), and driving relatives (ew). Uber accounts involve a phone app (chill), ordering something to come to you (chill), a star-rating system (ew), and avoiding conversations by staring at a screen (triple chill).

But what about all the tangential qualities that come with having cars! How will teens fight with their parents, if they never drive the family car too late at night on that road to Lauren’s, where everyone knows the visibility is really tricky? Oh, don’t worry about that, says the interviewed family: They can fight over surge pricing. All is well! Dynamics never change!

Teens Just Want an Uber Account, Thanks!