Hello and welcome to The Teens' Speech blog. A place dedicated to discussing issues of significance to young people in particular and the nation as a whole.
The Teens' Speech


On Christmas Day this year, teenage Britain delivered its own message to the nation. Find out more

Reading this article could seriously change your brain

His brain is changing.

Dr Gary Small of UCLA, one of America's leading neurologists, has written a book, iBrain - Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind. His research indicates that internet use and web-browsing has a marked effect on our brains, especially in the case of young people.

Although research at UCLA has revealed that just one hour of internet use per day can measurably boost brain function, there may be links between excessive computer use and conditions such as attention deficit disorder, depression and anxiety in younger people.

To counteract all this, Professor Small recommends taking regular breaks away from the computer. Researchers at Harvard University discovered that a quick 20-30 minute nap had the effect of significantly improving computer performance.

Right, I'm off for a kip.

Dustbin Baby

As Family week beckons on The Teens' Speech, Dustbin Baby, a BBC family drama about a child abandoned at birth, picks up an International Emmy Award for children and young people's programming.

Incidentally, the film also features a performance by Lizzy Clarke, a teenage girl with Asperger's. Lizzy's mother, Nicola Clark has said that employing actors who are not mentally disabled to play characters with disabilities should stop, calling it the "blacking up of the 21st century".

We asked our friends how often they took drugs

Every day we are running a quick and very dirty poll on MySpace, designed to be thought-provoking, conversation-starting and a little bit revealing.

Last week, we asked visitors to MySpace how often they took drugs. Out of a poll sample of 200 people, 43% claimed to be entirely drug free, a noteworthy 57% polled that they had taken drugs at least once or twice a year and over 14% revealed they took drugs on a daily basis.

Of course, this poll is not scientific - but, it does reflect that drugs-related issues are a big concern to teenagers. They are feeling an unprecedented level of stress - about school, fitting in, looking good and being liked.

Clearly, drinking and taking drugs are an easy, readily available and highly effective means of relieving the pressure.

If you're aged 13-19 and want to get involved in The Teens' Speech - by answering polls, uploading a video or just adding a comment - visit our MySpace page or YouTube channel.

Anti-Bullying Week

A study of 10,000 teenagers in England has revealed that almost half of 14-year-olds in England have experienced some sort of bullying - most commonly threats and insults via mobile phones and the internet.

Anti-Bullying Week, running from 16-10 November, is run by the charity, Beatbullying and seeks empower young people to lead anti-bullying campaigns in their schools and local communities.

"Young people who are being bullied at school are not able to make the most of themselves and their talents, because their ability to learn, to contribute, to be happy and just be a child, is undermined and sometimes lost forever by bullying."

In the clip, teenager Georgia Wood and her mum share their traumatic bullying experiences.

If you have something to say about bullying, head over to our YouTube channel or MySpace page and get it off your chest.

Good to talk

James is 19 and from Scotland. In this video, he calmly and clearly argues for the legalisation of all illegal substances and a social policy that leads to the creation of a just and equal society.

What I personally take away from this video is how constructive it is. It's not reactionary or couched in fear. Agree with it or not, the views expressed are done in a way that is unafraid to engage in pragmatic discussion about the endemic use of drugs in society, its root cause and how we make things better.

When we think about the recent silencing of David Nutt and his colleagues by the Home Office, a clip like this begs the question, what is the government so afraid of?