Aiden Ricklef Exclusive – The Modern Life of an American Teenager.

Aiden Ricklef Sitting Shirtless

Aiden Ricklef Exclusive Interview | The Modern Life of an American teenager.

HeyBoy Fanzine x Vanity Teen

Instagram : @Aidenricklef/ Photographer : @Hectordzz

Social media has helped bring so much good into this world, of course like other great things, some negatives float along with them at the same time.

How has social media been the most impactful on your life while being a High School student and how has it been a struggle in your own experience?

Luckily for me, the negative aspects have actually worked to my benefit. You know, last year when I was on campus for school, I’d get people throwing negative remarks my way. People would think it was OK to say rude things behind my back based solely off my social media presence, without knowing anything else about me. I felt like I could either let that upset me, or I could ignore it and move on, since their opinions were based on my persona, not who I am as a person. Dealing with the negativity taught me how to manage my emotions, gave me confidence to be myself, and in the long run made me happier in and out of school.

Thinking about the music that helps get you up and sparks motivation to take on the day. Who would you say would be your top 3 musical inspirations in life right now?

#1 is definitely Post Malone – he just gives off such positive energy and I think his journey to fame is really inspiring. #2 is Harry Styles – his fashion style and music are just so good. #3 would have to be Gorillaz – I love the diversity of musical influences Damon Albarn brings to each project and I also grew up listening to them, so not mentioning them would be doing little guy Aiden a disservice.

If you had to name one thing that worries you a bit about the future of your generation and one thing that inspires you the most about the collective mind-set, what would you say?

I think my generation is much lazier and more unhealthy and we don’t prioritize exercise and nutrition like we should. Kids don’t recognize the impact good health habits will have on their futures. What inspires me is that the majority of us are more accepting, welcoming of diversity, and concerned about working for a better future. The term is kind of cringy, but I’m proud to be part of the “woke” generation.

What part about modern day Pop Culture would you say has had the biggest impact on the youth of today? Also are there any parts of older retro Pop Culture that are still relevant in many teens’ lives outside of the fashion influence?

I think music is the main thing that impacts youth today and it’s also the best part of retro Pop Culture. So much of Pop Culture flows from music, whether it’s fashion, TV, movies – especially from hip hop. Hip hop started when my parents were kids and now every kid I know listens to some sort of hip hop. It’s the biggest connection we have to older generations.

When looking back at older movies from the 80’s and 90s or hearing stories from family. What would you say would be the biggest difference in what you are hearing about their time in school compared to how teenagers experience things now

I think the main differences are the pressures on kids that want to go to college to somehow have the perfect resume – Straight A’s, all the extracurriculars, perfect test scores… The competition and expectations are just so intense these days.

We have been seeing so much online with no-evidence “cancel culture” lately. We notice that most times it starts out with REALLY great intentions, but not everyone has the same good intentions.

How would you say your generation views cancel culture, from what you see day to day in your own school. Does this “cancel culture” make its way into high school where students are other targeting students?

I think what’s called “cancel culture” is something hyped up by the media. I don’t think it’s fair to call it “cancelling” when someone does something horrible and is held accountable for their actions.

I also think you have to have facts and evidence when you’re going to call someone out. At my high school, I’ve seen people take images or posts out of context to use against someone that they have a beef with.

I think the schools have a long way to go to figure out how to deal with this issue and not just make knee-jerk decisions.

Stay updated on all our exclusives by subscribing to notifications and give us a follow on our Instagram