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Wikipedia is supposedly a utopia of all races, religions, orientations, sexes, political affiliations, and ages. For the most part, this is true.
But not always. It is sometimes asserted that teenage Wikipedians are unknowledgeable and have little real-life experience, leading to a condescending tone from the speaker.
Would Wikipedia thrive without teenagers? Do teenagers know anything of law?
I believe every teenage Wikipedian that is known by the community is mature beyond their years, and smarter. Let's look at Ilyanep, who joined Wikipedia when he was 10 or 11. Nowadays he's 14, becoming an admin at 12 and a bureaucrat also at twelve, if I recall correctly. Merovingian also joined the wiki at an early age, 14. Lord Emsworth also wrote 58 featured articles, and joined Wikipedia at the age of 15.
Advantages to being a teenager for the wiki? Well for what it's worth, a teenager can probably outsmart most adults on the subject they're learning (like cramming for a test, do you really remember every American Revolution battle well into adulthood?), and this can be transferred to the wiki. Being a teenager also means you probably don't have a full-time job, so all the much more time to devote to the wiki.
Did you know that the mediation committee is led by a 15 year old? The other alternative to the medcom, the medcab, is lead by a 17 year old. The Wikipedia Signpost's editor in chief is, once again, 15. Other well known teenagers include(d) Sasquatch, Jaxl, JCarriker, Nufy8, Maru Dubshinki, Sango123, Ambi, and Andrevan. I use the past tense as of course, we all grow older, yet they all have made significant contributions as teenagers, some not even in high school.
Rarely do I see experienced users condescend towards those who may be younger in the real world, but it happens. And may I recommend that it stops.
Essay by Redwolf24.