So far as the tendency to be overinvolved and overwhelmed with school and social life, I don't suspect that teenagers today are fundamentally different than those from 10 or 20 years ago -- too much pressure on a foundation has always resulted in cracks. Yet, I suspect there are at least two cultural changes that do make teens today feel these pressures more acutely.
Teens need meaning in their lives. They search for purpose, value, and fulfillment. Existing day-to-day and week-to-week isn't enough; they hunger for more than daily routines and obligations. When they find nothing to fill those voids, they're sometimes at risk for exploring treacherous ground with lost people.