It's common and normal...
there was a time when I knew a bunch of teenagers who carried expensive fishing gear only to loiter around Beach road and chatting away.
It's up to them to think and decide if they want to carry on after the whole group has moved on to another activity or hobby...
There's bound to be some sheep in any activities...
I, for one, usually take out my camera in places where I'm allowed to shoot. It's great because when you come across a good photographic opportunity, the camera viewfinder's up to your eyes in less than a second so you don't miss it. Other than that, I'll just hang my camera on the shoulder and continue talking to my friends. There's absolutely no reason why I have to keep using my camera when it's out of the bag.
The more photographers (hobbyist, professional) there are, the more vibrant the SG art scene might be, and clubsnap might have more contributing members. The SG economy will improve by a slight bit, and because of that, more people would be buying cameras, and the cycle goes round and round.
I think it all starts from the interest. When you get a new handphone, there might be a camera function in it, so you try it out and shoot pictures. After awhile, you find that you love shooting pictures, so you purchase a dedicated camera (PnS or DSLR, doesn't matter) and you shoot even more. You learn, you react to the environment, and if you contribute to communities like CS, the online photography scene in SG can flourish.
I definitely don't see this as a fad. Teens with cameras don't mean any harm. That is, unless they are arrogant / intrusive yadayada photography etiquette. But then again, since when are adult photographers any different with manners?
i myself carry an entry level 350d. i hang out with my friends at town during weekends. sometimes i'm lazy to bring out my camera bag. so i removed the grip, put on the kit lens and shoulder it as i go.
that totally made me look like one of them? or i'm just one of them. haha.
DSLR due to its size actually make it safer than compact and handphone cameras. it will look stupid if teenagers gets into fights, using DSLR to knock someone;s head, so that shouldn't be a worry since no one will do that. the prevalence may actually reduced the public's oversensitivity to DSLR and make the security guard less likely to target an easy minority group.
however, the behaviour of non-photographers using DSLR, if unruly, can also affect real photographers who watched their behaviours.
my pov is that, it depends on what they shoot dslrs as tools for "camwhoring" ? oh im 19 this year
Let there be Light.