Yesterday morning Matt Lauer put on his Serious Interviewerman glasses and invited two experts to the Today show couch to discuss a startling new development: Teenagers are sexting. I know. I’ll give you all a moment to collect yourselves.
The five-minute segment is basically your boilerplate “Teens these days are out of control. What are we gonna do?” scare piece that morning shows and local news broadcasts have been trotting out for years (“They’re called … rainbow parties, and your teen may be involved”), but there are a couple fun things tucked inside it that I’d really like to bring to your attention. First of all, Matt Lauer opens the piece by talking about how wild teens are asking strangers to hook-up with them, then he says, “I was a kid. It took me weeks to get up the courage to walk up to a young girl and say something like ‘I like you’ or hand her a note,” which provides a fun little window into Matt Lauer’s adolescence.
Second of all, the graphics. OH, THE GRAPHICS. Like, for example, this representation of how teens used to communicate with each other back when milk cost a nickel, you could only communicate via candy heart message, and a shy young man named Matty Lauer was on Day 17 of his courage building exercise to ask Becky Hulahoop if she’d go to the sock hop with him.
But this … this is just amazing. Here is the Today show’s interpretation of sexting (GIF via Buzzfeed)
“Hi” “lol” “idk” “wanna hook up?” “[dick pic]“
That conversation has never happened. Not once. I guarantee it.
Look, here’s my point: Sexting is probably not super great, especially when the explicit pictures you send someone end up getting passed around to all of that person’s friends. That’s the type of crap spaghetti-brained teenagers pull, because teenagers are awful people, and there can be real, hurtful consequences from it. So, yes, be careful and try to be smart. But a bunch of fuddy-duddies sitting around and lying to each other about how things were so much simpler back in Mayberry when they’d just pass each other notes that said “I think you’re swell” isn’t helping the situation in any way.
Anyway, bye lol idk wanna hook up [dick pic].