It was Sunday evening when I was lying in bed, laptop on my lap, in the middle of a 2,200-word preview of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I wondered what was happening in the final round of the Masters, an event not worthy of my television, but big enough that I wanted to see what was happening with it on Twitter.
Oh look, I have a new direct message.
Only it wasn’t from a friend; it was a 30-person group DM chat started by “PIERRE” which featured a bunch of teenage girls, Edward Snowden, LSU football coach Les Miles, the American Red Cross, the New Yorker, Robert James Hamilton and yours truly.
This is something that happens sometimes. Usually, it’s spam. Someone grabs a bunch of random Twitter handles, sends them a group DM and it’s for porn or boner pills or how to make money working from home. But once in a while, it’s teens.
This room was filled with teens who had been chatting for a good five minutes before I got there. Things were lit. Things were on fleek. Someone was a petty hoe. Someone else was a scammer. It was all in a foreign teen language that a 38-year-old man with no kids could barely understand.
On these occasions, I tend to trash the message or flag it for spam. This time, I grabbed a photo from an Uproxx post about John Oliver’s Yankee Stadium ticket bit and dropped it into the conversation.
To me, that would be the end of it. Take that, teens! When I tweeted the screen shots, I figured people would get a laugh and we’d all move on with our Sundays.
But this was just the beginning of an educational and enlightening journey into the world of teens. It was lit. It was most definitely lit.
Some dumb back story: My Twitter name for the month is Davril Lavignezo because I’m making my name about the month the way people do for Halloween and Christmas, because I’m an idiot. Avril is French for April, so what you get is a dumb joke for 30 days whenever I tweet. I’m sorry.
This led to a conversation about the conspiracy theory that Avril Lavigne died a long time ago and she has been replaced by body doubles.
That did not sit well with the teens, as teens do not like being subtweeted. I learned this quickly. Here’s how some of the teens let me know I wasn’t being loyal and wasn’t on fleek.
From there, I became a curious old. I was halfway through my playoff preview story and needed a distraction. I have this group of teens between the ages of 14 and 17 who all dance and cheer, so I decided to learn the teen culture because, let’s face it — old people (like me) probably have a poor understanding of teens, and we fear and dislike what we don’t understand, so why not take this opportunity to bridge the gap? Once they were all cool with open screenshotting of our conversation, the education began.
I’m always hearing about how teens love Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato. Wrong!
That one staggered me. I thought there’d be a Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera thing happening, but these teens hate Tay-Tay and Demi.
What about things from the ‘90s? Do they watch Friends?
This restored my faith in teens everywhere. These teens are all under the age of 18, but they should be allowed to run for political office. After a while, I noticed that Snowden was part of this group chat. Of course, he wasn’t participating, so, like the Internet idiot I am, I decided to nudge him to no avail.
Then, unprompted, we got a look at how teens view Snowden, and it’s lovely.
This time, I was sure that was the end of the group chat, as a couple hours went past while I was again writing hockey stuff and, when I checked back, some people had left. Some sort of fight had occurred. I didn’t scroll back up, but someone was savage. “Savage” is also a word teens use a lot. They also care deeply about their eyebrows and eyelashes.
Finally, the chatting was done. It was time to watch HBO’s Sunday night lineup and … wait … hang on … the Warriors just won their 72nd game. Do teens care about the Warriors? Sort of, but not really!
Then, it was time for the ultimate test, the question that would reveal if these cool teens were ready to take over the world: Do they know a hot dog, which is a sandwich, is a sandwich?
Well, they’re cool teens, but they’ll have to learn about sandwiches when they get older, I guess.
Teens then gave their thoughts on O.J. Simpson, Donald Trump and some tips for Garbage Time’s Katie Nolan, who wanted to know what teens are looking for in a late night sports comedy show, and they did not disappoint.
To conclude Sunday, which also included conversations about Snapchat, their dream jobs and society’s biggest problems, they tackled the sports world’s hottest meme — Crying Jordan.
That seems like plenty of information about how teens view the world, right? At that point, it was time for bed. We covered a lot of important and unimportant topics, but they had school Monday (seriously) and I had work in the morning, so it was time to say our goodbyes. Then on Monday morning, Snowden actually hopped into the chat to drop some knowledge on the teens!
There’s Snowden, exiled in Russia, probably constantly getting cc’d on tweets like mine he just ignores, and he decided to see what was what. He cares about where teens get their news. Or he was bored in a foreign land and decided to have fun. Either way, he didn’t stay long and ignored my difficult question before bailing.
The rest of Monday was more of the same as Tuesday, as teens shined a light on a world we olds can barely remember.
They love memes, especially if they are dank.
They don’t dig Kobe Bryant.
And Jon Snow is dead.
But if there’s one thing I will always remember fondly about these wonderful teens that should give the world hope for the future is how they consume television today. It’s mostly done online, which any teen already knows, but there was something magical about teens listing their favorite shows when suddenly they realize it’s 4:20.
Also, aces YEET made me promise I’d let everyone know that she’s a scam lord in this. So, yeah, aces YEET is a scam lord.