If we’re to believe the myriad op-eds by Gen Xers —one! two! three! (and that’s just the Times) — all young people are essentially using their phones as sex toys. The idea that millennials (hey!) and Generation Z are sexting up a sexy storm has long been accepted as true by middle-aged adults that, by contrast, did not grow up with the internet at their 24/7 fingertips. Here’s the thing, though! I only know one person who has ever sexted. AND I’M V INTO TEXTING AND I TOTALLY KNOW PEOPLE. What is this sorcery? Who are all these people sexting?!
“[A]dults face a hard truth,” wrote Times writer Jan Hoffman, “For teenagers, who have ready access to technology and are growing up in a culture that celebrates body flaunting, sexting is laughably easy, unremarkable and even compelling: the primary reason teenagers sext is to look cool and sexy to someone they find attractive.”
Sexting = laughably easy?! Sexting horrifies me. I’m probably highly unevolved. I’m also 27; I’ve probably fallen out of the loop with the teens. Theory: “the kids nowadays are all sexting” is akin to “the kids nowadays are all emotionless robots incapable of having real-life conversations.” That is to say, dramatic hyperbole continuing the long-standing tradition of #youth hysteria. Am I wrong? Worse: Am I boring? Do you sext? Are you cool? Am I? Asking for a friend. Tell me in the comments!
Collage by Emily Zirimis.