Didi Baca (she/her/hers): Didi is in the 11th grade and doesn’t put much effort into school work. She played softball for two years at North High School. She really enjoys writing and messing around with different art forms; she spends a lot of money on magazines just so she can cut them up and will stay up for hours at night watching movies. She currently has 37 unread messages on her phone.
Emma Logan (she/her/hers): Emma is in 10th grade. She plays volleyball and is a Colorado Youth Advisory Council (COYAC) member. She currently has 0 unread messages on her phone.
Murphy MacDonald (he/him/his): Murphy is a freshman at East High School, where he plays varsity tennis. Other than that, he mainly focuses on academics and spending time with his friends. He currently has 223 unread messages on his phone.
Lily Therese (she/her/hers). Lily is a sophomore at Denver Montessori High School. She really loves math, literature, and history and plays recreational volleyball. Outside of school, she mostly listens to Harry Potter and reads. She currently has 15 unread texts.
In our conversations, Didi, Emma, Lily, and Murphy shared with us what it’s like to be a teenager in Denver in 2018, and how social media, sex, consent, and surveillance figure in. They revealed that the vast majority of the time that they are on their phones they are NOT on Facebook (in fact, Facebook isn’t one bit cool), that they scan the room for evidence of being recorded on someone’s phone before sharing a very personal story, and that they are all—male and female alike—nervous about consent issues.
- Read this New York Times Magazine article by Maggie Jones, “What Teenagers Are Learning from Online Porn”
- Learn what Ana Homayoun discovered about “What Teens Wish Their Parents Knew about Social Media”
- Find out why there might be so much anxiety around sex for teenagers today: read Lizzie Skurnick’s article, “In YA, Where Has All the Good Sex Gone?”
Questions to continue the discussion:
This list of 100 questions to ask teenagers can help you get to know the teenagers in your life better.
Please continue the conversation, in real life and/or below!