Teenagers today have laptops, video game consoles, and VR face hat things that let them swat around while other people sit bored in their living rooms. Technology is an ever-present part of their daily lives. How often do you see a group of kids in public and none of them are ignoring their friends in favor of a YouTube video of a kid snorting Flamin' Hot Cheetos? Legend has it that it's impossible for modern teenagers to make direct eye contact with anything but a game of Candy Crush. And to give you an idea of how fast that technology moves, even that reference is dated.
Yet on these shows, there are so many instances of people getting together to discuss information that should've been conveyed in a group text. The Pretty Little Liars talk about a bunch of illegal stuff like breaking and entering, stalking, and sometimes murder in their local coffee shop. Have these people never heard of the knife or running man emojis? It's the only way to safely plot murder with shapes. They can't arrest you for shapes.
Technology is present on TV today, but only in the same way that it was in the '80s. On Awkward, an MTV show about being awkward, they constantly call each other on their phones to ask to meet in person for an interaction that would probably actually take place entirely over the phone or internet in real life.
It's more fun to watch them interact with each other in person, so they call each other and say, "Hey, come over. We need to talk" instead of just ... you know, continuing to talk or type to each other. To be fair, I may have just noticed this one because I'm allergic to face-to-face human contact and prefer to communicate with most of my friends through a complicated maritime flag system.
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