Ask a Cool Teen

Do Today's Teen Crushes Make Each Other Mixtapes? An Investigation.

Welcome to Ask a Cool Teen™, a recurring column in which we explore critically important issues of our day through the eyes of teenagers from around the world. All interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity. For more Ask a Cool Teen™, click here.

While reporting another column on teen dating, we asked a simple question. Do today's teens still make each other mixtapes to express their feelings?

We included this explanation, in case our sources were too young to even know what we were talking about:

"Alright, so back before Spotify, SoundCloud, iTunes, Kazaa, Napster, and Winamp, there were CDs. Before CDs, there were cassette tapes. As a form of courtship, a person would record songs on a tape that they thought articulated their love for another person. Then, they would give the tape to them. This was called a mixtape. Is any of this making sense?"

Answers from Thrillist-verified teenagers from the US, Canada, the UK, and even Florida (!) can be found below.

"No, no one does this. Like, nothing close to this. I think if you just gave [a mixtape] it to a girl out of nowhere today, she'd probably be confused and a little weirded out." -- Noah, 17

"If there are kids my age doing this, then they are probably nerds." -- Mea, 18

"I'm not sure if people still do that. I've seen things like that happen on social media and movies, but it hasn't happened to me or any of my friends (that I know of...). People nowadays probably make playlists on Spotify or other music sources and have their significant other follow it (technology, yo!) I'd find it spectacular if someone made a playlist for me... swoon." -- Jenna, 18

"I really wish someone made me a mixtape, to be honest. Sadly, the only mixtape I've heard is If You're Reading This It's Too Late by Drake and it's not really the same." -- Gabriela, 15

"I have sent some playlists to people through Spotify, and I'll have convos with girls about music genres, then use [the information] to find a deeper meaning." -- Drew, 16

"Um, OK, so the only thing similar that I can think of is tagging [your crush] in a picture on Instagram that describes your feelings [towards them]. Which, in a way, is the same because they're using someone else's post/song to convey emotions." -- Tori, 17

"I guess like Man Crush Mondays and Woman Crush Wednesdays [on Instagram] would be the closest thing, uh... or maybe an overly sentimental Instagram post, I guess? [I]t’d just be broadcasting your love on social media..." -- Tristan, 18

"Yeah, I would love it if a guy made me a mixtape (but not one filled with cheesy '80s love songs). Nowadays, I think kids just make playlists on Spotify and SoundCloud and such and then share them with that person. It's almost like making a mixtape but with a dash of laziness." -- Sofia, 17

"I've heard of it from films from the '90s. But yeah, I don't do any of that with my girlfriend. We have 'our song' ('Ignition' by R.Kelly) and whenever, wherever we are, when we hear it, we automatically start dancing and singing." -- Ewan, 17 


Not really! There are two takeaways. First of all, Today's Cool Teens™ occasionally create playlists for one another, but no youth in his or her right mind would ever go through the ludicrous effort of composing a physical copy of their tender emotional declaration.

Second of all, you are old. Mostly that, actually.

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Dave Infante is a senior writer for Thrillist, and is neither cool, nor a teen. Follow @dinfontay on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.