When it comes to exchanging dirty and flirty messages, many might assume that teenagers would opt for popular apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. However, it seems like high school students are opting for a less traditional form of communication, one that allows them to fly under the radar.
Per a report by The Atlantic, some high schoolers are taking to Google Docs in order to chat and flirt in class. As opposed to being caught using a phone — or risk passing a physical note in class — it seems some students are forgoing more traditional methods of communication for something more inconspicuous. The switch to Google Docs seems to have been spurred by the prevalence of laptops in the classroom.
The Atlantic spoke to a handful of high schoolers, identified by pseudonyms, who all weighed in and offered up their own stories. One 15-year-old student, “Skyler,” explained that she and her classmates don’t pass notes in class anymore.
While some middle and high school teachers are adopting Google Docs as a way to share lesson plans and exercises, some students are taking advantage of the platform’s collaborative capabilities and features in order to organize conversations under the radar.
There are a handful of techniques that students can use in order to avoid suspicion. As The Atlantic notes, Google Docs does have a built-in live chat function. While it’s not enabled by default, some savvy teenagers use it to exchange messages in real-time, and it seems some teachers aren’t even aware of this particular functionality.
Another technique that students are taking advantage of is the ability to open and create a running stream of comments. By highlighting specific phrases, they’re able to share comments while keeping a copy of an appropriate document or exercise open on their screen. Should a teacher walk by, a quick click of the “Resolve” button closes the message thread.
In the event students are instructed to work on a solo project, they’ll simply create a shared Google Doc, where each participant can exchange messages as walls of text.
“People will just make a new page and talk in different fonts so you know who is who,” Skyler explained. “I had one really good friend, and we were in different homerooms. So we’d email each other a doc and would just chat about whatever was going on.”
Flirting on google doc chat >>>>>>— Neta Guey ???????? (@Crispy_Cruzito) March 1, 2019
what the media thinks teens like: sexting— dylan (@dylwack) March 18, 2018
what teens actually like: google docs
If you don’t flirt with your girl over the chat feature on Google Docs for her paper you’re editing together, somebody else will— Blake Commanchee (@Jeremy_Wesch) January 22, 2019
To some, using Google Docs in order to chat invokes a sense of nostalgia. Skye, a 20-year-old from Massachusetts, recounted a bygone era when her group of friends used the platform to exchange messages.
“Chatting on Google Docs is very reminiscent of when we were younger,” Skye said. And paper notes? “I haven’t passed a physical note to someone since fifth grade,” she said.