That's a Thing?!

That's a Thing?!
A sometimes belated, already outdated guide to your teens, tweens and everything under 20.

OK Boomer, but #NotAllKarens
Dec 2 • 51 min
Elizabeth gets into the labels and epithets assigned by the internet, and where the mainstream media gets them wrong. Karen just feels very attacked.
Things that disappear: Horror in the Information Age
Oct 30 • 44 min
Elizabeth and Jon introduce their mom to the world of Lost Media, reveal their desire to keep everything forever, and unspool two of their favourite mysteries.
Memes, praxis, the raid and the strike
Oct 4 • 56 min
Elizabeth takes Karen on a journey from Area 51 to the climate strike, and considers the role memes and social media play in mobilization. Do a good praxis, everyone.
Have I got a deal for you?
Sep 2 • 46 min
Elizabeth gets mad and Karen gets madder about an insidious new way for shady companies to recruit teens to sell stuff for them.
Me and the boy talk memes
Jul 30 • 23 min
Jon slides into Elizabeth’s chair to enlighten Karen about recent memes and accuse her of being a Boomer (the nerve!). Creative or cringe? You be the judge.
Can CanCon continue?
Jun 29 • 54 min
Karen grew up in the golden age of CanCon. But Elizabeth’s generation prefers Spotify and YouTube to radio and TV. So are Canadian content rules even a thing anymore? And should they be?
Marketing by meme — could it be a thing?
May 25 • 37 min
How do you sell to young people in the age of adblock? Forget snapbacks on Twitter, avoid drama-prone influencers, and beware the double-edged sword of #woke-ness. Elizabeth suggests where you might want to head instead.
That’s a Thing?! Live: The Internet is my GSA
Mar 31 • 56 min
Recorded live at the SkirtsAfire Festival, Elizabeth explains how she has felt more comfortable exploring her queerness online rather than in person (though we’re happy those in-real-life places exist). Then we discuss such issues with our eloquent guests.
The Holy Trinity of YouTube Gaming
Feb 28 • 41 min
Elizabeth discusses Markiplier, Jacksepticeye and PewDiePie, the Father, Son and Unholy Spirit of Let’s Play videos. What accounts for their popularity? What can and should they do with their influence? And why is Karen so goth in this episode?
TikTok: Performance art or stranger danger? Yes.
Jan 22 • 52 min
Elizabeth explains TikTok, the wildly popular app that used to be, inherited Vine’s place on the internet, and could lead your kids towards extreme creativity or utter toxicity, or both! Plus, Jon returns with a look at the memes of 2018.
The fatal flaws of YouTube
Dec 12, 2018 • 48 min
In Part 2 of our examination of YouTube, Elizabeth zooms out and zooms back in again on what is wrong with her generation’s main source of information and entertainment, and why they’ll keep watching anyway.
Tweetable terrors and digital dread
Oct 30, 2018 • 19 min
Are you up on SCP? How about the Look-See? If a kid said “I like rusty spoons,” would you know what he was on about? Elizabeth recommends the scariest things your teen has probably already seen.
The cons and cons of YouTube
Oct 8, 2018 • 48 min
Elizabeth explains the drama-soaked world of YouTube and the false promise of the American dream through the lens of the debacle known as Tanacon. Part 1 of 2, with a special guest appearance by Kyle Marshall.
What do you meme by that?
Aug 31, 2018 • 47 min
A listener question requesting help to interpret various memes prompts us to bring in reinforcements (i.e. Elizabeth’s brother Jon) to explain the dank, deep-fried, spicy and wholesome bits of internet culture whose meaning might elude you.
Don’t forget to floss (or do)
Jun 30, 2018 • 43 min
Flossing — it’s not just for teeth anymore. Elizabeth explains the origins of the dance move to Karen, and expresses disbelief that she didn’t know about it, because isn’t already over by now? Also, relive the dance crazes of the ‘80s and early ‘90s,…
How K-Pop’s BTS became a thing
May 31, 2018 • 45 min
Elizabeth has an interesting theory about the phenomenal rise of K-Pop sensation BTS, and Karen finds parallels to The Monkees and Moonlighting. Is Suga your bias? Do you even know what that means? Listen and you will.
Episode 6: I’ll meet you in a Fortnite
Apr 30, 2018 • 29 min
More than 14 million people follow Fortnite on Twitch, but somehow, Karen had never heard of it. Elizabeth enlightens her mom about the game that has glued kids to their phones and freaked out “old people media.”
Episode 5: Fanfictionary
Mar 30, 2018 • 56 min
Elizabeth introduces her mom to the surprisingly vast and very teen-girl-driven world of fan fiction. It’s not all shipping (but it is a lot of shipping —listen if you don’t know what that is. Hint: No boats involved).
Episode 4: Indie video games
Feb 28, 2018 • 50 min
Elizabeth dives into the world of indie video games, introducing some that her mother would really rather not know about (hi, FNAF), and some that she’s kind of looking forward to trying. Plus, #PaulWatch and the meaning of THOT. Find links to the games…
Episode 3: Eating Tide Pods
Jan 19, 2018 • 42 min
Elizabeth explains how eating Tide Pods became a thing, and analyzes media coverage of the phenomenon. This leads to a discussion of challenges past and present. We also revisit Logan Paul (shudder), who was briefly touched on in Episode 2 and has since…
Episode 2: Team 10
Dec 28, 2017 • 25 min
Elizabeth explains things to her mom in this sometimes belated, already outdated guide to your teens, tweens and everything under 20. This time around, she tells the story of Team 10, a collective of YouTube channels whose hosts boost each other’s…
Episode 1: Creepypasta
Dec 28, 2017 • 29 min
In this inaugural episode of a sometimes belated, already outdated guide to your teens, tweens and everything under 20, Elizabeth explains a deliciously disturbing literary phenomenon. Full show notes at