As technology has evolved, culture has, as well. And for youth, this means that our culture changes, not only as we age and shift our interests, but along with technology and world around us.
One thing that has really been affected by these shifts is food. How, when, what, and where do we eat? In a world where there’s an app for every mood, is there one for every food?
In youth culture, there sure is.
Being a teenager means gaining a little independence, possibly getting a part-time job, meaning we can decide what we eat and how we do it.
We have evolved our tastes, and now that we have disposable income, we can act on them. Usually, that means there’s an app involved. Domino’s, McDonald’s, Papa John’s, Starbucks, Pita Pit, Subway – all restaurants that have mobile ordering apps.
How we consume food is changing.
Having a rough day? Check what’s open on Skip the Dishes and order some consolation food. Missed out on family dinner? Order pizza. The possibilities are endless.
These newfound possibilities have created a new culture surround ordering food.
My friends and I don’t often dine out– instead, we text one another, coordinate what we want to order, then sit down and eat our take-out together.
A few weeks ago, seven friends and I ordered together from Montana’s so that we didn’t have to all pay separate tax and takeout fees.
When we went to pick up the food, it took three of us to carry. I was in the back of my friend’s tiny red Saturn, trying to keep boxes of chicken wings, nachos, and hamburgers from falling on the floor.
When we got back to residence at the university, we sat on the floor of my dorm room and feasted.
(Later on, I sneaked out with my chicken wings and my boyfriend, and we watched Netflix in the basement of the library with our snacks).
However, group-ordering food can be difficult because sometimes finances become a point of contention.
Usually, one person places the order for food, and everyone else pays them back. In the case of our Montana’s, the tab was over $75. If my roommate had been left with the bag to hold, it would have been pretty rough for her.
My best advice for ordering food with friends – pay back promptly.
Food culture is an important part of youth culture.
Since moving to university, some of my best memories have centred around food.
The first time I hung out with my best friends on a weekend, we ordered pizza in the middle of the night. I met my boyfriend largely because we cooked hash browns together at 2:30 a.m. When I had a rough week, my friends surprised me with snacks and a movie night. Food brings people together.
Some people might think that because youth are beginning to order food via apps more often than they eat together, that they lose important connections.
That isn’t the case. By ordering our food when we want it, teenagers have autonomy over our meals. If me and the girls want Domino’s at 3 a.m. after a night out, we can have it.
That’s what being young is all about– pizza past midnight, eaten with greasy fingers and wide smiles.
Marlowe Evans is a student at the University of New Brunswick from Maple Ridge who writes about youth issues.