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A Gen Z Teen Accidentally Sent Millennials Into An Existential Panic After Asking How CDs Work

BREAKING NEWS: You are old.

Posted on October 23, 2018, at 12:20 p.m. ET

Alyssa Lucas

Alyssa Lucas is a 17-year-old from Baltimore who proudly claims her Gen Z identity.

However, Lucas did not know her simple existence as a young person on the internet would send thousands of Gen X'ers and millennials into a collective crisis over the weekend.

On Saturday, Lucas told BuzzFeed News she was at a local Best Buy when she overheard a conversation about "how everyone used to burn CDs and make mixtapes."

(Lucas confirms she has seen, touched, and owned a CD before, but she's much more familiar with consuming music exclusively through streaming services, like Spotify.)

The conversation she overheard had her wondering about how CDs actually function. Specifically, she wondered how you copy data over from one CD to another, aka "burning CDs."

So, the teen thought to ask Twitter, and she sent this innocuous tweet.

"How did people burn CDs?" she asked the open internet. "Like how did you just get a blank CD and put songs on it?"

Maybe its just the generation z in me but how did people burn CDs? Like how did you just get a blank CD and put songs on it? https://t.co/EVUVaDX645

At first, people were vague β€” but attempted to help. There were variations of responses about buying a stack of blank CDs and using a desktop computer and various software or programs used to transfer song data onto a blank CD.

If you're a teen wondering too, the most common ways people made CD copies were either through Windows Media Player, or another similar computer program. Or, you could download various other third-party software designed for CD burning.

As far as the actual technology goes, the most truncated explanation is that blank CDs have blank grooves as well as a thin layer of dye. Song data is written onto the CD when a laser in a CD drive pulsates at an incredibly high power to "burn" marks into the dye and grooves.

@tamaranians you basically put a blank disk in the cd drive of the computer and add the songs to the disk (like you would add files to a usb drive?)

In any case, Lucas's innocent question quickly derailed into a conversation about how "old" everyone suddenly felt about themselves.

Her tweet has been retweeted and liked thousands of times β€” mostly by people suddenly remembering there are near-adults on this great Earth who have never burned a CD in their lives. People who identified themselves as only in their mid- or late twenties suddenly felt Old AF.

"I was totally surprised by how much attention this had gotten, but I’m not mad at it. I honestly thought no one was really going to pay me any mind," she said.

"Is this what getting old feels like?!?" one person responded to Lucas's question. Their tweet has been retweeted more than 69,000 times.

Is this what getting old feels like?!? https://t.co/l7KiQGXr0W

"I'm nine million years old."

I'm nine million years old https://t.co/9nkjhyDcFQ

"Suddenly 26, feels old."

@tamaranians Suddenly 26, feels old.

It created a new litmus test for what's Young and Old. "If she never burned a CD she's too young for you bro," someone tweeted.

If she never burned a cd she’s too young for you bro https://t.co/gG9LxODYOm

However, Gen Z'ers came out to defend themselves. They said they don't know Lucas, and they do not want Lucas speaking for them. They know how CDs work.

@tamaranians I’m a generation Z don’t embarrass me like this sis

i was born in 2000 and i know how to do this.......how young are yall LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOO https://t.co/VfWoueBXnC

"I can definitely say after all of this, I know how to burn at least 100 CDs if I wanted," she joked to BuzzFeed News. "I still prefer modern ways of saving music. It’s much easier to just go on Spotify and save whatever I want."

Alyssa Lucas

She was also pretty diplomatic about the generational war being waged over music consumption, and whose generation has a better music-listening and music-storing experience.

"I think that when it comes to stuff like this, it really all depends on what you were exposed to," she said. "Times change and there’s always going to be pros and cons to it."

Her tweet has at least compelled some millennials to think of ways to "preserve" or commemorate their generation's technologies, like opening a museum.

@tamaranians @anildash We need to preserve these experiences. We need a museum where you can make a mix tape using a dual-cassette boom box on high-speed dub. So much love in that process, and so precious to receive.

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