TODAY   |  March 21, 2012

The ‘teen talk’ that parents need to know

From popular music and celebrity gossip to social media, teenagers tell TODAY what parents need to know about popular culture to better connect with their kids.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> "today," what parents need to know about today's teens. we have three experts to educate us on what's hot and of course what's not when it comes to music, gossip and social media .

>> that's right, matt. we begin with what teens are listening to these days. and billy is an 18-year-old high school senior from connecticut. he's joining us this morning. good morning.

>> good morning, ann.

>> talk music trends for teens.

>> well, lately talk to a few friends at universities and throughout high school and even my little brother , a lot of people are looking to a song you heard before called levels. that's kind of like that fast-paced dance music . then there's also songs like m-83 has a song midnight city which is a slower electrosound but still got that electronic feel. and then i saw younger giant, a rock 'n' roll band at terminal 5 earlier this week who just put out an album. if you're more into the rock 'n' roll scenes.

>> i have no idea what you just said. but -- but there's something called dub step as well?

>> dub step is kind of sounds like transformers are fighting. it's like you can dance to it. and a lot of parents like my parents hate it. they're kind of turned off to like a bass drop. so it's very odd music, but it comes from distorted like volkswagen stereos.

>> the theme seems to be a very technokind of sound.

>> a lot of people are just talking on their computers and making music.

>> meantime so the top then artists that are maybe you just listed some and i didn't understand what you were saying. what are the, who are the top artists?

>> you can listen to -- and you heard nicki minaj. you can find them at itunes top ten on their home page and for newer dub step kind of things there are web sites like fresh on campus and camelback music.

>> meantime justin bieber seems to have discovered a canadian pop star . saying carly ray --

>> her song is call me maybe and that's one of the catchiest songs around right now. i mean it's justin bieber endorses something then you know, call me maybe.

>> that's exactly right. all right well listen you've given us a sense about what's happening with music. thanks so much.

>> thank you.

>> always a pleasure to meet you. and i'm going to decipher what he said a little bit later.

>> all right, ann, thank you. if you want to stay on top of the latest celebrity gossip you can ask a teen. lucy is a 19-year-old sophomore at johns hopkins university . lucy was also just dancing to some of that music. good morning.

>> thanks.

>> it doesn't take a lot of effort on the part of a parent to connect with a teen. and it can have a big impact .

>> yes, definitely.

>> let's talk about things every parent needs to know. a lot of friends and you are talking about ben and courtney . who are they and why do i need to know about them?

>> the bachelor's been on tv for about ten years right now. ben was the bachelor, and courtney , stole his heart, there was a lot of courtney drama going on in the hearts of teens and parents alike. i know my parents watched "the bachelor" this season and courtney was just very scandalous. she brought ben skinny dipping in puerto rico when there were ten other --

>> lucy , stop it.

>> she made snide comments to the girls. she rubbed the rose all over her face.

>> so if a parent wants to connect with a teen, do ben and courtney talk.

>> yeah.

>> what about a magazine? if there's one magazine a parent should read, what would it be?

>> i would say teen vogue is probably the best. it has the latest styles, latest fashions and there's a bunch of celeb witty gossip in there, too. teens like to learn about younger teen celebrities like miley cyrus , taylor swift , that's definitely the magazine to look at for that.

>> what should i be looking at on the internet?

>> tmz, there's perezhilton for classic celebrity gossip.

>> and an app that you think really would help a parent of a teenager?

>> i would say e news has the best app. but tmz also has an app. i found my person favorite apps are the ones under the radar. one called pop eater which not many people know about. it's great, it's free, i can share foet voes and videos, it's very interactive.

>> lucy , good information. thank you.

>> thank you, matt for having me. nice to meet you.

>> let's go to natalie.

>> all right, thank you, matt. speaking of apps, what apps should you be downloading if you want to impress your kids? ricky randall has a few ideas. he's a senior at loyola marymount university .

>> good morning.

>> this case is an app that has really caught on fire, one of the top downloaded recently called boxer.

>> it's a great app that you can download with the iphone or android. go to it, scroll down, find a friend and it's like a modern-day walkie talkie. it's more fun than a phone call and less competition than a text.

>> instant messaging but you hear the person's voice?

>> yes, you actually see the voice message . the first one i go to, dozenle, check me out on the "today" show. get that message and can play it back.

>> check me out on the "today" show.

>> and he'll send me a message back and respond to it. a great app. kind of more fun than a phone call and less complicated than a text. great to have.

>> also another, now speaking of games, in the gaming world, this one is free, also one of the top downloads as well and it's temple run. i know because my 3-year-old is hooked to our crew members are hooked and i'm going to play right here, see if i can -- tell me about this game, what's so fun about it, why are people so hooked?

>> people love this game because you have the main character called die danger and he's running away --

>> clearly i'm no good at it.

>> it's one of those games that gets so addicted. i have a friend that got 6 million, that wasn't enough. so once you start you got to keep going.

>> ricky randall, great. i need to work on this. thanks