Steven Boyle

YouTube / Steven B

This is writer and poet Steven Boyle. And this is his spoken word poem "I Hit Send, or Modern Meltdown," which he performed at Penn State earlier this year (but which was recently resurfaced on ROYGBIV).

Yes, the poem discusses his fears of coming out—which, really, are all gay teens' fears of coming out—and the freedom you feel once you do. But it also talks about something that anyone, gay or straight, can relate to: Crushing in the 21st century.

Because we don't pass notes or ask each other to the ice cream shop anymore. We text. We have entire relationships that play out over SMS, and we read into each one. What does "haha" mean versus "hahah"? What does a winky emoji imply? It's been four hours, why hasn't he or she or whoever responded? Did I come on too strong? Do they even like me at all?

It's hilarious and heartbreaking and adorable and bittersweet. And anyone who came of age in the era of AIM and iMessage, flip phones and Twitter will see themselves in this poem.

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