No, kids aren't smoking coffee, because smoking coffee is dumb. But they can show us how the internet fearmachine works.
Image: Stirling Noyes/Flickr
No, kids aren’t smoking coffee, because that’s stupid as hell.
But this is how the internet news machine works. A local television station in Las Vegas runs a 46-second, unsourced report about kids smoking coffee beans in which it interviews some completely unnamed (and thus, unqualified) dude in what appears to be a moose lodge, equate coffee to marijuana and mention (again, unnamed) websites that are “popping up online that will teach kids step-by-step how to roll their own caffeine stick,” and you’ve got everything you need to make the internet lose its shit.
And that’s what we’ve got. No, Las Vegas’ KTNV didn’t do this themselves (nor did WCCB Charlotte, which also ran something—23 seconds of unsourced speculation—a couple days ago), but their report got picked up by Glenn Beck's conservative freakout machine The Blaze, which is linking to a joke blog post and a Reddit post for proof that this is A Thing. Subsequent reports from all over the internet are wondering whether this could possibly be real.
Yeah, there are probably some idiots out there who have smoked coffee. It might even work, sorta kinda. But even a cursory glance at YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter turns up nothing. Maybe kids are Snapchatting this stuff to each other. Maybe they’re using some other social media site I’m not aware of. But I doubt it.
Social News Daily, which keeps an eye on such things, says that “Monday, March 31, is the first mention of 'bean heads,' 'caffeine sticks,' or the general practice of smoking coffee we’ve ever seen on the social web. If this is a trend, no one is Instagramming it, Facebooking about it, or sending any tweets—wholly unusual, as teens are not exactly circumspect about their stupidity sometimes … We’d embed tweets or link to Reddit posts or Facebook if anything—literally anything—was recorded on the subject prior to this morning, aside from a few throwaway jokes that in no way suggest anyone is actually doing this anywhere at all.”
And that’s where we are. Teens aren’t as dumb as most people think they are. Why smoke coffee when it’s many orders of magnitude more delicious to drink it? Weed isn’t going out of style anytime soon, they’re probably smoking that instead. Or maybe they're just drinking the tobaccochino.