EVER wondered what teenagers talk about behind closed doors?

Well online show You Don’t Say…, produced by SwitchUp.TV, hopes to give you a bit of an idea.

Hosted by radio personality Xandria Ooi, the monthly talk show discusses generation gap issues that young people face with adults today. And the panelists for the show? Three different teenagers every month.

The show aims to provide a platform for teenagers to share their opinions and say what they honestly feel about some of the growing pains they go through, and to help adults understand them a little better.

The BRATs got to go behind the scenes of the filming of the very first episode at SwitchUp.TV’s studio in Menara Star, Petaling Jaya and the topic was a really touchy one – dating.

Ooi encouraged the three panellists – students Ilyas Shukor, 15, Ashley Winters, 17, and Emily Chong – to speak their minds with some probing questions. What do they think is the right age to start dating? Would they tell their parents about their love life? What is their concept of dating? The panellists were quick to voice their opinions and share their personal experiences and anecdotes.

“I think dating after the age of 12 is fine,” said Ilyas. The other panellists agreed but emphasised the importance of being ready before they started dating.

When quizzed by Ooi about why only after12, since you can be “ready” even before you turn 12, the panel sheepishly answered “puberty”, adding that they simply never had feelings for the opposite sex before that.

“It’s not intimate. You don’t really have that intimate feeling,” said Winters.

Aside from a team of young panellists brought in every month, You Don’t Say… also goes out of the studio to interview people of all ages to gather a wide spread of opinions.

For the first episode, they interviewed high school students, adults, and even a five year old boy. Most of the students said the appropriate age to start dating would be above 18, once you get your SPM exams out of the way.

“We wanted to bring out conversations that aren’t usually talked about in front of parents,” said Ooi during an interview after the show. “It’s a place where kids can say what they want without judgement.”

Realising just how different the youth of this generation are compared to their parents, Ooi wants the show to be an avenue for youngsters to express their passions and what they stand for.

“We also want them to tell the world what they can do as individuals, and show what they have to contribute to society,” she added.

Ooi was quick to emphasise that the show isn’t just targeted at young people. Adults – and parents especially – can also benefit from the show as it will help them understand what their children are thinking about. Ooi hopes the show will help bridge generation gaps and strengthen relationships.

The three panelists, members of SwitchUp.TV’s Young News Network (YNN),  said they enjoyed having the chance to speak their minds.

They weren’t entirely sure what to expect given it was the show’s first episode, but they hope the panelists on next month’s episode will be just as open in sharing their thoughts and opinions.

> Watch the first episode of You Don’t Say… by logging on to SwitchUp.TV. A new episode will be uploaded every month.

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