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Davis, California

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

That’s Not Beer, It’s Apple Juice

Let’s be theoretical and say, theoretically (insert annoying air quotes), that you sit down for some precious Facebook time despite having a midterm in half an hour in a class whose name you can hardly even remember. Oh well, that’s what curves are for, right? You have a friend request. Warm, fuzzy feelings arise because you feel loved. Maybe it’s that hot Coho guy who you swear gives you extra stroganoff because he’s like, totally butt crazy in love with you.

Alas, it is not your man candy, but your 48-year-old Aunt Susie. What the hell?

Backtrack. This one time, my grandmother asked what the Internet was. How do you explain the Internet to someone who has probably never even put their fingers to a keyboard? It’s nearly impossible for our generation to imagine, seeing as how we barely remember when Walkmans were cool.

Clearly, technology has revolutionized extraordinarily in the past few decades. Some people have issues keeping up with it or tuning into it in the first place. Last year, over winter break, I worked for a guy who was impressed that I was able to send a mass e-mail. No joke.

It makes me wonder what kind of crazy stuff is gonna be out there when I’m old, or if I’m destined to be just another crazy old lady who doesn’t know crap, whose grandchildren find her obsolete and senile, and who is destined to spend the last of her days alone in the dark because she cannot figure out how to work a light switch.

Sure, it’s fun to occasionally rag on your parents for not knowing what an iPod is for – until one of them friends you on Facebook. Scary. Apparently some of them are getting the hang of it, and it’s instances like that that force us to question whether old people getting the hang of technology is a good or bad thing. Last week my sister coached our mother in the fine art of text messaging, which was cute for five minutes. After a dozen or so random messages asking how my day was, I was left to ask dear sibling,God, what have you done?”

Some of us like to put space between ourselves and therents. A friend of mine set her mother’s custom ringtone to a sort ofbells of doomtune so that she knows when to stop laughing and sit up straighter when the old lady calls. We tell them about our midterms and how hard we’re studying and not necessarily much else. And then we turn around and post the fun stuff on the Internet.

As soon as my mother told me she’d gotten some weird newfangled thing called a Facebook, I made a beeline for the computer and blocked her from ever being able to find me. And I’m not the only one; a young man we’ll refer to as Scooter Magnolia told me about the time he got a friend request from his dad.

“At first I thought it was just my friends playing a joke on me,he said.There was no picture and like hardly any information on his profile. But then it came up in one of our conversations and I knew it was for real. It’s just weird.

It’s also been known for a while that employers occasionally foray into the world of online profiles to get dirt on current or potential employees. Some kiddies are paranoid because of this and immediately untag those undie kegstand pictures. Some are just downright afraid that such pictures will someday affect their chances of becoming president. Athletes don’t want their coaches to see them chugging Coronas the night before a meet. Back in high school, people were getting busted because our vice principal couldn’t keep her stalkerish little fingers off her keyboard.

It all depends whose side you fall on. Yes, you have the right to express yourself in a public domain. Yes, others have the right to view whatever information is available to them. So, freaky as it is, I guess to some degree there’s justification on both ends, but there still is that little part of me that wishes adults were still too technologically obsolete to unmute their computers. Yay for private profile settings.

In any case, chances are that there’s a good portion of info on your MySpace that you don’t need your parents to know about – at least not until you’re either a) no longer dependent on them and safely moved out of their house or b) confessing your deepest sins as they’re on their deathbed, too weak to reach over and strangle you for lying to them.

MICHELLE RICK must confess that she Facebook-stalks the editor of the Aggie constantly. Send your confessions to marick@ucdavis.edu.


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