Wow. I just finished watching a Frontline report titled Growing up Online. It delved into the various aspects of a generation who’s always had the internet and the various dangers they face in a new digital world. All the old familiar fears that the media has been bellowing at the top of their lungs since the first high school kid logged onto the first chat room back before social networking sites ruled the planet. Will your kid leak photos that make them look like the jackass they are? Will they find porn and become weirdos who make the Jergens stock skyrocket in value? Will predators find your kid, become obsessed with them and abduct them to take back to their kiddie porn dungeons? Can the internet make your kid worship Satan and commit suicide while binging and purging, drinking underage, and breaking national copyright laws?
It was basically an entire hour of conservative suburban parents freaking out for no reason. And I stayed to watch every second. Now there were some good points about safety on the internet. One kid ended up hanging himself because he was being bullied, online and off, and he hooked up with another suicidal kid who basically showed him online tutorials for how to kill yourself, and even encouraged him to end everything. That sucks. I’m sure that is a devastating event in any parents life. But the internet was at most a catalyst for a depressed kid with serious problems he was trying to deal with. The problem wasn’t that there are sites that show you how to kill yourself. The problem is that the kids in his school were making his life a living hell, and no one stood up for him. Life’s a bitch.
Likewise, an anorexic girl who went online to network with other anorexic females. She found sites promoting and glamorizing eating disorders, and lots of other people who had the same baggage she had. The internet did not cause this. Neither did television. The fact is that our entire society is pretty fucked up. Every kid faces a mountain of pressure and stress that other generations just plain didn’t experience. Going through high school almost all my friends were fucked in the head one way or another. If they weren’t raped or molested as kids, then they burned and cut themselves. If they didn’t have an eating disorder, their parents beat them. Everyone got bullied. Everyone got picked on and treated like shit. Not just a few loners, the vast majority. And trying to blame these things on the internet is not only retarded as hell, but it completely ignores the actual source of the problems: real life bull shit.
Guess what, I’ve got problems too. I suffer from depression. I have a serious drinking problem. I’m socially awkward and insecure and I poke my fat in the mirror just like everyone else. And I have to deal with my shit without going overboard just like everyone else. But none of my problems have jack shit to do with the internet.
The best part of the program though was when they interviewed this suburban PTA mom from Jersey. I felt so sorry for her kids. She was overbearing and overprotective in a way that truly creeped me out. She only allowed one computer in the house, and it was in the kitchen, where she could hover and watch as her kids tried to surf the net and talk to their friends in peace. And she had the balls to get pissed about the fact that they were shutting her out. Maybe this will explain why.
One of her sons went to a concert at Madison Square Gardens with a bunch of his friends. While they were out, a lot of the students got wasted. There was photos and video posted on MySpace the next day, and some vigilant asshole let the Nazi Mom know about it. She was appalled. There were kids passed out, and kids puking, and kids generally having a kick ass time going to a concert with their friends in NYC. So this bitch sends an email to every parent in the school. Mayhem ensues, and now her kids accuse her of ruining their high school lives. And she’s all choked up because they are shutting her out. Well no shit Sherlock. You think that helped them get along better with the people they have to see every day? You know what happens to narcs in school? Bitches get stitches, that what.
Maybury doesn’t exist. Leave it to Beaver is not how America is, never really was. Kids drink now. Kids do shit you didn’t do, or maybe did do and don’t want to admit. My parents think they know all about how my life is because they listened to the Who and smoked weed while their parents were still listening to Pat Boone and Harry Bellafonte. But quite frankly I’ve done and seen things they never even had to think about when they were young. I’m not always proud of what I’ve done, I honestly have done some rotten, gnarley, dangerous, rebellious shit. But partying and rebelling doesn’t make you a bad kid. It makes you a normal kid questioning the values you’ve been presented in life.
Now her kids won’t even get online at their own home because their mom is so controlling, they can’t even have a private conversation with their friends. All this in the name of internet safety and parental responsibility? Fuck that. Her kids aren’t ten years old. They are in their late teens. Not babies, but half grown adults. You can’t force an adolescent kid to let you listen in on every phone conversation, read every email, and let you shake it off when they take a piss. Of course they will shut you out of their life. You’re fucking it up. Teens need some freedom to become individuals. Restricting their personal freedom will only make them push you and your psychotic rules out of their life, or worse, stunt their social development so much that you have adult children running around asking mommy to help them with everything. Double fuck that.
And when the kids were interviewed, they pretty much said their mom was a fucking idiot. Every single kid they talked to said they knew not to tell people where they lived. Every single one said they deleted and blocked creepy sexual advances. And you know if even one kid had admitted to talking to predators online, they would have put it in the program, because fear sells. Even the experts they interviewed agreed that the threat of predators online has been blown out of proportion. They said that in most of their studies, there was much less sexual advances than they expected. And in addition to that, most of the advances were not the sort of creepy big fat hairy guy in a basement that people associate with internet predators. Mostly it was the nineteen year old hitting on the seventeen year old, which honestly shouldn’t be against the law anyway. Not that I want to hook up with young chicks, but honestly, a two year difference is not a big deal. In fact, in my state, it isn’t illegal. The age of consent is sixteen, with a four or five year age difference limit until you turn 18 and become a legal adult.
But forget my legal tangent. My point is that I understand that there are dangers online. I know this. But I also know that if you just explain this shit to your kids, they will probably protect themselves very well. The internet has created a generation gap even wider than the previous ones. People no longer have to keep their families in the loop. Kids can log on and tune out their parents while interacting with people across the world. My generation is comfortable in a digital world that the previous one is struggling to adapt to. But you gotta trust your kids to know the right thing to do. Kids aren’t stupid. Wait no, kids are stupid, but they know how to behave online so stop flipping out. Just think, you are more likely to crash your car and kill them than they are of being abducted by an online predator*.
(*not actual statistic, conjured from thin air to prove point)
The internet can be a beautiful technology. I know it’s opened up a lot of new things for me. I’ve made friends across the globe. I’ve found new hobbies. I am constantly learning new exciting things about the world that I never would have if it weren’t for the internet. I am probably going to make a career working on the internet one day. So mothers, love your kids, but release the strangle hold. It’s really not necessary. Talk to your kids. Find out what’s going on in their life. But don’t smother them or they will turn out like me. They will get pissed and reject everything you’ve ever taught them, eventually sprinting to hell.
I wrote this a few weeks ago and wanted to come back and add a little bit about the general vulgarity of the internet that makes me chuckle every day. Anyone out there who has a WordPress blog (WordPress is the best, switch now) will know about your blog stats. It’s a fun side page that lets you know a little about the traffic you blog is getting. My particular favorite is the “Search Engine Terms” section which shows you all the terms people have somehow used to find your blog. Now for me, almost every visitor I get has come here looking for either drugs and alcohol, or something sexual. Hands down, 95% of my visitors. And this is every single day. I took a screen shot yesterday just to kind of give you an idea.
You’ll notice the only two searches that weren’t about drugs or sex were “retarded daughter”, which is hilarious, and “DONKEYS” which is kind of weird. Hell, just today I got eight hits for “how to put cock in butt without hurting”. Eight freaking hits. Apparently there’s a lot of people out there who have never heard of Crisco. And “how to find weed at burning man”? Really? Try closing your eyes, spinning in a circle, and asking the first person you see if they have some to sell. Odds are they won’t but they will instead dose you on acid and give you a sweet discount on peyote infused X. Dumbass. I’ve kept a list of all the results that stood out for one reason or another. Here’s just a few selections from said list:
“fun to swear”
gas motor vibrations clit
spicy coon/coon pussy
Wendy farts a lot/broccoli farts/donkey fart/shit locker
man accidentally fucking donkey (as if that’s even possible you dip shit)
make someone look like they are on fire
TO TOLERANT WILL BRWNIES GET M HIGH
let me tell you why he should be the emp (a double whammy. Both insanely long for a search and completely nonsensical)
Best stuff to do when high on weed/doctors who smoke weed/how much weed can one person smoke/do vegetarians smoke weed (I don’t know, ask Em)
real life she hulks