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The wrinkly future.

The wrinkly future.

Part of my morning ritual at work is to get to the office a little early, get some coffee and read all of the things during the day that really don’t seem professional such as PerezHilton, Blogtheque,  Bill Maher’s New Rules on Huff Post and of course the sugar crack website that draws us all in like blinded sheep: Facebook. 

Typically I look over Hargusta and the Caus’ profiles, respond to any wise ass posts I get from my dear friends and then look to see what my family is up to.  Since I’m not a huge phone person, (I talk on the phone to my parents and sister about once a week) FB is a good way to see where everyone is.  Yesterday I was viewing my dad’s FB page when I was socked in the face with the status update: “If Tom Brady gets hurt again, whose fault is that? WTF!?”

Hold the phone.

WTF? Did my dad really just say that?  For those who know the Skelladay family you know us to be respectful, cultured, conversational people in front of the curtains and rowdy, whisky drinking pirates off stage.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve heard my father drop some Fs and even some MFs in the midst of a beer drinking and sports family session.  From the stories I’ve heard, I’m sure the Fs also flew in his younger days when every Saturday night was like a scene from a Burt Reynolds film.

But here it was, in social media form, for everyone to see…and I don’t think I liked it.  The Caus, being the ever helpful and enlightened friend recommended that I expound on my father’ s new found text knowledge and teach him STFU, also known by its more formal phrase, “Shut the F*ck Up!”

Can you imagine? My father in his recliner, Monday Night Football on, talking to his friend: “Oh-em-gee! You shot two under par? On that course!? STFU!!  Wow, the Detroit Lions couldn’t get any worse than they were in 2008! LoL!” 

My friend Ryan encouraged me to direct my dad to Webopedia to where he could learn all of the text vernacular that has made us all so inherently lazy.  Curious, I went there yesterday and learned that there are over 1,180 different text abbreviations.

Um, excuse me?  While the majority of them are for Dungeons and Dragons virgins who need to kick ass on Play Station 3 when they should be at prom, there were others that seemed to come completely from left field.  I will occasionally throw an OMG at Hargusta if she tells me big news, but for the most part I stick to the English language I treasure so much.  Would you know what it meant if someone sent you a message that said LTLWDLS?  I didn’t think so.   It stands for “Let’s Twist Like We Did Last Summer.”  Apparently, Chubby Checker songs are so vital to our every day communication that an acronym will help get you out of a pinch if, say, you’re being mugged and your attacker has an affinity for classic American oldies.

While still an undergrad, I worked as a writing tutor for academic services to help pay for beer and beef up the wet noodle limp resume most graduates have when all of a sudden they’re not in college anymore and have to get a real job.  While one day helping a girl edit a Freshman composition paper on the love of Orpheus and Euridyces, this darling student managed to squeeze “LOL” into her final paragraph just as she explained that, damn it, if Orpheus hadn’t looked back Eurydices wouldn’t have been taken back to the depths of the underworld. 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but being stolen away to live in the underworld with Hades and the three headed dog doesn’t seem like an LOL moment, and furthermore, it scares me to think that we are gravitating toward a world where resumes are peppered with TTYL and Obama will be referred to as the HBIC (ahem, that stands for Head Bitch in Charge).  There’s even a musical group now called LMFAO…you may be familiar with their annoyingly catchy song “I’m in Miami Bitch.”  Perhaps Jeff Buckley sings it as he rolls over in his grave…

Upon looking back on the incident from yesterday, I’ve come to realize that I actually enjoy having my parents on facebook.  I am one of those people who gets along incredibly well with her family, and for that I’m lucky.  But my iPhone wielding father using WTF means there are no more secrets.  He gets FB, he understands text lingo, he harasses Terrell Owens on Twitter and with that, I’ve come to the sad assumption that unless we’re willing to consciously step away from our Crackberrys and go hide in the Adirondacks for a long weekend, none of us can be totally anonymous again.  Everyone from 5th graders to senior citizens is on board with technology, meaning that your business is now your neighbor’s whose business is her ex boyfriend’s, and so on and so forth.

So rather than going on and making this seem like a whining lament, I will just say to my dad: I am going to Nashville next weekend for Halloween, and if it gets out of hand and you see pictures, I hope that you LoL rather than WTF. 

 

Skelladay

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farmvilleI’ll start this post by saying I think social media is important.  It’s influential, unlimited and clearly brings some good with it- – how else would you find your 5th grade sweetheart, and whoa! You both live in Scottsdale now and love a good strong martini! 

That being said, enough with the fucking Farmville and Mafia Wars.

I knew Facebook had hit its stride when my lovely, but technology limited mother was asking me to help her edit her profile over last Christmas.  Like a southern California wildfire it spread and soon I was talking to aunts, uncles and asking my distant cousin Kelly to send me her BBM pin so we could chat during the day.  Even myspace (in its own way) bowed down to the dominance of FB.

College kids have known about this for a few years now, mostly when it was a collage of drunken not for parents pics and a long standing contest for who had the best I drank Patron and slept with the quiet girl from the library status.

And yet, those things I can handle.  I’m ok with the picture sharing, the beg for sympathy ambiguous statuses (“never thought you would do this to me. ugh, wish this day was over”) and even the silliness of becoming a “fan” of Special K cereal. I’d be a huge liar and called out immediately if I didn’t admit to actively participating in these things.   But Farmville and Yoville and Mafia Wars and Cafeteria Wars and whatever else kind of wars or villes or battles?  No thanks.

At first I was intrigued, but I held off.  Facebook is fun- but it’s not Nintendo Wii.  There’s no active involvement or range of motion.  But last night I succumbed to the power of the book..and you know what?  The negative nellies are right.  It is fucking stupid.

Do you want to know how to buy some eggplant for your farm?  You click on an icon that says “buy.”  But what if you need to till your land and plant that eggplant?  Well baby birds, let me feed you:  you click on the till, click on the land, then click on it again to do the aforementioned.  Click, click, click, click.  Same thing with mafia wars: Click to rough a guy up! Click to steal an eightball of coke! Click, click, click!

What happens if you can’t afford to do these activities?  Don’t worry, you can use a REAL debit or credit card to buy tokens for a fake game which never amounts to anything (“Sorry, I can’t go out to dinner tonight guys” Why? “Well I’m busy playing facebook games and ironically I’m broke from playing them too”).

My estimate is that its popularity lies in a valid excuse to log on again.  We just cyber stalked for an hour, but damn it! We forgot to to ask 17 people if they want to join our crew so that we can be a level 75 team godfather!  In my opinion it’s the easiest way to annoy the 450 ‘friends’ you worked so hard to collect. 

 When your boss is yawning because she was up till 3am clicking her way through the ghetto, and your friend wants to know why you didn’t return the favor and gift her a magnolia tree for her homestead, we’ve got an issue.  I’m all for downtown, lazy Sunday-esque behavior, but lets make it a little more constructive and results driven, you know, like off-shore betting and googling your exes’ new girlfriend.

The really wise Caus put it in incredibly user-friendly vernacular and dropped it  in my Gmail inbox this morning:

 You’re better than that.  facebook is for statuses, picture, wall posts and communicating.  NOT FOR GAY Asz FARMVILLE.

And yeh, the above picture is from my own sad little farm.  Which I’m deleting.  Right. After. This. Post.

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