January 12, 2012


DEAR 10 YEAR-OLD: What are doing with an iPhone? Like, seriously. How did that get there? In your hands. Last I checked you can't rollerblade down small hills or use an oven. I love my iPhone in a sick never leave me or I won’t have the strength to live sort of way, but it took me years to get here. My generation made it into our late teens without much help from the internet, thank you very much. Do you know what it’s like to search for page B7 of a Newspaper to see what movies are playing that week? Of course you don’t. Us twenty-somethings were given a little here and a little there, until finally we graduated with an advanced degree in “I’m Invincible! ”  But along the way we learned that while the internet is our best best friend, it is also a very real enemy.


When I was 15 I opened my first email account. I would occasionally go to school early and check my messages in the computer lab. Of the 3 people who knew my email address at least 2 of them were always in the computer lab with me, so it was really just a lame game we liked to play.

At 16 I got my first cell phone. It was called Samsung Eclipse and it looked like a small spacecraft. The only thing I did with it was answer my Mother's phone calls. None of my friends had cell phones in High School. Texting wasn’t mainstream until I was 18, not to mention it cost a pretty penny (Like, literally 2 pennies per text.)
I went through high school collecting gel pens and killing a lot of innocent trees. Paper notes were everywhere. In lockers, outside lockers, hidden inside a friends shoe, on cars, on the door of the fast food restaurant where your friend works. It was a much simpler time. But actually, now that I think about it -- kind of a huge hassle.

I joined MySpace while it was still in its prime and ever so scandalous. My “Top Friends” consisted of 6 people, only 1 of which I actually knew. At 21 I joined Facebook, using my college issued email address. So, naturally, I feel very entitled. I grew with Facebook as it went from obscure past time to daily routine. I watched as Mothers and Grandmothers slowly discovered the Internet. (Do you think we’ll ever convince them that typing a full "http://www.Facebook.com" is not necessary?) Before I knew it children were joining in and I've watched as they’ve claimed the Internet as their personal playground. As far as I'm concerned, 21 is the perfect age to enter the world of social networking. No one should have to deal with online personas and status updates in High School. I get a twitch in my spine just thinking about it.

By 25 I had my hands on an iPhone. Finally, after 10 years of preparation I had earned the right to read my email on the toilet.  Not only that, but also my brain was fully developed before I was able to follow Justin Bieber's every move on Twitter.


DEAR BELIEBERS, SPECIFICALLY THOSE IN POSSESSION OF AN IPHONE: You're not going to marry him. You're not. If there's anything I know in this world I know that. I've been a teenage girl before, so I know that In the back of your mind you're still thinking there's a chance. Justin never says never, so if he won’t tell you I will: Never. Nope. Never going to happen. Justin will grow wings, discover life on other planets, and crown himself King of Swiss cheese before he marries you. Best you come to terms with it now before you waste one more second sending him tweets from your @iwillmarryJustinordie account. I sympathize with you, I really do. I used to lay in bed and listen to Backstreet Boys songs that I recorded from the radio onto a cassette tape and wonder what kind of a husband Kevin Richardson would be.  I still think he’d be a good one. I never told any of this to Kevin, though. Of course not. What was I to do? Send fan mail? I could have mailed a pencil sketch of our future children, but that would have required a certain amount of effort - like folding paper and buying stamps. With Justin just a click away I fear the thick line between normal teen behavior and devoting all your time to stalking a stranger is becoming less and and less clear to you.


I have a point, so here it is : 10 year-olds have iPhone’s in their pockets. And when an 10 year-old needs a picture of cheeks for a school project they know well enough not to search "cheeks", so they search "dimples" instead. They still end up seeing a wrinkly old rear. That's the kind of crazy-ass world we live in, folks.

PARENTS: Stop giving iPhones to minors.


  1. Did you ever have to find a picture of cheeks for schools? I find this terribly unrealistic.

  2. Well it's true, Liz! For French class! Don't ask me why.

  3. This is so good. Honestly, without proper supervision, in 10 years we will have a generation of mute children who can type 100 WPM on an iPhone but have no idea how to use those same fine motor skills to boondoggle. I feel quite privileged to have lived in the generation that so perfectly bridged the no-internet internet gap. Best of both worlds... no one will ever discover anything as cool as the internet (that's one of those statements that people laugh heartily at 50 years down the road).