I own four children between the ages of 13 and 20. Two college age and two teenagers (good times at that supermarket checkout, eh?) so I consider myself a bit well, seasoned. While little sends me into a complete tailspin, I have to admit, keeping up the façade of a hipster mom is tough work. There are some things I just do not get.
Crazy, controversial pop stars? I totally get them. Hard as she tries, little Miley and her rebel tongue can’t hold a candle to my generation’s Sinead O’Connor and her moment of blasphemy … or our Michael Jackson and his evolution of weird … even the evil Madonna and her hairy armpits (and hey! those unruly pits are back – and she’s like, 60! You go gurl!). So I get the nutty need for spotlight and notoriety. Twerk away, you silly, silly children.
But what I don’t get is Chris Brown. Specifically that he takes a stage and is greeted by tens of thousands of adoring fans and is publicly embraced by his famous colleagues. For real? I don’t get that. At all. Never will.
I get the craze of do-it-yourself projects (says the – cough – reality TV has-been) … but I don’t get Pinterest. I see it as a junk drawer of activities and recipes that will never see the light of day, kinda like a failure cupcake frosted with optimism.
I get helicopter parents (because I personally know a boatload of teenagers that couldn’t place a coffee order correctly let alone apply to college without help) … but I don’t get “affluenza” as a legitimate means of defense for murder. Popular theory says entitlement is a pretty big problem with generation x, y and zzzz-ers but – good God –if parents are raising children without any modicum of remorse or accountability, perhaps then the parents should do some time.
I get that the internet has become this gigantic billboard for personal achievement and in-your-face braggadocio and (shrug) I think that’s fine. I’ve been known to post some good fortune — or better, the elusive I-don’t-look-fat–in-this photo once or twice (cue in collective eyeroll from spouse). Over the top bragging isn’t a crime (and some days it’s downright hilarious, thanks to all the folks who haven’t yet realized their kids aren’t as cute as they imagine) so I’m a fan.
And this is a might big but.
I do not – and can not – and will not – ever understand the act of average people using the internet to post unbelievably awful and (wait for it …) NAKED pictures of themselves.
Funny story about how I might know this:
Being of a certain age, I’ll be the first to admit social media is a herculean task. The tweets, the shares, the posts, the blog, the tumbles, the hashtags, the pictures, the OhMyFreakingGod, staying visible and relevant on the damn inter-web is a full-time freaking job. For a generation that wasn’t born sucking on an I-Pad, mastering all this crap is really the pits.
Still, I trudge on, every month or so tackling another little tidbit of cyber success. I get myself on Twitter or set up a Tumblr account, whatever I can learn on my own (because hello, there’s only so much once can ask her kids before losing massive amounts of street cred). So yay me.
But the problem is, I’ll do all this techno trailblazing and then sorta forget about it all for awhile. So I basically have no idea what’s going on with any of this stuff. My hipster-O-meter drops into the danger zone during these times.
But every now and then I’ll become inspired and will check on all my accounts. At first I’d simply chuckle at my X-rated Twitter followers. Why HotCumDelight would want to follow Eyerollingmom is a mystery to me, but hey, a follower’s a follower. Why should I care? Woo Hoo, my 49 fans just jumped to 50! Yay me AGAIN!
One day (out of boredom? curiosity? a bathroom break? can’t remember) I actually clicked on a follower from one of my accounts and was shocked to the point of revulsion. Porn site, you ask? Nope. Worse.
It was a place where average women posted naked selfies of themselves. I’m talking naked and knowing – as in smiling at the camera – in all states of lewd poses. Women of all ages (shudder, Golden Girls included) happily allowing another person to take their nasty naked picture. Then posting it onto the world wide web.
It was sickening. I kept expecting to look over my shoulder and spy Rod Serling.
It scarred me so deeply I had to stay off my laptop for almost 30 minutes.
If seeing granny’s gems or Aunt Sylvia’s stretch marks is going to keep me hip, sorry folks, it’s back to Nerdville I go.
Ick, ick, ick.
Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore) A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. –