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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Generation Gaps and Selfies

My name is Sandra, and I am 33 years old.

I went to school when the Dewey Decimal System was on its last legs as an integral part of high school research, before the ease of Google and pre-written term papers you could purchase online for the low, low price of $19.99 and a disciplinary mark on your college transcript for plagiarism.

Cell phones has jussst barrrely inched their way past glorified bricks that only rich people could afford and become indestructible flip-top abominations that had infinite battery life, so long as you kept it stocked with pre-paid minutes.

This was the level of cool that 90's kids could only dream to achieve, guys.  No, really. 

AOL Online sent everyone free frisbie/coaster discs almost daily, the internet could not be accessed without a two-hour wait that brought with it a mind-crunching noise and an unusable phone line, and the world had just discovered the sparkling, endless-page, unicorn poop encrusted world of Geocities.   
P.S.  For all you younger readers, I've included linkies to the Wikipedia pages for each of those ancient relics above, so you can understand the struggle that was life before the 2000's.  Back in our day, we got to hear about how we didn't have it so bad, because our parents walked 50 miles in 15 feet of snow at 3 o'clock in the morning. With no shoes on.  Apparently an entire generation survived a shoeless, year-long, country-wide blizzard.

This is our version.  You mad because you can't download your porn in under 15 seconds?  My generation had to sneak their parent's vintage porn mags, or stand on top of their tv when they were supposed to be sleeping, hang upside down wile holding a jury-rigged aluminum foil wrapped antenna wire clothes hanger, and squint really hard to maybe see a might-be naughty bit through a scrambled cable station.

We were "ghetto" before "ghetto" was a thing.  Yes, that's a television.  Why isn't it flat?  That's called a tube tele - you know what?  Nevermind.  

In other words, kids, we had to use our imaginations.  Our IMAGINATIONS!  90% of the kids that grew up before the Internet age thought the final evolution of our naughty bits would look like scrambly blocks of static, at least until our first year of Sex Ed.  Like maybe what Minecraft would look like if you suffered a concussion and chugged 5 bottles of Vodka in a sippy cup.

Or what a SIM character looks like when it steps out of the shower.

Makes more sense now, doesn't it?

Also, NEVER Google "naked SIM character."  Not even, "censored naked SIM character."  On the plus side, I'll bet my Google search history is both confusing and very, very entertaining.  Just saying.  It is, however, becoming more and more difficult to convince my boyfriend that the entirety of my weird search history has to do with this blog.


You mad because you had to spend a couple hours Googling Wikipedia references for your school essay?  We had to shuffle through books, reading through hours and days and weeks' worth of indexes and excerpts, taking careful notes, in a real life library to retrieve information pertinent to whatever we had to write about.  And then we had to credit those references - with citations.  Citations, guys!

For the record, it's not the technology that befuddles me.  It's the sudden obsession with documenting Every. Single. Second. of Every.  Single.  Day.

Once upon a time, a person could eat an omelet and not feel the need to Instagram their culinary feast.  They could attempt a new hairstyle, do horribly, and try to hide the evidence,  rather than Pinterest the fail.  Their friends could find out at their next gathering that they tanned a little too long and made like a lobster, instead of scrolling past a picture of it with half-interest on their Facebook feed amongst all the political rants and  Kim Kardashian memes.

Speaking of pictures - O.M.GEEE.  SO MANY PICTURES!

When I was a kid, we had one of those Polaroid cameras that spit out a white-rimmed, not-yet developed picture.  If my mother is any indication, in order to get the picture to show up, you had to shake it vigorously for a few minutes, blow on it a couple times, chant some kind of happy picture spell, and avoid touching anything but the white parts, lest you lose a finger at the hands of an irate mother.

Bad picture?  Bad pose?  Better suck it up, Buttercup - you're stuck with a candid of you making a funny face while your brother does something embarrassing in the background, forever nestled into the family album for all eternity, because the film and flash bulbs for those things were expensive.

Or, that one picture your parents took when you were 8, when your dad made you sit next to cuddled up to a creepy and totally racially insensitive stuffed Native American that, for some reason, was just sitting randomly on a bench in the middle of a museum.  My parents thought it was hilarious. My face clearly shows a mixture of horror, nausea, and sudden homicidal tendencies.

I wanted to share that picture with you to illustrate one of the many seeds of my cynicism, but my Mom guards those albums like they're a national  treasure.  Possibly because she knows there's a risk of an unfortunate fire mishap, but still.
Instead, here's a sloth selfie.

 Ugh, selfies.  I'm not calling out anyone who takes selfies, I'm really not - I just don't get it.  I never look at myself in a mirror and think, "dayum, I look good today.  It would be a total disservice not to share this with the world."  

Besides, I'm not a totally unattractive chick, but the few times I've accidentally opened the camera on my phone and discovered the the view has flipped to face me, it looks more like this:

Even sloth up there is better at taking selfies than me.

And when I try to pose for a selfie, I always manage to be making this face:

Dammit, No Shave November.

Okay, so I really just hate people who can take a bajillion good selfies.  Photogenic people, who have some kind of Barney Stenson superpower where they can be making the most God-awful face, mid-sneeze, slipping on a freaking banana peel and still look like a supermodel.  

I have the opposite superpower - the one where I can look amazing in the mirror and be smiling my prettiest smile or rocking my best resting bitch face, and I look like I'm mid-sneeze slipping on a freaking banana peel.

How is that even fair?

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