That’s not much of an update, maybe, but every once in a while we here at SCFOM feel the need to let you, the Fat American reader couch potato, know that your kids are just as dumb as you were and probably as dumb as your parents were (before they went to World War II and saved us from Hitler).
See, Fat American kids love the Facebook. They love it so much that they spend hours a day on it. As if their SAT and regular school test scores weren’t bad enough, now they’re playing Farmville all the god damn time and making it harder to get into a mediocre overpriced state school. From the New York Times:
[Halley Lamberson, 17, and Monica Reed, 16,] are among the many teenagers, especially girls, who are recognizing the huge distraction Facebook presents — the hours it consumes every day, to say nothing of the toll it takes during finals and college applications, according to parents, teachers and the students themselves.
Some teenagers, like Monica and Halley, form a support group to enforce their Facebook hiatus. Others deactivate their accounts. Still others ask someone they trust to change their password and keep control of it until they feel ready to have it back.
The poor kids. First one of them has to suffer through a life with the name “Halley.” Then they have to — gasp! — have private computer access! Then they have to do something so much that only privileged people could possibly have a problem with it. (And they have to be privileged, because in case you forgot, the New York Times still only writes lifestyle stories about rich white people.)
Here’s where this story goes from being mildly interesting piffle to “I can’t believe someone is saying this with a straight face.”
It’s like any other addiction,” Dr. Young said. “It’s hard to wean yourself.”
Dr. Young said she admired teenagers who came up with their own strategies for taking Facebook breaks in the absence of computer-addiction programs aimed at them.
“A lot of them are finding their own balance,” she said. “It’s like an eating disorder. You can’t eliminate food. You just have to make better choices about what you eat.” She added, “And what you do online.”
Yeah, OK. You know what I admire teenagers for? Next to nothing. These are the people who gave us Kings of Leon, after all. And like many other addictions, spending too much time on Facebook will lead to your death.
Oh, wait! No it won’t! I was thinking about heroin. Do too much heroin and you’ll die. Spend too much time on Facebook and you won’t miss that fab rumor about when Jenny got fingered on the bus after the senior ski trip (relax — she’s 18).
It’s such uncharted territory,” Dr. [Michael] Diamonti said. “I’m definitely in support of these kids recognizing that they need to exercise some control over their use of Facebook, that not only is it tremendously time consuming but perhaps not all that fulfilling.”
Hey, know what else is apparently uncharted territory? Fucking parenting! How about taking away the laptop and the iPhone and making the little fuckers, I dunno, do their goddamn homework? Oh, wait: It’s so tough to be a parent because of all the blah blah blah oh shut the fuck up.
Many high school seniors, now in the thick of the college application process, are acutely aware of those hours spent clicking one link after another on the site.
Gaby Lee, 17, a senior at Head-Royce School in Oakland, Calif., had two weeks to complete her early decision application to Pomona College. Desperate, she deactivated her Facebook account.
The account still existed, but it looked to others as if it did not.
“No one could go on and write on my wall or look at my profile,” she said.
The habit did not die easily. Gaby said she would sit down at the computer and find that “my fingers would automatically go to Facebook.”
How about if your fingers went to the car keys and then to the gym and did 35 minutes on the treadmill? How about that shit? (I’m only assuming Gaby is fat because Gaby is a fat girl’s name.)
You’re getting a feed of everything everyone is doing and saying,” [author Rachel] Simmons said. “You’re literally watching the social landscape on the screen, and if you’re obsessed with your position in that landscape, it’s very hard to look away.”
Oh. My. God.
Know what’s hard to turn away from? Crystal meth. Let these kids tweak for three days and you’ll be begging them to drop the pipe and get back online.
After several failed efforts at self-regulation, Neeka Salmasi, 15, a sophomore at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, Mich., finally asked her sister, Negin, 25, to change her Facebook password every Sunday night and give it back to her the following Friday night.
Neeka quickly saw an improvement in her grades.
Still better, she said, is that her mother no longer visits her room “every half an hour to see if I was on Facebook or doing homework.”
“It was really annoying,” she said.
Know what else is really annoying? The fact that your mother’s the kind of pussy who wouldn’t snatch you up bald-headed and tell you that if you spent one more minute on Facebook she was going to throw over a highway overpass and let you fend for yourself.
But look! It all has a happy ending.
Halley said she and Monica expect their hiatus to continue at least through the rest of the school year. She added that they were enjoying a social life lived largely offline.
“Actually, I don’t think either one of us wants it to end,” she said.
Hey, know how to do that? DON’T GO BACK ONLINE. Problem solved in one sentence.