Monday, January 5, 2009

Not For the Young At Heart


Today was supposed to be the day that I started back up with my online classes after a two-week holiday. Instead, it has turned into the “Day I Waged War on the Youth of America”. This congressional declaration came about as I stumbled upon this article, which virtually puts a bullhorn in front of the mouth of youngsters everywhere as they scream: “Old people, LEAVE THE INTERNET ALONE!!!”.

I’m sorry, but I wasn’t aware that one of the first acts 02emperor350of President-Elect Obama will be to ban usage of the Internet for anyone over the age of 25! I must have been sleeping in some kind of geriatric narcolepsy, and missed it.

What is it that makes younger people feel like they have the corner on the Internet and its vast horde of social treasures? Maybe it’s because they’ve grown up with technology as second-nature, so that perhaps they feel some sort of entitlement…but this feeling is flawed as they didn’t “create” much of what’s out there; that particular accomplishment was generally performed by “older people”.

Social Networking sites are designed to enable people to connect with old friends, socialize with current friends and even find new ones. And the last time I consulted my “Being Human” manual (pg.5), it said that’s something all people like to do! I can understand the fear or aversion of being “spied on” by their parents, but do they honestly think the desire to socialize via the internet is limited to the young? I find it incredibly difficult to believe that these same young people will magically give up social networking once they’ve reached the age of 26 and beyond! I mean, if they’ve grown up with this stuff, its all they know. Why stop?

So my message to all the youngsters out there: enjoy your youth while you have it, but realize that one day you, too, will no longer be “young”. There will come a day when you’re on the verge of 30 years old, and that’s when you’ll realize something you can only barely fathom right now: that at the age of 30, you still feel EXACTLY as you did at 20, only a bit wiser for it. And when that epiphany hits you, the first thing you’ll want to do is reconnect with those from your past…so that you can feel young again via the device known as nostalgia. Every social network in existence is built by the power of nostalgia, as people seek to reconnect with those that make them feel young again. So, don’t begrudge us this potion of mana…one day you’ll be taking sips as well.