Typing In Rubber Gloves
Just a couple of columns ago, I explored the notion that watching TV makes you old. Now comes word from Beijing that you can get knocked up by the Internet--at least in Shanghai.
Nearly half of the pregnant teens in Shanghai met their partners on the Internet, the China state media said recently. A doctor who oversees a hotline for pregnant teens said 46% of the more than 20,000 teenage girls who called the hotline over the past two years said they had had sex with boys they met on the Internet.
That is either exceedingly good news for Chinese teenage boys--or one more thing about the Web we have to start to worry about--like virus-carrying ad banners, or how all the wrong people are cashing in those over-valued technology buys. I am still waiting to become one of the wrong people.
Meanwhile, there is lots more to blame on the Web.
Premature Articulation: widespread anger caused by the intemperate sending of emails and IMs that, had the author given it 20 minutes of thought, might have never been sent, or constructed in a far more intelligent and/or compassionate way.
Pornitis: an addictive state whereby users cannot help but check daily to see if any new photos of Lindsay's, Paris' or Britney's shaved nether-regions have been posted overnight.
Narcissism Gigantus, Video: a delusional condition leading the infected to believe that their stupid skateboard trick or baby upsetting her food dish or dog farts deserve a worldwide audience.
Narcissism Gigantus, Text: a condition similar to the Napoleon complex, in which people driven by a perceived handicap try to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives, posting their thoughts and ideas online, thinking that it is only a matter of time before their inner genius is discovered and appropriately rewarded.
Riter's Blok: the total inability to copyedit one's own emails, resulting in office-wide Socratic discussions on the receiving end, of the true intended meaning. Lends credibility to prevailing opinion that sender is a moron.
Infantile Anger Syndrome: symptoms include vitriolic anonymous postings to message boards and community forums using racist or scatological language that, if said out loud in a crowd, would result in enthusiastic resurrection of ancient art of stoning to death.
Post-Lag Disorder: a disease manifested by always being so far behind in the discussion that other members of the group ignore you because that was yesterday's topic. Contributes to innate feelings of insecurity.
Immediaitus: the uncontrollable urge to sent an e mail or IM right when you have a thought, then wondering why respondents ignore you for hours, since they have a life and you apparently don't.
Jargonamania: an attempt to hide lack of knowledge by using words that everyone else does even if you aren't exactly sure what they mean, such as "long tail," "granular," "monetize," and, god forbid, "engagement."
Reverse Narcissism Gigantus, iPhone: pathologically persistent search for and review of blog posts that identify problems that will justify having NOT bought, you know, IT.
The story you have just read is an attempt to blend fact and fiction in a manner that provokes thought, and on a good day, merriment. It would be ill-advised to take any of it literally. Take it, rather, with the same humor with which it is intended. Cut and paste or link to it at your own peril.