Dear Santa: I've been an extremely good boy this year. I ate all my vegetables, played nice with my sister, and actually bought a CD with money. (Well, my grandfather bought me the CD, but I think he paid with actual money, and all my friends are really enjoying one or two of the songs from it.) I've done all my homework on time, but haven't been to the library all year. Google is my library now, and man - does Wikipedia make writing my essays easy! And I'm an author, too; I got to update the definition of Panic! At the Disco.
Mom and Dad won't let me on MySpace anymore. They've watched too many Dateline episodes on NBC about sickos trying to pick up kids using it. I don't really care, though, because MySpace is really MySister'sSpace now, and how cool is that? And what's with all the advertising? Facebook is so much cooler, and all my friends are there - but you know, I'll bet something better will come around soon anyhow.
My parents don't watch a lot of TV, but when they do, I don't get it. They actually sit there and watch a single show for, like, an hour or something. I don't understand that. I guess I like to watch some movies through BitTorrent, but for most of my video I want what I want and usually that's only parts of shows. I mean, Jon Stewart is great, but I only really like to see the funny parts my friends told me about. I don't mind going to ComedyCentral.com, but YouTube was so much easier. I just don't understand grown-ups: Why would they pull video from where I want it to where they want it? Oh, by the way, thanks for the video iPod last year.
I keep up on news pretty well for a high school kid. Mom cancelled her newspaper subscription because it was clogging up the house; she's big on everything "green" these days, and kept saying, "No one reads this thing." I have hundreds of places to find out what's going on online. Digg or Reddit.com gets me there. Stephen Colbert has pretty good advice for when I'm able to vote in two years. Dad thought we should keep the newspaper subscription because my older brother is looking for a new job every 18 months, but he asked Dad what a newspaper has to do with Craigslist.
Other than the playoffs and the World Series, I don't think I've watched a show live in two years! Dad was so happy when his TiVo added extra bandwidth. He said at dinner the other night that he hasn't seen a TV ad in a year, though he used some bad language in between saying "TV" and "ad."
Dad is spending way too much time on video games for a 41-year-old; I thought those were for kids. They're all about virtual worlds. Mom won't let me pay for Second Life yet, but I'll be in college soon and will ask for a subscription. And I get to use MTV's Virtual Laguna Beach and a bunch of others she doesn't know anything about (tee hee).
I made good money this summer mowing lawns and putting some of my used stuff up online. I don't use eBay, though my grandma loves it because there are some great, safe places to sell stuff real easy to other people who really know what they're talking about. And, you know, I can buy almost anything I need pretty new from Amazon.
I would really love a new cell phone, if you think of it. I change phones every six months or so. I can't afford the ones where I can download music, but someday I will and it will be cool to have my iPod and phone all in one. Actually - and don't get me wrong - I love my iPod, but XM is coming out with some pretty good stuff, so I'll keep an eye out for it. Pandora is my best source for great new music. And what's with this new Zune device? Maybe that will change everything. Hey - could I get one of those this Christmas?
I hope you don't work too hard this year. I really think you'd save loads of time and sweat if you'd just order stuff online and send it. I think I run into your elves on Fark.com all the time, and it seems like they're overworked.
Christopher M. Schroeder is CEO and president of The Health Central Network, a ChoiceMedia company. (firstname.lastname@example.org, thehealthcentralnetwork.com)