Can’t believe I scooped my twenty-something daughter with my vast knowledge of up and coming websites. Here’s the back story. A guy and a friend, local college grads bound for law school, have an idea on the fly — create a site inviting text messages that distill (operative word here) the texters’ prior evening’s experiences. Friends of ours told us about it. Their daughter knows the principals. (But you wonder after reading these texts if anyone has any of the synonymous kind.)
Some of them are quite funny. There is true wit here in amongst the ones that make your hair curl. The numbers represent telephone area codes: #573: “Just got a (sic) orange juice for my grandma, put gin in it without thinking. She’s having a good morning.” And here’s #440: “I am at the gas station and there is a whole amish family here. I’m not sure why the amish need gas but I think its (sic) worth investigating.” The texter might not have a grasp on the grammar thing or capitalization-of-proper-nouns thing but the text brought a chuckle.
Others of these are funny in an appalling way. I won’t repeat any but do confess to laughing out loud. Still others are just plain appalling. Read more than a handful and you’ll start hoping the text from #313 wasn’t anyone you diapered or fed strained peaches to. Remember Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights? By comparison, the general tenor of the texts makes ol’ HB’s masterpiece seem as tame as a Mr. Rogers’ episode. What has happened to the neighborhood?
Here’s what I think — Big Bird happened. These are the texts of the Sesame Street generation. A generation fed one-minute segments; a generation who grew up on plot developments featuring gnat-like dashes from heretothere; a generation who was exposed to reading by the strobe-like flashing of one letter after another.
They are the texts of a generation whose parents shouldered back-breaking video cameras to record their offsprings’ every gesture and movement. EVERYTHING they did was captured on tape because it was so IMPORTANT. Every intimate moment was SO special, Poppa and Nana had to see it on video. This was the first generation to cut its reading readiness teeth on nanobytes. And voila! A Bachanalian website devoted to self-congratulation in 25 words or less.
And here’s the full-circle kicker. This site was launched in March. It went viral in the time it takes to click “send” and now receives 3.5 million hits. A DAY. The site’s creators review all the submissions and post each day’s hundred best. They have been flown to LA to meet with moguls (as in Adam Sandler Productions) interested in creating a TV series based on the texts. They are being paid fees that end with a lot of zeroes. And of course there is a book deal. All you erstwhile bloggers who thrill for a few dozen readers, don’t even go there…
Ponder the potential offerings from comparable Baby Boomer site, should one ever be launched: “It was a good morning. When I brushed my hair only found three new grey ones.” Or “How do I explain to my hostess my Depends let me down and I ruined her new couch?” Or “My date kindly pointed out a fleck of spinach wedged between two teeth. When I tried to extract it, my crown came off. Instead of going dancing after dinner we went to the dental clinic.”
A text from #978 put it best: “I hope God doesn’t listen to everybody on a Saturday night.” Probably not. Instead of texting, The Divine is likely curled up with a Good Book. Amen.
This post has been brought to you by the letters XXX.
I’ve always been a fan of Kermit, but as my carpel tunnel gets worse, I blame it on the iphone. I dare say I’ve done scrapbook pages based on texts and IM’s. The world is changing!
Great blog entry BTW, save this one for the next mag. that comes a-callin’. Really relevant for today!
Thank you Elliot and Christy! I’d hoped this one would be greeted in the spirit I wrote it.
OMG! LMAO…U hit the nail on the head with this one. TTYL, Luv U
Good point about the whole Sesame Street format and this generation’s addiction to texting and Twittering. You are so wise, and funny, too! Just what every great blogger should be! Thanks for a lovely post.
Heck yes — you hit the nail on the head, and I am glad you did. I’ve been thinking long and hard about this generation, not sure how to explain this whole issue and how it connects to reality tv, IM, and the need to be noticed 24/7. I think you nailed it with the video camera paragraph — how we followed our kids around and documented every move. It fed right into the “everyone can be famous for any little thing” trend we’re seeing now. I keep hoping that modesty and personal mystery will be the next cool thing … I am so weary of too much information about everyone.