Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kids these days: or wherein I favour optimism over another Sarah Palin-related post

Kids these days. Everything bad they do – I blame on Miley Cyrus. Everything good must be a direct result of Taylor Swift. If there’s a kid with an unnatural obsession with a love interest, I chalk it up to Twilight.

Clearly, I’m alienated from the young peoples. This distance is probably the reason I find the younger generation so fascinating.

What’s intriguing about them? For starters, it’s boggling to think that people exist who don’t know a life before the Internet. Today’s thirteen year olds watched Blues Clues DVDs on their parents’ laptops and learned how to spell and type while surfing Yahoo! for kids. ICQ was a dinosaur long before they cut their teeth on Facebook chat.

I like to think that these kids, the ones who grew up video blogging their diaries have a good grasp of the idea of the global community. A better grasp than my friends and I had at their age, at least. Kids these days learn from a really young age that we’re just a tiny speck among the oceans of people trying to be heard.There’s hardly a better way for a young kid to learn about life outside their bedroom than by logging on to a news site and reading comments from people halfway around the world. They can discover for themselves the opinions of smarter, dumber, more racist and better looking people. Thanks to and because of the sheer volume of the Internet, they understand just how crazy big our planet is.

As such, it seems that today’s youth have an incredible appreciation for those moments when two strangers crash together in wonderfully random and unexpected situations. A gross generalization? Definitely maybe, as this argument is based almost completely on my experience with the site My Life is Average. After reading MLIA for a few weeks, and rejoicing in the site's friendly attitude towards thought, it’s clear to me that young people today possess the rare gift of seeing the magical in the mundane. This I love.

Here are a few typical entries from MLIA:

One day I received a call from an 800 number. Expecting it to be a telemarketer I answered with a sigh and a hello. The response was "Hi there, I'm an annoying telemarketer that's not going to try to sell you something I already know you don't want... how's the weather?" A minute later I heard his boss behind him ask what he was doing followed by a click. Best telemarketer experience ever. MLIA

Today was Halloween and I was passing out candy at my house. The old man (about 85) who lives down the street from me said trick or treat when he came to my door. He wasn't dressed in a costume so I asked him what he was. His reply, "I'm Benjamin Button. I'm 7, but I look a lot older." I gave him extra candy. MLIA

Yesterday for trick-or-treat me and my bf went as Harry and Ginny. We went up to a house and an old lady answered dressed up as Hermione. She looked at us hugged both of us then screames, "Ron, Harry and Ginny came to visit us." Then her husband comes to the door dressed as Ron and gave us both a big hug. I love old people. MLIA

A little while ago, I went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince with my sister, mom, and dad. When the movie characters raised their wands at the end to remember Dumbledore, my dad slowly raised his drinking straw, and was followed by the entire filled IMAX theater. MLIA

Delightful. The best entries from MLIA describe an unexpected connection between strangers- the special moment that happens when a shared interest brings strangers together, if only for a second. Moments in time. Observing what’s vivid. Presentation, not reference.

MLIA resides in the corner of the Internet we go to forget about the Levi Johnstons and Jon Gosselins of the world. MLIA is where we honour the best of the every day and celebrates the good in people. Knowing that its submissions are written largely by school kids fills me with hope for what’s to come.


  1. You're overloading my google reader! Where do you find this stuff? Keep on truckin' baby.

  2. Awww...

    Such sweetness in your old age Mereditherer dear!

    Thank you for the uplift!

    xx your Breton fan

  3. raising wands/drinking straws in Dumbledore's honour?? I got goosebumps!


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