Does high school anonymity exist anymore?

I was listening to the 2012 Best of the Howard Stern show, and there was a segment about a kid who put out a video on YouTube that sort of went viral earlier in the year, about how he would jack off to the Facebook pictures of all the girls he knew.  Because clearly all the girls that bothered to friend him had, or had their privacy settings set to where he could creep to the slutty pictures that all teenage girls seem incapable of not uploading.  It’s a catchy tune to be honest, and the lyrics are funny, but yeah in the end, the underlying message is still pretty creepy.

When the Stern Show managed to get the kid on the air, it turns out that he’s some dumb teenage black weeaboo into anime, has no friends, and is more or less completely oblivious to the fact that he’s 17 with no inkling of idea what he’s going to do with his future, and absolutely no preparation for what the adult world is going to be like when it comes crashing down on him when he’s done with high school.  And no genuine understanding of that something like this video is never going to be fully erased from the internet no matter if he takes it down or not, and that if the right (or wrong) people find it, it could seriously jeopardize his future prospects in so many varying ways.

But throughout the whole conversation they were having, one thing stuck with me, which is what prompted this post.  The kid was talking about how random sluts in his school would start connecting with him over Facebook, and deliberately sending him slutty photos, and basically saying they hoped he would jerk off to them.  What I get out of that conversation is that nowadays, every single high school kid has a Facebook page; I look back to my own high school days, to which I’m one of the few people that can actually say I enjoyed, but it’s just such a stark difference, from Jesus Christ, 12-16 years ago.

Out of my graduating class, I honestly had maybe five genuinely close friends, and a handful of varying levels of acquaintances.  Obviously, I’m still in touch with these five close friends to this day, and I’ve more or less lost contact with just about everyone else I went to high school with.  But the fact is that out of my graduating class of several hundred students, I can easily say that I didn’t really know anyone.

Sure, I knew names, and maybe a general idea of what their interests could be if they came to class with their Friday football jersey on, or happened to be carrying books of certain authors on it, and so forth, but definitely nothing obvious in terms of interests, talents, or hobbies.  Of course I made assumptions that they were into break-dancing, Calvin Klein and souped-up Honda Civics if they were Asian, obviously played lacrosse and hung out in country clubs if they were white, and that all of the fucking hajis were plotting 9/11, but unless I engaged them in interaction, or made a direct attempt to actually try and get to know other people, there was essentially no way to get to know other people.

Nowadays, it’s as easy as looking for people on Facebook to attempt to get to know people better before even saying a word to them.  Imagine teenage Paul, who has a crush on Wendy, but doesn’t have to balls to speak with her, because he feels like he doesn’t know what he can say to her.  No problem, Wendy’s got a Facebook profile, and it’s conveniently set to all public.  Paul finds out that Wendy likes photography and her pictures show that she’s into camping and swimming.  But then Paul also sees that her relationship status mentions that she’s in a relationship with that midget douchebag Chad.  And then perusing through the banter on her wall, it’s theoretical that Wendy is also interested in Ethan and Aiden, Chad’s lacrosse teammates.

Doing some more investigative Facebooking, Paul is able to realize that Chad, Aiden and Ethan are all just stereotypical bros, and that if he played his cards right and capitalized on all of the information about Wendy he learned from her Facebook profile, he could find a way in.  Eventually, Paul signs up for a photography class where, surprise, Wendy happens to be in, and he is able to make a move and get his foot in the door, and when Wendy becomes available after getting caught by Chad after having a three-way with Aiden and Ethan, Paul is able to swoop in, impress Wendy with his fake interest of photography, camping and swimming, and get a rebound handjob somewhere in the future.

Shit like that couldn’t happen in my high school days.  Sure I crushed on a few girls, but unless I actually engaged them in some sort of interaction, there was absolutely no way I had any chance to get my foot in the door with any of them, because there was no online alternate foundry of convenient information to where I could derive useful intel from.  The last girl I had a thing for, it turned out that we ended up sitting next to each other in computer graphics because we were level threes.  In the relaxed atmosphere of that class, I found out that she also liked Pink Floyd, and we actually kind of got to know one another, but it’s all because we actually engaged each other and actually talked.  But aside from her, I didn’t know anybody, and unless I put forth the effort to try to get to know someone, it was pretty much impossible.

Today’s kids have it so much easier.  And it’s not just romantic conquests either; it’s simply the people in their classes in general.  If the teacher assigns two strangers together to work on a project, they could both go home, and look each other up on Facebook and try to get better understanding of the people they’re working with.  Try and find common ground, similar interests, anything at all that could bridge the gap and get out of the uncomfortable stranger stage and possibly to an easier working relationship.

The bottom line is that I don’t think there’s much excuse for kids today to be loners and complete introverts, what with how easy it is to find information on just about everyone, with the advent of Facebook and other varying social networking platforms online.  Sure, it might lead to an entire generation of people feigning interests all the time, but there’s always the small off-chance that in imitating interest, genuine interest might spawn from time to time.  But in discreetly learning about one another without actually having to engage them, it should theoretically make the act of getting to know people in person a whole lot easier.

But then again, speak for myself, I guess, huh?

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