Do You Know Where Your Child Is?

People over the age of, say, 35 might remember the t-v ad that asked the question in the title. Perhaps the spot was produced in an effort to scare parents into keeping a closer eye on their little ones. If so, it certainly has spawned an entire generation of local news anchors who can’t seem to resist the urge to hype the latest “compelling” story that only serves to further terrify the public. But that’s another post.

This post is about my early adventures on FaceBook. Having been prodded by my professor and classmates to join, I dutifully logged in and supplied the necessary info. Gaining access was like being transported to an alternative universe, one where everybody is 19, where everyone is your friend, and there’s always someone to talk to. This is, for my generation, akin to the neighborhood bar that never closed, where you could always find a willing listener and an escape from whatever problem was keeping you awake.

Last night, while working into the wee hours on the term paper that could not be finished, with my Google home page up-front and my i-tunes radio pumping “study music”, my train of thought (aka the BS factory) was interrupted by the pleasant “beep” of my gmail notifier. Guess what? A friend was online, and nosing around my FaceBook account and leaving a message. Just a minute later, another beep. Another friend. All this at Midnight. Soon, I was having two chats with two different people, in two different locations. Investigation today with my Y-generation spy/mentor revealed that the late night is prime FaceBook time. Who knew?

I guess the lesson is that Mom and Dad don’t have to worry too much about Jane or Jack. They’re in their bedroom, safe and sound, talking to the universe about everything under the sun, while you sleep the sleep of the uninformed.

Which is, I suppose, safer than their crawling out of the second story window, jumping to the ground, and marching into the darkness with whomever.

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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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