I have a new - and very bad - habit. I've started reading comments. Not comments like the one's on our blog, which are funny and smart and and supportive and very worth reading. I've started reading the comments on news pieces. Have you read any of these? Don't, it's a bad idea.
Today as I was checking my email, a news story popped up about Colin Carson, a 13 year-old prodigy, who is having issues with his college concerning his age and his ability to travel to South Africa for course work. I read the article, which was interesting, in a mom-with-a-kid-about-that-age kind of way. Then I started reading the comments. It's so... so... icky out there on the interweb in comment world! Some people were laughing about what a geek the kid was, with his red hair and lanky frame. (I think he's kinda cute.) Many people, none of whom had actually met him, went on about how he had no social skills, and how his overbearing mother should just let him go back to jr high. What kept hitting me over and over again were two things:
1. The absolute conviction that there is only one way to experience adolescence. That way involves dates and prom and popularity and BFF's.
2. The alarming number of people who tried to belittle this kid's intellect. Why? One guy said, of this boy he's never met that, "he probably just has a terrific memory, he's probably not even all that smart."
Now - I'm sharp - but I'm no prodigy. In fact, I had to spell check prodigy. In my adolescence I was not popular, didn't have dates, and would never have called my friends BFF's, because even then that phrase would have made me cringe. So maybe I'm not the best person to try and understand the psychology of a guy who calls himself The Heartbreak Kid, and whose other comments on other articles include such gems as:
- Old people always do that crap.
- Women just love to see bruises and gossip, and think the worst. It's in their nature.
- That kid just needs a beatdown, the thing that sucks is his parents aren't one to give it.
Yes. I searched the guy's other comments. See - this is just not good for me!
The thing is this: It's so easy to sit at your computer and diss the world and everything in it. It's so much harder to get up, go out, and be of use. I think it's time we all did just that. Really - every single one of us, in what ever way we can. Except The Heartbreak Kid. He should just stay put. Someone order him a pizza.