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Mitch Albom Is Offended By… Well… Everything

One of the more amusing genres of current media involves blaming millennials for everything. For example, millennials are currently killing bars of soap, the diamond industry, and wine corks. The monstrousness of these young people knows no bounds.

Articles like this are painfully useless. What we have here is a supply and demand problem: somebody somewhere is demanding articles telling them that somebody else is at fault for everything, and media is more than happy to provide articles describing that somebody else in excruciating detail. To that end, we have Mitch Albom‘s “Dropping kids off at college – then vs. now” a literal master class in one old person telling like-minded old people that everybody younger than them is the worst.

This, of course, is the content that some old people desperately crave. They simultaneously want to know that everything is awful and that they are not responsible for any of it. This mindset – which has existed since the first old person managed to live long enough to be properly described as an old person – goes a long way toward explaining so much of our current political and cultural situation. That current political and cultural situation runs rampant through Albom’s…uhh…thing that he wrote. Albom’s problem is that the world has had the audacity to change in a way that he apparently did not personally approve of.

To that end, he offers us numerous examples of what the world was like when he was younger versus how the world is now in the form of what it was like to be dropped off at college fifty years ago versus what it is like today.

OLD: “We drove our son to college today. What a proud moment. He was a little embarrassed by Mom and Dad coming up to his room, but we promised not to make any ‘square’ jokes. We unpacked his trunk and Mom helped organize his drawers. We met his roommate, who seemed nice. His name is Scott.”

NEW: “We drove our young prince to college today. What a proud moment. He was embarrassed by having his mom and step-dad and dad and former step-mom and dad’s current girlfriend all coming up to his room, so we had to watch from a distance. We saw him hook up his cable TV and his Xbox, then assemble his IKEA furniture. We also met his roommate, who seemed nice. Her name is X. And we are not supposed to use the word ‘her.’ ”

Back in Albom’s day, dads and moms stayed married, teenagers went by their full name, and there were only two genders. Now, dads and moms sometimes get divorced (but still support their children), teenagers sometimes shorten their names (think shortening Mitchell to Mitch, but different, oh, and scarier), and sometimes are disinterested in gendered expectations (like the one where women are liars, maybe). All of this is simply too much for Albom, in that he is being asked to do all of the following: accept that human relationships are complicated, use somebody’s preferred name, and to respect another human being’s very simple request.

OUTRAGE!

OLD: “After helping our son hang two posters on his wall — Albert Einstein and a band called The Who — we went for a walk around campus. We saw the observatory, the mailroom and the student union. The cafeteria had a soft ice cream machine, which made our boy very happy! Dad took him aside and said, ‘Son, we know the drinking age is 18, but please, go easy on the beer. You don’t want to pass out on a fraternity’s lawn.’ ”

NEW: “After helping our son hang his flat screen and surround-sound speakers, we went for a walk around campus. We saw the 24-hour state-of-the-art exercise facility and the 24-hour Apple computer labs. He showed us the ‘safe spaces’ where no offensive words can be used, and the ‘healing spaces’ where you can go if you were accidentally exposed to an offensive sentence. There were seven cafeterias to pick from, so we chose the non-GMO, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, vegan facility, which made our young person very happy. His nonbiological father took him aside and said, ‘Listen, friend, we know the drinking age is 21, but since you’re 18, please go easy on the beer. You don’t want to pass out in a hot tub and have it uploaded to YouTube.’ ”

It is tempting to address all four of these – the idea that somebody gets offended (like, actually offended) by the existence of literally deadly food allergies is truly jaw dropping (“Why, in my day, we just rubbed some dirt on our anaphylactic shock and walked it off!”), never mind getting bent out of shape about a stepfather accompanying a stepson to a college drop-off – but Albom’s reference to both “safe spaces” and “healing spaces” is particularly rich coming from the kind of old person who is deeply offended by Colin Kaepernick’s protests.

Albom’s total lack of self-awareness is a hell of a thing, but then, it isn’t like Albom is alone in his outrage. Nobody on Earth is better at getting offended about every imaginable thing than some older people are while also being offended that other people get offended. Hell, revisit the above paragraph. Albom is literally offended about: technology, exercise facilities, computer labs, safe spaces, healing spaces, people trying to eat healthier food, people trying not to hurt themselves while eating food, people trying not to die while eating food, people trying to cause as little suffering as possible while eating food, kids being happy that they are eating food that satisfies their preferences, stepfathers who care about their stepchildren, and cautious advice about drinking in public. He is mad about all of this. But remember: it is everybody else who wants a safe space.

OLD: “We wanted to have ‘the talk’ with our son, make sure he wasn’t confused about the whole birds and the bees issue or its consequences. His mom told him she wouldn’t mind if he met a nice girl here, and if it was someone special, maybe she could come home with him for Thanksgiving. Dad took him aside and reminded him that he was here to study. After all, tuition costs $2,500 a year.

“Then, despite all that, Dad gave him a bottle of aftershave.”

NEW: “We wanted to have ‘the talk’ with our child, after he told us the hookup rate at his school was one of the highest in the nation. We toured the nearby Planned Parenthood office and the sexually transmitted disease clinic. His step-dad gave him a box of condoms, as did his mother. We were happy that his biological father reminded him that tuition, with room and board, was $70,000 a year. So it would be good if he studied once in a while.

“Happily, our young genius nodded repeatedly with his eyes closed. Then again, he was wearing headphones.”

“Back in my day, parents waited until their children were 18 to have a conversation with them regarding sexual activity. This was how it was meant to be, and nobody can possibly question the wisdom in having done things this way, nor is there any evidence to suggest that how we did things was actually considerably less effective than other ways of doing things…”

“…ah, well, yes, okay, but that doesn’t prove anything. Also, teaching children about avoiding STDs, and encouraging safe sex? NOT IN MY DAY MISTER! We pretended that people weren’t having sex and we liked it that way. And god only knows we didn’t learn anything during the 1980s and 1990s that might have forced us to confront our own opinion that safe sex is a laughable joke! We didn’t! Nothing happened in any of that time! Which is why we continue to rage about very simple concepts like making sex safer.”

OLD: “It was time to go. Mom gave her son a tight hug. She warned him to be careful with those protest marches against the war. And if he planned on letting his hair grow longer, please have it trimmed before coming home. ‘Don’t worry, Mom,’ he said. ‘I’ll be fine.’ Dad gave him a firm handshake and said, ‘Make us proud.’ ”

NEW: “It was time to go. Mom gave her child a tight hug. She told him to be careful because protests have become very heated, but he said, ‘As long as no fascist professors try to impose their belief systems and no non-authentic chefs try to cook my ethnic food — I’m cool.’ ” 

One of the things that some members of today’s older generations like to tell themselves is that when they were protesting for things they believed deeply in, it was legitimate, but when young people today protest for things that they deeply believe in, it isn’t. This outlook ends up being a remarkably convenient thing, as it allows for these same old people to continue to believe that they are the only people on the entire planet who have any legitimate grievances. It is how, quite frankly, Albom can simultaneously decry Colin Kaepernick’s protesting for interfering with his precious football games, while also objecting to the idea that anybody anywhere would want to be able to go to a place where they were not forced to deal with things that they preferred not to.

Albom is not unique in being hostile toward other people (allegedly) wanting the same thing that he insists upon for himself. America’s ongoing generational conflict is fueled by older folks who insist that they are owed considerably more than they are willing to see anybody else receive, whether it is political considerations, various forms of social welfare, or, in Albom’s case, even the barest minimums of recognition and respect.

And unsaid in all of this is the thing that truly underpins all of this: it sucks being old. The truly embittered readers of Albom’s absurdist screed – the ones nodding along and going, “Yes, these millennials are terrible, whereas we are perfect in every imaginable way, and should frankly be thanked simply for even existing!” – are confusing having been younger once with the world having been a better place. Albom knows this, just as he knows that being 59 is worse than being 19. Rather than simply acknowledging this, he excoriates both 19-year-olds and their parents, not because they are any worse than they have ever been, but because surely things were better when he was 19 years old. They weren’t better though; he was just younger.

Unfortunately, nothing is going to the kill the “Young People Are Killing X” genre, owing to older consumers continuing to demand articles explaining why younger people are the problem. In another forty years, today’s millennials will be demanding their own accounting of the failings of young people. As it was is how it will always be. Perhaps then the best we can hope for is that, when those millennials are demanding such articles, they be at least willing to acknowledge their own unbelievable absurdity.


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83 thoughts on “Mitch Albom Is Offended By… Well… Everything

  1. “One of the more amusing genres of current media involves blaming millennials for everything. For example, millennials are currently killing bars of soap, the diamond industry, and wine corks. The monstrousness of these young people knows no bounds.”

    It doesn’t appear anyone is actually blaming them, as though Millennials made a group decision to kill bars of soap. It’s simply a change in habits that have led to certain products seeing their sales decline. So…I’m not sure if your outrage is equally sarcastic, or if you actually think Millennials are being blamed in the way you imply? If the latter, you might want to re-read assuming less terribleness on the part of the author.

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    • 1. Mitch Albom is awful.
      2. I would not like to read more of his writing, thank you.
      3. The “Millennial Are Killing…” genre is fairly well established at this point, and although it is simply documenting changes in personal behavior, it is presented as accusatory and critical, as if Millennials owe patronage to existing business models.

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      • #3 Ding! Ding! Ding!

        Back in my day, we used to go beat the crap out of gay people* and it was just A-OK! Damn millenials, killing such time honored fun as that!

        *No, we didn’t, because I grew up in rural WI, if a person I knew was gay, they kept it very quiet. Actually, given how many people from back home I’ve reconnected with on FB who are gay, I did know a lot of gay people, but they wisely kept it very quiet, and got far away from home, because we did have enough ‘Good ‘ol Boys’ running around that they would have gotten beat and no one would have so much as blinked…

        There are reasons I don’t go home much.

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    • The article about the bar of soap literally has a headline that says “Blame millennials for the vanishing bar of soap.” It’s fairly reasonable to read it as blame rather than as remarking on a difference.

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      • Not that it’s a big deal either way. I actually buy my bars of soap from a millennial with a home business – and the article doesn’t talk *at all* about whether people are just wandering off from big companies and getting their soap bars elsewhere, I notice – so I find it particularly absurd that people are out there saying Blame Millennials!!! As it is absurd about so many other things.

        that said I’m sure the supply demand stuff applies just as much to me clicking on things so I can roll my eyes at them as it does to people clicking on them to be soothed …. less viral though.

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        • I suspect CBS of knowing their market and knowing articles like that one sell, as Sam details above. I don’t think they personally have a generational axe to grind but I suspect they believe their readers do. They could be mistaken of course, but it seems unlikely.

          And I’m literally not familiar with a common definition of blame (which it would have to be common, to keep recurring like this) that is only attribution without any finger pointing. Checked Google in case it was just me and my weird Canadian background, and it seems to agree that that is an uncommon version of the word (as in not even suggested as a definition – they all include “fault or wrong”).

          Though it’s absolutely possible that the meaning of the word is shifting because clickbait headlines are wearing out all the words. I’ve been wondering about that for a while now.

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            • “What is this on my desk? A thoughtful birthday card, and a box of (gasp!) my very favourite chocolates! (sniff) I’m touched. So very kind.

              I demand to know, who is to blame for all this?!”

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            • Dictionaries are great for denotation, but not for connotation. Examples of use can help with this. Here is Merriam Webster:

              1
              : to find fault with : censure – the right to praise or blame a literary work
              2
              a : to hold responsible – they blame me for everything
              b : to place responsibility for – blames it on me

              “They blame me for everything” would be an odd sentence if “blame” were a neutral attribution of responsibility.

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              • It’s in a Money Matters section of their site, so it could just be a note on how generational preferences effect product sales. But also, I just don’t get offended that easy and I’m a bit of a Pollyanna these days so…maybe I’m wrong.

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        • Oh, I quite agree. As a Gen Xer that sometimes get shifted into Millennial by someone with a weird bar for generations, I keep bar soap in 3 different places in my house. It’s a combination of being fortunate enough to buy the nice stuff (from a Millennial, as mentioned) and unfortunate enough to be allergic to 99 percent of the mass-produced stuff. (I’m only allergic to about 75 percent of the non-mass-produced stuff! So much more selection! :D) I don’t quite buy non-bar soap as an artisan good yet, but it’s pretty close. For example, I mix one of my non-bar cleaners at a 25 percent solution from a veterinary preparation, which is both cheap, more ecological (bigger containers, reusing the one I actually measure it from), AND avoids making me break out in hives and other inflammations the way the human prep does at any useful dilution (different fragrances, no mass-produced glycerin).

          I just think only measuring “what big companies are selling” is not a good quantitative claim, particularly when it comes to people like Millennials who are on average more apt at finding other ways to buy things.

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  2. It’s always funny when one encounters someone who begins with something like “I’m offended by this phenomenon!” and thinks that that implies anything even close to “AND THIS PUTS AN OBLIGATION ON YOU!”

    Get two of them in the same room when they don’t agree on what is offensive? Even better.

    Get two of them in the same room when they do agree on what is offensive? Wait five minutes.

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  3. This article is awesome! Loved it!

    I’m a middle aged guy, and I now spend a lot of time around young people (Not that, you pervert! my second career is as a college instructor). I love my life.

    Then again, I never expected to become a privileged moral authority when I got older, so I haven’t really lost anything.

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  4. Leaving aside the rest of the article (which is great in an “I agree!” kinda way), this quote stands our in a “genuine writing/comedic brilliance” kinda way: “This mindset – which has existed since the first old person managed to live long enough to be properly described as an old person…”

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  5. Yawn. How much does this guy get paid? Because I could write a better rant and I’ll probably be cheaper.

    Soap: yeah well so what. I noticed this because I LIKE ivory soap bars. Nowadays is that damn liquid and a plastic sponge. Nope. And frankly, I don’t care about sharing bacteria as I live alone.

    Diamonds: Not getting a diamond or thinking about not getting one, has been a “thing” for quite a while now.25 years ago I was thinking about sapphires and tanzanites as main stones. I’ve seen beautiful emeralds as engagement rings too. Diamonds are kinda boring.

    Wine: Corks have been a point of discussion for decades. None of this is new.

    I will stipulate that “millennials suck” however, because the younger generation has it better than I had it and easier. Everyone feel better now?

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    • Damon,
      I use Dr. Bronners. It leaves significantly less soap scale, so less little critters growing in my bathroom, which means less scrubbing!
      (and I just use a washcloth. That way application of soap comes with the scrubbing that gets the soap into my pores).

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    • .

      More to the point, corks are objectively worse than screw tops in every possible way. They preserve wine less well, they’re an ecological mess, they’re harder to use, etc.

      I wonder if there was the same outrage (i.e. old people furiously shaking their heads) when beer cans switched to pop-tops.

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        • Oh I get it. There’s something nice about the waiter with the towel on his arm and the two stage corkscrew.

          But it sure is a shitty way to store and serve wine from any non-theater perspective. Not only are screw tops better, boxes/cans are better yet.

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          • I remember reading years ago that winemakers were considering starting the screw tops only with their top-end wine offerings to get people used to the idea that screw tops are a luxury thing and not a hobo thing. They all wanted to abandon crap packaging as soon as they could.

            Pushes to go from bottles to cans in the craft beer industry aren’t going as fast as expected either, even though cans are a better way to do it by just about every metric.

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              • It’s not, it’s chemistry. The aluminum in the can can react just a bit with the drink and alter the flavor a touch, and your saliva will react with the metal and adulterate the flavor a bit.

                Glass doesn’t react to the drink or saliva.

                Depending on how sensitive your palette is, you may notice a difference.

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                • Almost all aluminum cans are lined with a spray-on plastic epoxy. The exact resin used is tailored for the contents. Some contemporary energy drinks are sufficiently corrosive that they can’t be canned: they eat any of the available resins, and then the aluminum.

                  Most of the resins include BPA — remember when you were supposed to give up your flexible plastic water bottles? — and many types of content will leach small amounts of it. For a while Coors had a ceramic lining (CoorsTek, one of the subsidiaries, does lots of exotic ceramic stuff) that didn’t leach anything into the contents, but it was too expensive to compete when the epoxies were developed.

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                  • If a can is treated, only the inside is, not the outside of the top, and an acidic drink can react quite quickly when it comes into contact with the metal. This is why you will see some people drink from cans with a straw, or insist on a glass, as it minimizes the flavor change.

                    And those epoxy layers are incredibly thin. Manufacturing defects can make a beverage taste off. Nothing worse than expecting a cool, refreshing Orange Crush, and getting a disgusting Orange Chemical Factory.

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                    • I live in aluminum can R&D central. The HQ for Ball — who makes umpteen billions of these per year — is seven or so miles up the road from me. The Coors remnant that invented the damned things is a similar distance in a different direction. Ball’s research includes not just aluminum cans, but Ball Aerospace’s satellites. CoorsTek does exotics with quality control to die for. If they tell me they’ve got the flavor transfer whipped, I’ll take their word over a boatload of subjective test subjects.

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                      • Sorry, the soda can industry is not going to be utilizing the level of QC that aerospace coatings does, the cost would be prohibitive and nearly impossible to enforce across the multitude of bottling plants. I’ve done enough production line QC (on laser etched ceramic circuit boards, for instance), plus talked to enough industrial engineers, to know that there will be bad batches, and they aren’t going to spray a coating (epoxy or ceramic) on to surfaces that won’t be suffering long term exposure to the drink (especially surfaces that will just get scuffed during transit).

                        Aluminum is reactive as all get out, the exposed metal on the outside of the can will quite happily react to the contents as you drink, as will your saliva (react with the metal).

                        Most people won’t notice the difference, but some will, and they will prefer glass or plastic over cans.

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                      • I’m reading “Rust: the Longest War,” by Jonathan Waldman–there’s a great section about “Can School” at Ball. Also a tremendous section overall about the amount of engineering that has gone into food and beverage cans.

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              • Having the aluminum can under your nose and on your lip while you drink will definitely have an effect.

                But drinking good beer directly out of a can or bottle is a barbaric waste anyway.

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      • “I wonder if there was the same outrage (i.e. old people furiously shaking their heads) when beer cans switched to pop-tops.”

        I’d expect so. “What OUR way isn’t good enough for you young whippersnappers?!! Real men don’t use pop tops!”. Fucking hippies.

        Yeah, I could see it.

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          • I remember the transition from pull tabs to pop tops, but I don’t recall any outrage. I do remember, however, complaints about the transition from steel to aluminum cans.

            When I was a kid we made tennis ball cannons out of empty steel cans. You would cut the top and bottom off three or four of them, plus one with the top off but the bottom left alone. Duct tape them together to form a tube. Punch a hole in the side about a half inch from the bottom, and poke four smaller holes an inch or so above that. Push two straightened paper clips through the small holes to form a crosswise support for the tennis ball, which you drop through the muzzle. Squirt lighter fluid through the lower hole, letting it puddle in the bottom. The lower hole then serves as a touch hole for a lit match. Aim and fire. Good times. For a particularly good time, soak the tennis ball in lighter fluid first, and do this at night.

            Did I mention this was in arid Southern California? We also made hydrogen balloons in the garage: a glass soda bottle, water, lye, and crumpled up balls of aluminum foil. The balloon fit nicely over the mouth of the bottle as it inflated. Tie the balloon off, tie a string to the bottom, take it outside, light the string, and release.

            In any case, you can’t do this sort of thing with aluminum cans or plastic bottles. I am still bitter.

            Also, there was an episode of The Rockford Files where the ex-con just released from prison tries to show Jim Rockford what a tough guy he is by crushing a soda can. Rockford is unimpressed, and explains that everyone can do that now.

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        • I was a kid when the switch from the pull-tabs to the pop-tops was made. The biggest thing I remember was “less chance of cutting your foot when going barefoot.”

          Once in a while, when doing fieldwork, I find an old pull-tab type can or even the tab, and I feel like I’ve found this bit of secret archaeology that most of my students (born in the 1990s) have never seen.

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      • Nah, the ex wife told me my transitions suck when I write. I’m sure that’s still the case. But I do have one thing going for me vs the rest of the “professional” media. I don’t pretend to hide my biases :)

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  6. Yeah… Bar soap vs. Pump soap has been a disagreement around my house for the entirety of my marriage. And we are in our 40’s. If millenials have killed the bar, it is the fault of gen-xers for buying into that silliness in the first place (or was it our parents who bought it to us? The road goes ever on…)

    No, the real silliness is the danged smart phone replacing every bit of interaction between right thinking adults.

    “Doorbells are just so sudden. It’s terrifying,” says Tiffany Zhong, 20, the founder of Zebra Intelligence, which helps companies conduct custom research and gather insights on people born in the past two decades.
    There’s no published research about doorbell phobia, but it’s a real thing. In a poll by a Twitter user earlier this month that got more than 11,000 votes, 54% of respondents said “doorbells are scary weird.”
    Some millennials and Gen Zers say they won’t even consider answering a ring at the door until they’ve checked the security camera.
    The doorbell freak-out reflects the ascendance of mediated communication, which means people interacting through technological devices rather than directly. It’s not so much about screen time versus face time as it is a merger of the two.

    Ask Not for Whom the Doorbell Tolls. They Won’t Answer It.

    (Still, as much as I dislike smartphones, they do come in handy at times. But that article is just silly.)

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    • aaron,
      We need trigger warnings on that fucking door noise (for television).
      (Seriously, if something causes alarming flashbacks, is it so hard to put a trigger warning on it?)
      Also, the people putting that noise in are dicks. They’ve been told how alarming it is, and they put it in anyway. (Also, there’s little artistry if sound engineers insist that doors must be EXTREMELY LOUD).

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      • there’s a commercial my ISP runs that has a phone ringing in it (to advertise that they also offer phone service). It is EXACTLY the ring of my (landline) phone. I have more than once leapt up ready to answer the phone when that dumb ad came on.

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    • Totally silly! Although “absence of mediated communication”, seriously? How about, especially if you don’t have kids yet and aren’t throwing a party that’s about to start, the only person ringing your doorbell is likely to be someone trying to sell you something.

      I’m over fifty, can do without my cell phone for days at a time, but live alone most of the time and find the doorbell ring alarming. And am unlikely to answer it without seeing who it is first — because it’s almost always someone trying to sell me something — magazines, salvation, whatever.

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      • I used to “lose” my cell for days at a time, but now I run my business through mine so I answer pretty quickly. That said, if it isn’t someone I personally know, or a business thing, its going to voicemail and probably deleted. And I don’t text. Silliest form of communication ever invented.

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        • The latest update to Android has started flagging calls “SCAM LIKELY”.

          Given the ridiculous numbers of “IRS RED ALERT” and “WARRANTY DEPARTMENT” and “CREDIT DEPARTMENT” scam calls I get….

          Honestly, I’m thinking of doing something like this: Reverse Spam.

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          • This is good for both average cell phone users and scammers. The scammers mostly don’t want to waste time on the types of people who screen their calls and use fancy smart phones. They’d much rather talk to the types of people who can’t use a computer and couldn’t imagine not answering the telephone or doorbell. The types of people who write checks for everything and don’t remember what all of their subscriptions are and will pay anything that looks like a bill as soon as it arrives.

            I’m curious about what will replace those scams once that generation dies off. Will we all be falling for Nigerian email scams on a weekly basis once we start getting too old to keep track of our money?

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            • I honestly think they’re scamming off the do no call list. My cell will ring, I’ll ignore it, and it’ll go to my landline the next second. The call order is “my cell, my house phone, my wife’s cell”,

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              • I’m fortunate in that I got my cell phone in an area code where nobody I know lives. Most scammers spoof my area code, so I immediately know it’s bullshit. I have no idea where they got my number or if they’re just war dialing.

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      • There’s something distressingly immediate about a phone call. Unlike an e-mail, which you can respond to at your leisure, a phone call demands you stop what you are doing immediately, breaking your concentration.

        It doesn’t help that I am rarely called, either at home or at work, unless something important and/or distressing is going on.

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        • I am a cheap wench, but I finally broke down and paid for Caller ID after a late-evening call (which I didn’t know who it was from, so “had” to answer – I have parents in their 80s and other relatives in precarious health) and wound up being talked at for an HOUR by a member of a group I’m in who had a Grievance about the group in general and I felt I could neither graciously hang up nor tell them to stuff it because I wanted to go to bed.

          Now when I see that person’s number come up I can decide if I have the energy to take the call. (Most of the time I let it cycle to voicemail, though then there’s the problem of having to call them back.)

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          • A friend advises me to simply hang up in the middle of a sentence while I’m talking. The other party will assume that the network dropped the call because: (a) no one hangs up while they’re talking and (b) dropped calls are much more a part of people’s lives than they were 40 years ago because mobile network reliability is crappy compared to the landline networks then.

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            • yeah, and then a determined person will immediately call back to finish their call. (And this was on a landline, anyway – I keep a landline because cell service inside my house is spotty at best, and I don’t like having to step out onto the porch every time I call someone.)

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    • My ex wanted both bar soap and liquid soap, to be used for different things. I think she used the bar soap to shave her legs.

      I really didn’t care and still don’t. I guess liquid soap from the little pump is more convenient most of the time.

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  7. I guess I’m not exactly old yet, but it doesn’t suck being older. Comparing my teens and twenties to my middle age years, I play better music, have more sex, care a lot less about other people’s opinions, know what I’m doing more often, value my friends more, and get loans easier. Admittedly, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about kids today, which might age someone.

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    • Hehehe.

      This is pretty true for me too, point for point, and I (by the nature of my job) *do* think about kids today a lot…. though maybe in rather different terms than you are envisioning.

      +1.

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  8. There were many things about that article that were embarrassingly bad, but to my mind this one was the worst:

    “Our young liege checked his iPhone to pick his classes. A student protest to eliminate dead poets from the curriculum means he won’t have to study Shakespeare, and since history was found to be an offensive word (“His” and “story,” so sexist!) he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. The fact is, his curriculum is totally up to him — to inspire and challenge his natural talents — but he did say he planned to study a foreign language. I think he said, ‘Fortran.’ ”

    My father used FORTRAN to fill a foreign language requirement. This was in 1972 or so.

    This Albom guy really has his finger on the pulse of contemporary college life.

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