In which my inherent uncoolness becomes painfully apparent

by DaniGirl on August 31, 2006 · 50 comments

in Uncategorized

We got an e-mail from my 16-year-old nephew the other day. Turns out it was one of those hoax messages about MSN being shut down if you don’t forward this message to everyone in your contact list, and Beloved sent back a patient explanation that it was just a hoax, and an old one at that.

The message we received was a forwarded version of the one my nephew sent to all his friends, and so I could see the e-mail addresses of everyone in his contact list. I’m not hyperbolizing when I say it was a terrifying insight into being a teenager in the 21st century.

There were a lot of the kind of thing I would have expected:
cinderella_princess@
daringgurly@
hershey_kiss_chick@
punkkrocker16@
morbid_purity__@
you-smell@
tarnished_blade_xo@

Now, I was pretty much a good kid at that age (you are doubtlessly shocked by that revelation) but I was into Dungeons and Dragons and other mischief, and I get the whole teenage angst thing; I get the whole exploration of the dark side, even as you still have your Air Supply album cover taped on the wall. (I’m really digging a hole for myself here, aren’t I?) But really, I do understand the whole teenage need to be cool, to shock, and the black lipstick and fingernail-polish rebellion.

But when I read some of the e-mail addresses these kids are using, it honestly made me sick to think about it:
barbiegonecrackwhore666@
bleed-the-dreams@
discipline-9mm@
fuct-up-kidd@
god_must_hate_me@
xokissofdeathxo@
lil_hottie_do_me@
xdreaming_of_deathx@

Maybe I’ll never be the cool mom I thought I would be. Maybe it’s time for me to start showing up for the 4 pm blue plate special and wearing socks with sandals, but if I found out my kid was putting out e-mail under the name “fuct up kid” or “barbie gone crack whore” … well, actually, I’d have no idea what to do. But it would definitely involve a suspension of e-mail priviledges, locking said child in his room until he goes off to college, and a lot of therapy for at least one of us.

What do you think? Am I so painfully unhip that you fear for my future teenagers, or do you find this as disturbing as I do?


{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 UberGeek August 31, 2006 at 2:11 pm

So to play the devil’s advocate, because well I like doing that.
Is this just the I-Version of screaming, “get laid get fuct” to Idol’s mony, mony.
The internet as become a way of expressing yourself in a virtual manner to an entire world of teenagers. The black lipstick, black jeans and spiked hair of our high school days has been replaced with my-space pages full of teenagy angst and email addresses professing the agony of a misunderstood teen.
I would suspect in most cases the email address is a virtual moniker akin to getting a piercing or a mohawk, without the physical signs.
To be honest, while the emails names are not a great choice, and I would prefer not to send barbiegonecrackwhore666 to the family email Christmas list. I would much prefer that to a pierced body parts or tattoos.

2 UberGeek August 31, 2006 at 2:11 pm

So to play the devil’s advocate, because well I like doing that.
Is this just the I-Version of screaming, “get laid get fuct” to Idol’s mony, mony.
The internet as become a way of expressing yourself in a virtual manner to an entire world of teenagers. The black lipstick, black jeans and spiked hair of our high school days has been replaced with my-space pages full of teenagy angst and email addresses professing the agony of a misunderstood teen.
I would suspect in most cases the email address is a virtual moniker akin to getting a piercing or a mohawk, without the physical signs.
To be honest, while the emails names are not a great choice, and I would prefer not to send barbiegonecrackwhore666 to the family email Christmas list. I would much prefer that to a pierced body parts or tattoos.

3 nancy August 31, 2006 at 2:16 pm

I am in fear for ALL of our future teenagers, but even more so for us, their poor uncool parents.
Unlike Uber, I would take the black lipstick and even a pierced ear (but NO frontal face) over an email address whereas my child said he was a fuct_up_kid. That would make me cry, more than the piercing.

4 nancy August 31, 2006 at 2:16 pm

I am in fear for ALL of our future teenagers, but even more so for us, their poor uncool parents.
Unlike Uber, I would take the black lipstick and even a pierced ear (but NO frontal face) over an email address whereas my child said he was a fuct_up_kid. That would make me cry, more than the piercing.

5 Marla August 31, 2006 at 2:40 pm

I am both old and cool, and want these kids to know that punk was a political movement, not a fashion statement. I agree that free expression is fine and good, but to adopt an online persona without an understanding of what you’re tapping into is ignorant.
I would be tempted to find their MySpace pages and then email them to their parents.
I have to say, though, that Morbid Purity would be an excellent goth band name. Anyone want to start one with me? There would be songs about woman-children in their virginal white dresses stained with tar coursing like tears from bats, the cold dark wind stiffening them in a shroud of bleeding darkness. Then we would whirl around in our capes, and smear our eye makeup with the backs of our hands, and moan moodily about being tarnished. Anyone? Anyone?

6 Marla August 31, 2006 at 2:40 pm

I am both old and cool, and want these kids to know that punk was a political movement, not a fashion statement. I agree that free expression is fine and good, but to adopt an online persona without an understanding of what you’re tapping into is ignorant.
I would be tempted to find their MySpace pages and then email them to their parents.
I have to say, though, that Morbid Purity would be an excellent goth band name. Anyone want to start one with me? There would be songs about woman-children in their virginal white dresses stained with tar coursing like tears from bats, the cold dark wind stiffening them in a shroud of bleeding darkness. Then we would whirl around in our capes, and smear our eye makeup with the backs of our hands, and moan moodily about being tarnished. Anyone? Anyone?

7 Maria August 31, 2006 at 2:41 pm

It seems to me that we are on the same wavelenght of uncoolness. These names gave me the creeps too. I have a 12 years old girl and a 8 years old boy, I can’t begin to imagine what would I do if one of them came up with such e-mail addresses….maybe start bonking my head against the wall while I ask myself where did I go wrong with their upbringing?

8 Maria August 31, 2006 at 2:41 pm

It seems to me that we are on the same wavelenght of uncoolness. These names gave me the creeps too. I have a 12 years old girl and a 8 years old boy, I can’t begin to imagine what would I do if one of them came up with such e-mail addresses….maybe start bonking my head against the wall while I ask myself where did I go wrong with their upbringing?

9 Marla August 31, 2006 at 2:46 pm

P.S.
I must admit, I need to choose better email addresses next time I get the chance.
I didn’t know that your secret email address was yousmell@ !
I think I want a funny one too. How about thisisnotanemailaddress@ ?
Or Ihavetoflushmypootwice@ ?
Or, maybe, stinkybellybutton@ ?
No! I know! tonguemypuckerhole@
You know, I could be busy with this for days.
When I start my goth band, Morbid Purity, the email address is goint to be bloodundermyfingernails@ .

10 Marla August 31, 2006 at 2:46 pm

P.S.
I must admit, I need to choose better email addresses next time I get the chance.
I didn’t know that your secret email address was yousmell@ !
I think I want a funny one too. How about thisisnotanemailaddress@ ?
Or Ihavetoflushmypootwice@ ?
Or, maybe, stinkybellybutton@ ?
No! I know! tonguemypuckerhole@
You know, I could be busy with this for days.
When I start my goth band, Morbid Purity, the email address is goint to be bloodundermyfingernails@ .

11 Beanie Baby August 31, 2006 at 2:54 pm

Marla–yes. That bugged me, too.
(back to original comment)
I’m a little sad, but I guess not terribly worried–I think of this less as how they think of themselves, and more as how they want other people to think that they think of themselves, if that makes any sense. That email address is one way of trying to impress on other people how cool you are, and I wonder if there’s an element of one-upmanship going on. It’s just too bad that the oneupmanship has to be in the arena of “I’m more fuct up than you are.” But I guess the alternative–“I’m cooler and more creative than you”–wouldn’t get you as many friends.
I mean, how would a group of 14 year olds react to myparentsaregreat@aol.com or ilovepuppies@gmail.com, you know?
And look at it this way–by the time our kids are 14, all of the horrible names will be taken.

12 Beanie Baby August 31, 2006 at 2:54 pm

Marla–yes. That bugged me, too.
(back to original comment)
I’m a little sad, but I guess not terribly worried–I think of this less as how they think of themselves, and more as how they want other people to think that they think of themselves, if that makes any sense. That email address is one way of trying to impress on other people how cool you are, and I wonder if there’s an element of one-upmanship going on. It’s just too bad that the oneupmanship has to be in the arena of “I’m more fuct up than you are.” But I guess the alternative–“I’m cooler and more creative than you”–wouldn’t get you as many friends.
I mean, how would a group of 14 year olds react to myparentsaregreat@aol.com or ilovepuppies@gmail.com, you know?
And look at it this way–by the time our kids are 14, all of the horrible names will be taken.

13 Dal August 31, 2006 at 3:57 pm

No, its not just you. This is definitely extremely disturbing. I was a teen just years ago and we NEVER spoke/thought like that…it’s VERY scary actually. What in the hell happened? Makes you think twice about having children really…

14 Dal August 31, 2006 at 3:57 pm

No, its not just you. This is definitely extremely disturbing. I was a teen just years ago and we NEVER spoke/thought like that…it’s VERY scary actually. What in the hell happened? Makes you think twice about having children really…

15 Brenda August 31, 2006 at 4:50 pm

Dani,
I totally agree!
When it came time for my kids to get a hotmail addy, we sat down with them and carefully helped them choose what it would be. Simon is superblonde and he gets msn messages from strangers who we are pretty sure think with a name like that that it must be a girl, Jen is “don’t care much”, but we didn’t see that a relection of her…she had tried about 2 dozen others and they were all taken so she said she doesn’t care and that is how that came about.
We have strict rules about it’s use…limit number of people they speak to at once, any profanity and they are off…including from their friends and their titles that they change beside thier names. They use the common computer so we walk by often and read over thier sholder. I know I know, what about privacy…I think back to our time and we had the phone that parents could evesdrop on, we have to be more outright about computer “listneing”. My kids are pretty good, we had our battles and they didn’t get use of msn until they were about 14 with showing a level of reponsisblilty. But many of their friends had msn use years before them. We also have them use all the blocks for advertisement and keeping their address with invitation only to chat so as to keep them safe from people they don’t know. But even then, things get by…Jen had someone on and she had no idea who it was, smart girl blocked it!
I guess I’ve gotten off on a tangent…back to the choice of addresses, yes, they still have a choice and if my kids had chosen some of those, they would not be allowed access! They need to repect themselves and what they portray themselves as in cyberspace!
Brenda

16 Brenda August 31, 2006 at 4:50 pm

Dani,
I totally agree!
When it came time for my kids to get a hotmail addy, we sat down with them and carefully helped them choose what it would be. Simon is superblonde and he gets msn messages from strangers who we are pretty sure think with a name like that that it must be a girl, Jen is “don’t care much”, but we didn’t see that a relection of her…she had tried about 2 dozen others and they were all taken so she said she doesn’t care and that is how that came about.
We have strict rules about it’s use…limit number of people they speak to at once, any profanity and they are off…including from their friends and their titles that they change beside thier names. They use the common computer so we walk by often and read over thier sholder. I know I know, what about privacy…I think back to our time and we had the phone that parents could evesdrop on, we have to be more outright about computer “listneing”. My kids are pretty good, we had our battles and they didn’t get use of msn until they were about 14 with showing a level of reponsisblilty. But many of their friends had msn use years before them. We also have them use all the blocks for advertisement and keeping their address with invitation only to chat so as to keep them safe from people they don’t know. But even then, things get by…Jen had someone on and she had no idea who it was, smart girl blocked it!
I guess I’ve gotten off on a tangent…back to the choice of addresses, yes, they still have a choice and if my kids had chosen some of those, they would not be allowed access! They need to repect themselves and what they portray themselves as in cyberspace!
Brenda

17 nancy August 31, 2006 at 5:05 pm

I think I may now be a little scared of Marla.

18 nancy August 31, 2006 at 5:05 pm

I think I may now be a little scared of Marla.

19 Sharon August 31, 2006 at 5:49 pm

My daughter and her friends use lyric from songs they listen to. From bands we have never heard of and who knows what else. I have a sneaking suspision that this is what it is.
Google it and see what comes up.
My girl has one and and she Thinks I don’t know she has a hot mail account. LOL!
Although on her journal her name is Too Dizzy which is a David Bowie song.
But would you think of that if you seen it in a email? I wouldn’t.

20 Sharon August 31, 2006 at 5:49 pm

My daughter and her friends use lyric from songs they listen to. From bands we have never heard of and who knows what else. I have a sneaking suspision that this is what it is.
Google it and see what comes up.
My girl has one and and she Thinks I don’t know she has a hot mail account. LOL!
Although on her journal her name is Too Dizzy which is a David Bowie song.
But would you think of that if you seen it in a email? I wouldn’t.

21 DaniGirl August 31, 2006 at 5:55 pm

Marla, I *so* want to be in Morbid Purity! Oh please, please, please can I?
(Earnestly) We can practice in my parents’ garage if you let me play the tambourine!

22 DaniGirl August 31, 2006 at 5:55 pm

Marla, I *so* want to be in Morbid Purity! Oh please, please, please can I?
(Earnestly) We can practice in my parents’ garage if you let me play the tambourine!

23 twinmomplusone August 31, 2006 at 6:40 pm

definitely disturbing and HOPEFULLY just a phase šŸ™‚
ehem, and let me know when/where Morbid Purity gets a gig ;~)

24 twinmomplusone August 31, 2006 at 6:40 pm

definitely disturbing and HOPEFULLY just a phase šŸ™‚
ehem, and let me know when/where Morbid Purity gets a gig ;~)

25 Trish August 31, 2006 at 6:58 pm

A sister Canadian blogger?! My kids are teens and we are near Toronto.
I just came across your blog and it’s funny that you wrote about this teen email address thing. I wrote about it on my blog a month or so ago after a boy came into the store that I work at and handed me a resume with his email. It went something like..
mydarkyourlightyourlifemydeath@…
Creepy! We did not hire him.

26 Trish August 31, 2006 at 6:58 pm

A sister Canadian blogger?! My kids are teens and we are near Toronto.
I just came across your blog and it’s funny that you wrote about this teen email address thing. I wrote about it on my blog a month or so ago after a boy came into the store that I work at and handed me a resume with his email. It went something like..
mydarkyourlightyourlifemydeath@…
Creepy! We did not hire him.

27 Batman August 31, 2006 at 7:03 pm

I’m an old school punk rocker and don’t really have a problem with those email addresses. Actually, I love the ones Marla came up with (people gave me a funny look when I laughed as I was reading them).
I think each generation has its own way of rebelling or trying to outdo the previous generation. They’re trying their best to be unique. The thing you should be worrying about is what are your grandchildren going to be doing to try and top the previous generation? Perhaps self-amputations?
I never really got the whole goth scene…it was too depressing for me.

28 Batman August 31, 2006 at 7:03 pm

I’m an old school punk rocker and don’t really have a problem with those email addresses. Actually, I love the ones Marla came up with (people gave me a funny look when I laughed as I was reading them).
I think each generation has its own way of rebelling or trying to outdo the previous generation. They’re trying their best to be unique. The thing you should be worrying about is what are your grandchildren going to be doing to try and top the previous generation? Perhaps self-amputations?
I never really got the whole goth scene…it was too depressing for me.

29 Jodi August 31, 2006 at 8:31 pm

OMG!

30 Jodi August 31, 2006 at 8:31 pm

OMG!

31 roxanne August 31, 2006 at 8:52 pm

I think your boys would probably come up with something like “hummer dude gone polly pockets”. But seriously, I have the same reaction as you. Yes, it makes me feel that much closer to ordering the early bird special, but I think that is just what comes of being a parent. (some of those were nasty!)

32 roxanne August 31, 2006 at 8:52 pm

I think your boys would probably come up with something like “hummer dude gone polly pockets”. But seriously, I have the same reaction as you. Yes, it makes me feel that much closer to ordering the early bird special, but I think that is just what comes of being a parent. (some of those were nasty!)

33 Lugina August 31, 2006 at 10:29 pm

UGH. I have a problem with the fact that their parents, quite obviously, aren’t monitoring their online activities. I’m with you!! Bring on the blue plate special…

34 Lugina August 31, 2006 at 10:29 pm

UGH. I have a problem with the fact that their parents, quite obviously, aren’t monitoring their online activities. I’m with you!! Bring on the blue plate special…

35 Cakes August 31, 2006 at 10:32 pm

Being a mom of a teen AND a former riotgrrrrrl, I don’t censor the email addies and the IM and Myspace pages, but I ask him about them.
“Hey! Whaddya thinks up with that poor little sparrow, huh?” and he’ll usually laugh and tell me what it’s about. Or shrug and say “Yeah, kinda lame.”
I do monitor his MY Space page, and we do have Content Blocker on our computer. But, I think the nonchalant conversation about the stuff will get you farthest.
uh…and I don’t think Morbid Purity would have a tambourine. Well…unless it was broken and had black and purple streamers coming off of it.

36 Cakes August 31, 2006 at 10:32 pm

Being a mom of a teen AND a former riotgrrrrrl, I don’t censor the email addies and the IM and Myspace pages, but I ask him about them.
“Hey! Whaddya thinks up with that poor little sparrow, huh?” and he’ll usually laugh and tell me what it’s about. Or shrug and say “Yeah, kinda lame.”
I do monitor his MY Space page, and we do have Content Blocker on our computer. But, I think the nonchalant conversation about the stuff will get you farthest.
uh…and I don’t think Morbid Purity would have a tambourine. Well…unless it was broken and had black and purple streamers coming off of it.

37 Rev. Dr. Mom August 31, 2006 at 10:52 pm

I have a teenager now, and I would be disturbed by those names. At the very least we would have a serious discussion about them.
We’ve already been through the black nail polish and blue hair phase, and I deal with that, and we talk about song lyrics I disapprove of. I’m pretty strict about language and violence, and he knows that. So far we respect each other’s opinions.

38 Rev. Dr. Mom August 31, 2006 at 10:52 pm

I have a teenager now, and I would be disturbed by those names. At the very least we would have a serious discussion about them.
We’ve already been through the black nail polish and blue hair phase, and I deal with that, and we talk about song lyrics I disapprove of. I’m pretty strict about language and violence, and he knows that. So far we respect each other’s opinions.

39 Marla September 1, 2006 at 4:36 am

Dani, you can play the tambourine in Morbid Purity. But you don’t really shake it or hit or anything. You cradle it and look mournfully at the audience, and every once in a while, you wail something like “My heart is torn and flies into the abyss of your moribund souls. RAVENS! RAVENS!” then you drop it and hold your hands above your head like you are beckoning something.
And we have to practice in the BASEMENT. The possibility of DAYLIGHT entering your parents’ garage is too great.
(shakes head, and doodles a fancy-collared cape)

40 Marla September 1, 2006 at 4:36 am

Dani, you can play the tambourine in Morbid Purity. But you don’t really shake it or hit or anything. You cradle it and look mournfully at the audience, and every once in a while, you wail something like “My heart is torn and flies into the abyss of your moribund souls. RAVENS! RAVENS!” then you drop it and hold your hands above your head like you are beckoning something.
And we have to practice in the BASEMENT. The possibility of DAYLIGHT entering your parents’ garage is too great.
(shakes head, and doodles a fancy-collared cape)

41 McB September 1, 2006 at 4:49 am

I wouldn’t say that you’re unhip. But I was a teenager not too many years ago, and a lot of that stuff was pretty common back then. Feeling intensely depressed, fucked up, etc. is pretty common. A good thing, even – if you didn’t feel unhappy at some point in high school, you were probably a tool (sorry, generalizing!). Being unhappy means that you actually have the balls to be different; you just haven’t gotten comfortable with it yet.
Besides, after over a decade of Hotmail, what names are left? Coming up with a hotmail account these days is basically a matter of mashing keys until you get something that hasn’t been taken. You’d feel lucky for “barbiegonecrackwhore666.”
Basically, getting worried over a throwaway email address isn’t going to do anything good for your relationship with your kids. If there are other signs that something is really wrong, it might be insightful, but please don’t overreact. Acknowledge it, and give it the (very slight) weight that it’s due. Nobody will ever stop drug use, suicides or shootings by noticing that their child’s email address is creepy.

42 McB September 1, 2006 at 4:49 am

I wouldn’t say that you’re unhip. But I was a teenager not too many years ago, and a lot of that stuff was pretty common back then. Feeling intensely depressed, fucked up, etc. is pretty common. A good thing, even – if you didn’t feel unhappy at some point in high school, you were probably a tool (sorry, generalizing!). Being unhappy means that you actually have the balls to be different; you just haven’t gotten comfortable with it yet.
Besides, after over a decade of Hotmail, what names are left? Coming up with a hotmail account these days is basically a matter of mashing keys until you get something that hasn’t been taken. You’d feel lucky for “barbiegonecrackwhore666.”
Basically, getting worried over a throwaway email address isn’t going to do anything good for your relationship with your kids. If there are other signs that something is really wrong, it might be insightful, but please don’t overreact. Acknowledge it, and give it the (very slight) weight that it’s due. Nobody will ever stop drug use, suicides or shootings by noticing that their child’s email address is creepy.

43 Chantal September 1, 2006 at 11:40 pm

I’m a a mix of cool and concerned. I would want to meet the kids behind the names and see if they’re just names or a reflection of their personality. KWIM?
My cousin had one that was “misguided_angel” for a long time. It made no sense as she was young, bright and really sweet. I think she felt it was cool to have?

44 Chantal September 1, 2006 at 11:40 pm

I’m a a mix of cool and concerned. I would want to meet the kids behind the names and see if they’re just names or a reflection of their personality. KWIM?
My cousin had one that was “misguided_angel” for a long time. It made no sense as she was young, bright and really sweet. I think she felt it was cool to have?

45 kris September 2, 2006 at 12:21 am

I was a pretty wacky as a teen, so I can understand the impulse behind some of these. It seems to me that this is a pretty safe form of rebellion. It’s the drinking, sex, drugs & bullying that scare me. So actually the li’l hottie one freaks me out a bit. I know that some kids sleep together in HS, but I still wish they wouldn’t.

46 kris September 2, 2006 at 12:21 am

I was a pretty wacky as a teen, so I can understand the impulse behind some of these. It seems to me that this is a pretty safe form of rebellion. It’s the drinking, sex, drugs & bullying that scare me. So actually the li’l hottie one freaks me out a bit. I know that some kids sleep together in HS, but I still wish they wouldn’t.

47 Sayre September 2, 2006 at 3:47 pm

I’m scared now. My kid is 7 and still pretty naive, but he’s in a new school with more “hip” kids and I know it’s just a matter of time. And they start younger and younger.

48 Sayre September 2, 2006 at 3:47 pm

I’m scared now. My kid is 7 and still pretty naive, but he’s in a new school with more “hip” kids and I know it’s just a matter of time. And they start younger and younger.

49 Marla September 4, 2006 at 1:49 am

I cannot stop thinking of this, you know. But I have to tell you — on Friday, as Steve and Josie and I were driving home from the Ex down Queen Street, we saw a goth band unloading gear in front of a club for their gig. From a silver Saturn station wagon. (snickers all around)
So Morbid Purity also has to save up to buy a decrepit vintage hearse to drive to our gigs in.

50 Marla September 4, 2006 at 1:49 am

I cannot stop thinking of this, you know. But I have to tell you — on Friday, as Steve and Josie and I were driving home from the Ex down Queen Street, we saw a goth band unloading gear in front of a club for their gig. From a silver Saturn station wagon. (snickers all around)
So Morbid Purity also has to save up to buy a decrepit vintage hearse to drive to our gigs in.

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