How Social Networking is Like Being Back in Grade School


Being an involved member of the interweb, often times to a ridiculous extent thanks to the amour-propre of Twitter, inflections of a past era arise when stepping back and realizing that there was once a place that exuded the same feelings of acceptance, amicability, general dislike, identity frustration, and obscure curiosity. A place you looked forward to, a place where you were either ostracized for your weird shell collection or adored because you were the first girl in your group to get a training bra. This holy place was the symbol of resistance to the code, of anarchy to our structured days of uncomfortable chairs, weird single teachers, culturally irrelevant classes (remember UltraKey?), and no. 2 pencils (the cool kids had Jelly Rolls). This place was known as “recess.” This daily 30-minute taste of freedom softened the brutality of elementary school, where a juicebox spill would spoil your day (but it was okay because the deli-quality sandwich your mother tucked into your Lisa Frank lunchbox was bomb), and hearing Coolio on your bus en route to school made the next 8 hours of your life bearable.

With that in mind, I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down a few buzzwords in relation to their applied meaning to that time on the playground, when you kissed Robby Winklestein by the slide after he pulled your pants down, then apologized when his friends left to go fry ants with a magnifying glass.


Remember when the hardest part of your day was a multiplication pop quiz and what a relief it was to get poked and ultimately be reminded that your row buddy was going through the same torture? If you were poked in class during geography or math test, a tingle of adrenaline would shiver down your spine as you awaited to flirt with danger in revealing an answer or to hear about the newest playground gossip.

In today’s context, unfortunately, a poke is creepy, annoying, pointless, and often from someone you didn’t even know you were friends with on Facebook.


If you ever got an origami-folded note in grade school, you were the shit. Nowadays, anyone that uses the Facebook note app usually has too much time on their hands or is far behind the times (ever heard of a blog?). Sappy Sallys and Emo Weirdos were NEVER the note-passers in elementary. Oh, how the tables have turned.


Okay, so I realize when taken out of context this is actually onomatopoeia that is purely exclusive to feathered animals, but tweets are really just recess conversation in 140 characters or less. Nothing was more exciting than having your BFF run up to you on the swingset to make fun of April’s new braces, or to show off his new Batman comic, or let you listen to the new Blink 182 album on his portable CD player.


Never has putting your thumbs up meant more in elementary school AND on the internet. If during the recitation of your long division you got a thumbs up from your teacher, you know you defintely got a gold star that day. If you got one from the boy you were crushin’ on in P.E. you were soooo going to have a boyfriend by the end of the day. Thanks to Facebook, we can relive all those cherished, proud, ego-boosting moments without having to say a word. Especially if its 3 a.m., post-bar, and you can’t coherently type out a comment on a hot girl’s photo without looking like a dick. Sometimes a thumbs up says it all.

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image – frwl