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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I got my degree on Facebook!

Sorry to hijack Motley Moms to rant a little, but I actually believe this is a topic worthy of a parenting discussion. While most of us reading this did not grow up surfing the Information Super Highway, our kiddos will only know the ease of Google for finding out what they need to know.

In the past few weeks a controversy has erupted on Facebook. Actually, many controversies have exploded on the social networking site, but this one in particular has caught my attention. Have you seen the icky glob the lady down in Miami found in her Capri Sun pouch?


More pics here.

I think we can all agree that, yuck, that is really icky. I wouldn't want to find one of those in my kid's juice box. When the mom who found the mass contacted Kraft, the maker of the juice, they told her they would test it. They did, and they concluded that the mass is mold, and the mold grew because the pouch had a leak. (This is true, by the way--the family confirmed that the pouch was leaking and that is how they found the object.) Kraft offered to reimburse the family for the cost of the box of juice.

Here's where things have taken an interesting turn, though--apparently the appearance of this ugly mass of yuck has turned many people in the Facebook world into biologists. Did you know it was that simple? People whose only contact with mold is with the stuff that grows on strawberries when they sit in the fridge for too long have decided that this could not be mold--it's too icky--it looks more like an eyeball, skin, (insert random body part here)...

Now, with one Google search I was able to find a picture on a blog of a similar glob found in an apple juice box made by an Australian company. There may be some masked villain touring the world's juice factories and depositing masses of flesh he removed from his victims into our children's favorite summer beverage containers, or maybe...it really is a mold that tends to grow in fruit juice.

I'm not really bothered by boycotts against products as long as they have merit, and I think social networking sites have given consumers unimaginable power when it comes to being treated fairly. What bothers me is that I have heard several people talking about the glob off-line, and they are sure that indeed it is the missing hand of Osama bin Laden. Let people say what they will, but in this age of information, information tends to spread faster than the speed of light, and before you can say, "Don't take that perfume sample from a stranger at a gas station!" we have a new urban legend on our hands, and in some cases it may actually harm products or companies that supply jobs to our economy and have, in fact, done nothing wrong.

So, as much as I would like to think that my time spent watching Criminal Minds has prepared me to be an FBI profiler (Hey guys at the Bureau--call me if you need a hand!), I can honestly say that it probably hasn't, and on that same note, being a part of the Facebook community (or any other site) has not qualified me to be a scientist or anything else. It is my responsibility to not believe everything I read and to look into things a little before I start a crusade against them. Most of the time, a quick trip to www.snopes.com does the trick. ;)

What's my point and what does it have to do with parenting? Well, I guess my main goal here is to inspire us all to teach our kids how to find the truth no matter how enticing a legend is. Sure, it's more fun to think that the Capri Sun in question came from Hannibal Lecter's jail cell, but really, don't we want our kids to be able to decipher fact from fiction, danger from safety? There's a Facebook community devoted to some new fad where the kids are drinking alcohol WITH THEIR EYEBALLS. I'm sure they think it's perfectly fine to do so. I want our little guy to be able to say, "No, thank you, you're an idiot," when approached with such ridiculous ideas. In short, I want to train our future member of society to be, well, not a moron. Of course, I may need to get a few more Facebook degrees before I can master that completely. ;)


6 comments:

Liz said...

Right on!

Lindsay said...

Amen! I too thought that got WAY out of hand. We just belive anything we see on the internet. I am getting a little tired of people and all their "causes", it's like we can no longer just disagree or agree with something without making it our life's mission to speak for or against it. We just go into a panic, and feel like we need to share our options with everyone around us, and if they disagree with us, we just assume that they are ignorant or haven't done their reserach.

I saw that post and thought..."yuck...I am sure there is more to that story". Never did I think... I will never buy Capri Sun again and I must call them out publically.

Bryssy said...

I saw nothing on FB. I am so lame. However, I am pretty sure I could make some "mold" and post some pictures like that if I needed the shock and awe....too bad people believe anything they see - regardless of the source.

I always liked it when my high school students would insist that men can have babies, you know, 'cause it was in that movie - the one with the Governator.....I mean, dude, I saw it on the Internet!

Bryssy said...

I had to read that last bit again, Rachel. Drink with your eyeball? They need something else to do with their time (and eyeballs)! That makes my eyeball hurt just thinking about it.

Rachel said...

Bryssy, it's called "eyeballing" and they did a new report on it the other night. Apparently the alcohol enters the blood stream quicker or something like that. They showed pictures of the kids doing it, and they were taking these huge liquor bottles, putting them up to their eyes like they would to their mouths, and then throwing back like they were taking a drink, but through the eye. It was disturbing. It's one of those crazy trends. Stuff like that probably happened when we were that age, but we didn't have the Internet connecting us to instruct everyone around the globe on how to do it. Scary stuff.

I think it would be fun to start an urban legend. Any ideas? Maybe we could grow something as Bryssy said and then post pics to see how far it goes...;)

Fawnda said...

I am in on the Urban Legend idea... however I am not on facebook, so I can only be in on the brian storming session! : )