Date: Thu, 7 Aug 1997 00:14:48 -0400
From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: Birthsurfing; Facelift; Less Is More; Supermodels
WHERE IS GARETH BRANWYN? GET HIM OVER HERE! I'M COINING A NEW
Yes, when you see this in American Speech's "Among the New Words,"
remember you saw it on ADS-L first!
Today is Hiroshima Day, the anniversary of the day the atom bomb was
dropped on Hiroshima. People dress up in death masks and chant "Never
again!" It is also, naturally, my birthday.
I was reading some mail and news and sports scores. I didn't realize
the time, but it must have been 12:01 a.m. I received a flashmail message on
AOL from HunnyBeth:
I don't know a HunnyBeth.
She "birthsurfed" my AOL bio, found out that today was my birthday, and
was the first person to wish me a happy birthday. I thanked her.
"It's my birthday, too!" she wrote. I checked her AOL bio. She's a
seventeen-year-old girl from Michigan.
"17!" she wrote.
I wished her a happy birthday--I mean, what did she want me to do? A
few moments later, I got a flashmail message from ILuvDakota.
"Happy birthday!" wrote ILuvDakota. She's an eighteen-year-old girl
from Connecticut. I was about to reply, when there was ANOTHER flashmail
"Happy birthday!" wrote EboneQueen, an eighteen-year-old girl (WHERE OH
WHERE IN MY AOL BIO DID I WRITE THAT I WANTED THIS?!) from North Carolina.
This is the first time that I had been online on my birthday at 12:01
a.m. Last year I was in Scotland at an ICOS conference (on Names). The year
before I had Panix, not AOL.
And if this is happening to me, it's probably happening to loads of
others. Ask your AOL friends to sign on at 12:00 a.m. on their birthdays if
they want the attention.
It probably works for young kids. One says "Hi," the other says "Hi,"
and maybe they get together. For others, however, the flashmail birthday
messages can be a real pain in the ass.
There should be a word for this, so:
BIRTHSURFING: Wishing a "Happy Birthday" to a complete stranger on his/her
birthday, usually at the stroke of midnight.
BIRTHDATING: "Dating" a person who has just "birthsurfed" you.
BIRTHBAIT: What happens when you have been "birthsurfed" by "jailbait."
I talked briefly to all three, but how? I tell them my age and they
call me a pervert, when I didn't even do anything in the first place! I was
in my apartment reading!
PRESIDENT CLINTON: I want every thirteen-year-old on the internet!
Thanks, Prez. For my next birthday, I'm going to sleep.