It might come as a surprise to some of you, but I actually went to high school. I know that you all think I was sprung forth from some educational demi-god free from the fetters of our antiquated education system, but, no, much like the rest of you beautiful peons, I too suckled at the teat of the American education system. Now, mine was at a private school because my parents think all kids in public school are dirty, lice-infested heathens (I agree with them, but I’d never say it out loud…wait…).
Since my graduation, I’ve remained friends with a small handful of classmates, mostly people I’d known for many years prior to graduation. Like the rest of the normal world, I keep up with them via Facebook. However, many moons ago (that’s Native American for like 50 years I think), I signed up for the wretched Classmates.com. In fairness, I was really just looking to see how many people had gotten fatter than me (hint: all of them), what former hot chicks were on the rebound after their divorce and what percentage of them lived in a trailer with their “grand babies.”
At first, there weren’t really any people on there. A couple had added themselves, but this was only months after the internet overtook the abacus for computing power. Over time, I grew to ignore Classmates.com like pretty much everyone else. When Facebook came along, I pretty much forgot it existed. Then, I got this email saying that a bunch of people had posted to my guestbook.
First off, who calls it a “guestbook” anymore? What is this, 1997? Second, I was shocked I was even still ON that site.
Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked the provided link and I got this:
Let me try and point out the many sad problems with this screen capture.
Note not one but TWO ads for dating sites. Seriously? I guess some of you perverts get so jacked up from seeing a former girl you made out with and got a cursory under-the-shirt-but-over-the-bra boob grab after fifth period in the janitor’s closet that you need to go cruise the dating sites for some action. It’s sad, really, but no surprising for a weirdo like you. You’re so creepy. Ok, that’s it, you’re banned!
Besides the two dating ads, there are two ads for how to sign up for Classmates.com’s paid service. Much like Craigslist destroyed newspaper classified advertising, Classmates.com hanging onto paid subscriptions years after Facebook sent them to the internet graveyard with Geocities and that light saber wielding YouTube kid, is both sad and desperate. If you actually pay for this service, perhaps I can interest you in music from this hot new band Wang Chung or maybe we can get together sometime and watch Magnum PI.
The saddest part is the blurring of the names and the giant question mark over the photos. Wanna see? Subscribe! Um, no thank you. If my former classmates can’t find me at JeffBalke.com or facebook.com/jeffbalke or twitter.com/jeffbalke or myspace.com/jeffbalke or by doing a Google search for my name, then I’m pretty sure they were either hit on the head by a baseball bat rendering them to a vegetative state and unable to even read or they are still on dial-up and think internet searches are controlled by a secret world government that worships Satan and pushes a radical homosexual agenda on toddlers. Either way there is no hope for them and un-blurring their names would simply serve to deepen my sadness for their situation.
Thanks, Classmates.com, for reminding me that old, broken paradigms can still exist with lots of wasted venture capital and unsuspecting people who still don’t know their Google from their Outlook. I have to run now. The Rockford Files is on.