How To Internet

So this post came up on my Facebook feed.

It was a sign tacked up on the door of a doctor's office that stated that due to HIPAA laws, parents were not allowed into the examination rooms with their children. Parents are to wait in the lobby and will be immediately notified if there is a problem.

What? I asked myself.

Like, really?

Like what effing universe is that ever gonna happen?

And how exactly does one misinterpret the HIPAA that ridiculously?

And the 2.3k comment responses were exactly what you'd expect. Outrage.

Cause that's outrageous.

But I stood back and thought about it a bit, cause, you know, why not? Then I realized that there are really only two reasons a doctor might want to see a child without it's parent in the room.

The first, most obvious, cases of potential abuse. But even then, there is a protocol.

The second, and sligthly less obvious, birth control.

There ain't a child ever created that wants to talk sex with a parent in the room. And if you can find me a teenager who is not preoccupied with sex nine thoughts out of ten, I'll send you my last bottle of unicorn blood.

Still, I was intrigued. This is, of course, the internet, and there's got to be a story here somewhere.

Turns out, with very little digging, the post was created by a parent's rights group.

A "what" you say?

A Parent's Rights Group.

Yeah, like, they have those?

They most certainly do. And if you check out the front page of this particular organization, the need for a Parent's Rights Amendment to the Constitution is dire. Case upon case of doctors using their "authority" to remove children from their parents.

An interesting twist to federal law is that parents are resposible for their children but do not implicitly OWN them, cause, you know, Lincoln outlawed that shit.

So you can spank them and take away their iPods and hit them in the face with a baseball for crowding the plate, but you can't hit them in the face with a baseball because they didn't eat their brocolli.

Thems the breaks.

I happen to think that those are pretty reasonable rules.

And the exceptions seem pretty extreme to me, the cases where doctors irresponsibly removed children from parental care, especially since I myself have physically threatened a doctor for ludicris and insufficient treatment, and I never even got so much as a strongly worded letter.

But that was a psychiatrist.

I could have left his dead body in the parking lot and nobody would've cared until trash day.

So an actual Amendment to the US Consititution for Parent's Rights seemed to me not only far fetched, but super overkill for what I think we can all agree is at least a statistically insignificant problem.

But, like wait, there's more.

Seems to be quite a lot of Congressional support behind the Parent's Rights Amendment.

Cause, you know, why not?

But why though?

And I can answer that question because this is the internet and the underlaying truth is going to be only a few clicks away (seven in this case). The underlaying truth was found in the middle of the second paragraph of the FAQ part labelled "The current state of parental rights.

Obscenely enough, evil doctors have been finding ways to to give information to children without parental consent. Specifically - drum roll please - in regards to - yeah you know it - information on sex-education, contraception, and - TA DA! - abortion.

I don't know how you feel about that. I don't care. I would like to take a moment to thank my 8th grade biology teacher for not making my mother show me how to put a condom on.

Actually, I lied, I do care. Advocating ignorance is criminal. There. I said it.


I felt a little terrible pointing that out. 2.3k people expressed obvious outrage at an obvious abuse of information and may have, totally innocently, become a part of a marketing campaign who's product they don't necessarily want to be associated with.

But today's "How to Tuesday" isn't about "How to Abortion." It's about "How to Internet"

I only bring this particular point up because it's exactly the kind of thing that makes the internet a scary awesome place, and with a little knowledge, and curiosity, you too can find ways to drink responsibly.

First and foremost, never forget that the internet is People. 

People are weird and not to be trusted. (I wholeheartedly include myself)

Second, the internet is marketing.

Marketing is a technique, a call-to-action if you will, a one sided-debate, where, unfortunately, it's possible to tell the truth and lie at the same time, the more un-debateable the lie, the better the marketing. (Pepsi may be the Choice of a New Generation, but it's also the same generation that gave us Reality TV)

Thankfully, and thirdly the internet is information.

Information everywhere. Information from everyside, every angle, from every corner of the world. And yes, so much of it is self serving. Numbers can bleed any color you want them to. So you can't exactly find the truth, but you can suss out intention.

The danger, and this is the most important thing you need to know about the internet is this:

You will find EXACTLY what it is you're looking for.

No matter what point of view you hold on anything.

That's an enormous amount of personal responsibility if you think about it.

Because scholars and the lunatics use the same fonts.

The best way to internet, oddly enough, is actually the best way to live. Be gracious, Be skeptical, enjoy beauty, rage against the machine, be a good teacher, be a good friend, and if you find that the ignorant are crowding the plate, hit them in the face with a baseball.


No comments:

Post a Comment