Lately, I keep seeing commercials that show someone in front of a computer and say, in onscreen text graphics, “This is Alex. She’s never been on the internet.”
If you haven’t seen these, you’ve probably already guessed the joke:
“Alex” is a Kimodo dragon.
Alex is not a Kimodo dragon. Nor is she:
- A scraggle-bearded Marine being helped out of a dirt hole in Afghanistan after 20 years’ imprisonment
- Waking from a coma caused by a Ketamine overdose at NYC dance club the Limelight in 1991
- An Amish lass enjoying her first day of Rumspringa
- A goo-covered newborn.
Alex is a 40-something-ish woman who appears to be totally socialized. She’s wearing funky glasses and surrounded not by wolves who raised her as their own, but by regular people in a cafe/ library kind of setting.
The ad goes on to show her nervously connecting with her family by video chat. “She hasn’t seen them in years.”
Well, of course she hasn’t. They’ve emailed her every time they’re in town, and never heard back. They finally gave up, asking what I want to know: “Who the F doesn’t use the internet?”
Connected via this miracle you modern, big-city people call the World Wide Web, Alex asks the young girl in the video window, who I assume is her niece, to come closer to the screen — and then says, in “with-it and sassy” tone, “Well now you’re in mah face.”
I get it.
The well-meaning organization that made the ad wants to show you that if you’ve never used the internet, you’re in good company. “Look, even this with-it, sassy, well-groomed professional who hangs out in appealing public spaces without yelling obscenities, hiking up her skirt and defecating — even she doesn’t know how to use the internet. So you’re doing great!”
It’s so totally normal to never have used the internet.
To drive home the point, the ad also features an attractive hairdresser. Is she sporting a Dorothy Hamill bowl cut? A late-season Facts of Life mullet? No. She’s got a sleek, current bob. But she, too, has never used the internet.
Sorry to break it to you…
Hate to tell whoever the target audience is that even my 82-year-old dad, who loves rice pudding, the phone book, and the expression “if my grandma had wheels she’d be a trolley car,” uses the internet. How well, that’s another question. Yesterday, looking up from a lunch plate that had both a Zabar’s danish ring and a knife with mustard on it, he said to me, “Laura, I need your help.”
From the urgency in his voice, I thought he meant help getting up from his chair. But he continued, “I need a ‘PLUG-IN.’ WHAT is a PLUG-IN, and WHERE does one find it?”
I told him to ask Alex.
Do you know someone who’s never used the internet? Please tell me about this fascinating person, or creature, and where you found them.