Due to the recent onset of my second-semester nostalgia, this next cautionary tale/unconventional cyber safety advice will harken back to the days of the 6th-grade crush.
My older readers will recall fondly the day we opened our first email accounts. Whether it was Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo, just like that the expansive world of 6th-grade communication unfurled before us. It was before Snapchat had video, before the era of the iPod touch and even before Kony 2012. We interacted with our crushes via email. The world was a simpler place.
Little did I know that 2019 would bring back the very same courting rituals. By nature of my Instagram(@thecollegeboardofficial), I often get weird inquiries about College Board related nonsense. This time, dear reader, I opened my email to find a flirtatious message accompanied by impressive SAT scores.
A boy whom I was not familiar with had sent me his standardized testing scores in an attempt to strike up a conversation. I could not believe my eyes. Not only was I shocked by the scores themselves, as I was clearly being courted by an intellectual, but I was shocked by the unconventional route the boy had taken to my heart.
I had made a vow to myself that I was not to start any romantic relations over Snapchat, but email had never crossed my mind. In fact, I was so unaccustomed to this medium I was rendered speechless. At first I was hesitant to respond because stranger danger is incredibly important to remember in all romantic pursuits. However, in the name of A View From the Bottom, I knew there was research to be done.
I come to you, 32 emails deep with a boy who I’m not entirely sure knows my name. Each time an email comes in I wonder whether to be scared or elated. Never before has the thrill of an unread email sent a chill up my spine.
Are there times when I remember being lectured by “experts” of adolescent social media usage on stranger danger? Yes. Should I be confessing my love for a boy, whom I have never met, via email? Probably not. But will I continue to do so until this, too, goes up in flames? You bet.
So if I have any advice for you, it’s to not engage with persons you meet in an online forum. Leave the questionable field work to me and stick to school-sanctioned events to get your social thrills.
Sophia Meloni ’19