Letters to the Editor – March 27

Re: “Get off my Facebook, Grandma”

To whom it may concern,

I am writing in regards to the article in the Opinion section of the March 20 AQ called, “Get off my Facebook, Grandma.” I am shocked that this article, written by a student from the University of Alberta, was selected to be in our university newspaper as it is extremely offensive and holds no truth.

Yes, (some) older adults may not be as technologically knowledgeable about social media tools such as Facebook, but should we discourage and make fun of older adults for trying to learn and keep up with technology? No, we should not.

We should not forget that people of all ages may not be well educated on particular types of things, including computer usage, but choosing one group to discriminate against (in this case older adults) is wrong and ageist.

St. Thomas University is a school that encourages its students to think critically about the issues around us and the way society perceives things, including how society chooses to view older adults. As a university that offers a Gerontology program and as a student who is majoring in Gerontology, I am disgusted that our liberal school would select such an ageist article to post in our AQ.

I hope St. Thomas University students are intelligent enough to disregard “Get off my Facebook, Grandma” and see the article as the negative stereotype that it is.

Thank you for your time,

Julia Breneol

 

 Re: “Beach Babe or Beached Whale”

This article goes all over map, both encouraging people to try and feel better about their bodies, while simultaneously condemning them. Quotes like “We would like to resemble a Victoria’s Secret model… but most just can’t” makes sense. However, “You can’t hide under your clothes forever.

I know what’s under there. We all do.” is a little scary. Later in this same paper, Julia Bremner has a beautiful article on eating disorders. I feel like after reading the good that someone could say about health and weight, this article was really jarring.

As a kid, I was really scrawny. I was almost always the smallest (my nickname was actually ‘runt’). However, growing up, my family constantly joked about me ‘getting fat someday.’ I have dreaded that day ever since. I have fluctuated from the most at 160 pounds, to the least at 130 pounds in my university career. At 5”7, I felt physically sick when I reached 155 pounds, which is completely normal on the BMI scale. But I felt gigantic. I know that as a person with real experience in being overweight (Fraser cites herself as being near a heart attack at 15), the view is completely different. But honestly, I would like a message that says, “If you are healthy, then don’t be afraid of what your body looks like. The beach is not what should encourage you to be fit, and losing weight on a ‘water only’ diet is actually anorexic.”

I know there’s an attempt to keep balance -“You don’t need to look like Arnold Schwarzeneggar to be healthy”- but it keeps going back from these encouraging sentences to: “Just remember, your clothes can’t hide you forever.” It’s creepy. Even the title implies that you can either be beautiful or fat, and that fat can’t be beautiful. I get “be healthy, work out,” but “we know you’re fat, you can’t hide it anymore, so work out” is too much for me.

That rant might seem like enough. But then I read “Get off my Facebook, Grandma.” Sure, I get it. Sometimes older people don’t understand Facebook (I literally spent two hours over March break helping my aunt figure it out). But saying that “Old people are some of the least sophisticated and knowledgeable people on this planet” is just too much. You know what’s “unsophisticated” to me? Writing off several generations in one sentence.

I wouldn’t mind this article if it was written in a funny way, but to me, this guy is just an asshole with a media outlet. The fact is, the “99 per cent of people won’t re-post this” and 90s pictures referenced that show up in my feed are from people my own age. “I luv u bebe, kan’t wait to c u l8er” is also not from the “old people” who “have no idea how to use the internet.” Well congratulations, you figured out a newspaper. Did you know old people can do that too? My favourite is the second last line: “Log on, wish me a happy birthday and then log off.” How about this – get off your high horse, and don’t add your grandmother to Facebook. Let her enjoy her time on the internet as much as she pleases (for reasons other than your ****ing birthday).

Amelia Ross

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