This isn’t like the razor blades in the apples. Or the rice making pigeons explode. Or my sister’s alleged “talent.” This, faithful readers, is real. While it seems like 140 characters could do no actual harm, studies—by Harvard doctors and scientists—have proven that prolonged use of and exposure to the Internet website known as “Twitter” is today’s primary cause of teenage pregnancy. Of course, our children are not having babies simply because they log on—though with what else can be found on this World Wide Web, you could see how it could happen. It’s the life path that tweeting, so it is called, can lead them down. One tweet leads to another, and before you know it, our children are listening more closely to their followers than we, their parents. What’s next? What’s after teenage pregnancy? The inevitable: crack babies. Yes, logging onto Twitter has, according to the same Harvard doctors and scientists, led to young pregnant girls—the very pregnant girls who became pregnant on Twitter—smoking crack and passing addiction down to their unborn fetuses. I don’t know if you have ever seen a crack baby, let alone a neglected crack baby, but it’s not an encouraging sight. Just imagine if that was your grandchild. Then what happens when these children-parents want to go back to school? To a football game? To prom? Either you’re stuck watching their babies while they’re out gallivanting, or they start leaving their babies in Dumpsters, in broken-down elevators, and sometimes, fire stations. Is that what we want? Parents, it’s time you took control back, said no to your children once in a while, spent quality time nurturing them, showing them the right way. They need human-on-human contact, not this cyberspace interaction they’ve grown accustomed to. And if some teacher or guidance counselor or friend wants to stand in your way? Watch it, Bub! Or the next thing we know, the abandoned crack baby who calls you Grammy will replace some poor Dalmatian as the official mascot down at the local firehouse. Mark my word.
Michael Czyzniejewski is the author of two story collections, Elephants in Our Bedroom, released by Dzanc Books in 2009, and the forthcoming Chicago Stories, due this coming spring from Curbside Splendor. He teaches at Bowling Green State University, where he serves as Editor-in-Chief of Mid-American Review. In 2010, he received a fellowship in fiction from the National Endowment for the Arts.