Weinergate and the Problem with Old(er) Twitter Users

Like this silly photo shows, sometimes old people have trouble using computers--but they sure do like it!

Before his somewhat pathetic announcement this week that he did, in fact, send explicit photos of himselfto various women over the Internet, I believed Representative Anthony Weiner was a victim of hacking or a Twitter bug. I figured no one–short of a 14-year-old girl with insecurity problems–would be so dumb as to conduct their sexual life via Twitter.

The photo shared on yfrog, a Twitter photo service, that began the Weinergate scandal.

Unfortunately for me, Weiner, his wife and everyone who will see the alleged photo of the congressman’s bulge (that was leaked today), he really was that stupid. When I told my dad that I thought Weiner was innocent, he explained that, after watching his attempts to face the media storm on various TV talk shows, he decided Weiner was lying. He never specifically saidthat the crotch-shot was of him or not.

Fast forward a week. Weiner announces (crying) to an unsurprised group of reporters that he’s been sending explicit photos of himself to women online.

“To be clear, the picture was of me and I sent it…[the conversations he has had with these women online were] a very dumb thing to do. And it was a destructive thing to do. But it wasn’t any part of a plan to hurt my life. Or to be deceitful to [the public]. It wasn’t part of a plan…if you are looking for some sort of deep explanation for it I don’t have one for you.”

After denying that the photo shared on Twitter was of him, Rep. Weiner came clean.

So I was wrong about Rep. Weiner. I’m going to pretend that my incorrect assessment of the situation came from my awe-inspiring tendency to see the good in people. But in reality, I should have known that anyone above the age of 30 has trouble conducting personal affairs online because they don’t understand that gosh-darned Internet.

To be fair, there are certain exceptions to this rule. But, for the most part, adults I’ve spoken to about Twitter call the site “tweeter”. And you can forget about cell phones. I figure that Weiner was using his cell to take a picture of his junk (cause how else are you supposed to do that? Using a Cannon is way to classy for Internet sex shenanigans) and couldn’t distinguish between the “direct message” option on Twitter with the “reply at” option. Hint for all those old timers reading this: direct messages are private, replaying “at” someone is a public message all followers can see.

Maybe old politicians will learn their lesson. Maybe they’ll have phone sex or something slightly more private than Twitter-sexting. And maybe we’ll all be able to answer the following question, posed by South Park last year after the Tiger Woods scandal:

“Why would a man who is famous and makes tons of money use that to try and have sex with a lots of different women?” [to be fair, Weiner says he hasn’t met any of the women he’s contacted, but it still applies]

Note: Because this is a widely written-about current news event, I chose not to cite sources within this post. While I do link to certain articles, I knew about the events discussed above without using specific media sources.

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