The Internet says I’m rich — maybe a Google search will help me find the money
Burt's Eye View
The Internet is a fascinating place. For example, I just discovered on one of those reliable Internet search sites that my household income falls between $100,000 and $150,000, and that my personal net worth “based on census data” ranges up to $250,000.
Had I known this sooner, I would have opted for cheese on my drive-through hamburger. Apparently, I can afford it.
My bank disagrees.
“But you can Google it,” I pointed out to the teller.
“You can also Google ’10 Things Your Doctor Doesn’t Want You to Know; Number Four Will Make Your Jaw Drop,'” the teller said. “I clicked on it. My jaw didn’t drop. But it would if $250,000 ever showed up in your bank account.”
My next Internet search was to see where this missing $250,000 might be. The hall closet, perhaps? Then I remembered we don’t have a hall closet. But I found a great video on YouTube on how to build one even if your home doesn’t have a hall.
“Absolutely not,” my wife said. “I’m still trying to recover from the time you found the website about ’16 Surprising Uses for Onions in Your Home.’ Number seven truly did shock me, but therapy helps.”
I suggested to my boss that she adjust my salary for the sake of Internet accuracy. She made her own salary adjustment suggestion, after which I suggested we forget all suggestions. There’s no point in further distorting Internet accuracy.
There was that one time that our total household income topped $100,000. But after visiting for a couple of hours, our guests went home, and income under our roof plummeted from ritzy back to hand-me-down reality.
The “census data” cited must have me confused with one of those people I’ve never heard of — Donnell, perhaps — that the Internet claims are my close, personal relatives. The report also shows that I have one male child who is 16 to 17 years old living in the house.
“Have you noticed any teenage boys in the house lately?” I asked my wife.
“Teenaged as in chronologically?” She cocked an eyebrow. “Not that version of boy, no.”
“I thought not,” I said. I used to be a teenage boy. We tend to leave a lot of evidence in our wake.
It’s perplexing. Why would the Internet post something that wasn’t true?
Posting, of course, is how our society serves public notice of anything. Government is conducted on Twitter. And unless a thing is posted on Facebook, it just isn’t so.
If you want to make it official, add a bunch of smiley-faced emoji. In the old days, a document needed the seal and signature of a notary public to be considered legal and binding. Today, we require emoji and hashtags.
What I really need is a Wikipedia entry of my very own. Wikipedia is that online encyclopedia written by anyone with access to a computer. Access to actual facts isn’t nearly as important.
The beauty of authoring my very own Wikipedia entry is that I know pretty much everything there is to know about me, so I can set the Internet record straight on my life: “Burton Cole’s teenage son lives in the hall closet guarding the $250,000.”
— Hit Cole up for a loan at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook. The Internet says he’s loaded.