Technology

Fake Facebook Names Make Fake Trend in Sunday’s New York Times

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Ah, Sunday morning, the time when old people everywhere peer down their noses — through bifocals with their arms extended — at the paper, as they attempt to decipher what exactly it is kids are doing these days. This week, it seems high school students are using fake names on Facebook to avoid the prying eyes of college admissions officers. But like vodka in water bottles, it works on parents too!

And just like that, Facebook is MySpace. And New York Times readers? Still obsessed with getting their children into college.

Always steadfast on the aspirational “Help Me Get My Kid to Harvard” beat, the Times would never forgo a chance to write about college acceptance, especially at this time of year. And so why not base an entire article on something that may or may not even be happening!

“Whether admissions officers really do plumb Facebook is up for debate,” the story admits, the source being a man who sounds entirely made up himself and only exists in the moneyed orbit of the Grey Lady: Dr. Frank C. Leana, “a prominent independent college counselor in New York City whose services cost $1,000 (for a one-time consultation) to $9,000 (for ongoing counsel throughout the college process).” Yeah.

But never mind that ridiculous premise and those large numbers! What are the kids doing?

To avoid detection, Ms. Kaye, now a freshman at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, said she and others began changing their names on Facebook beginning in their junior year of high school.

New spellings are standard: Amy is now Aim E, and Ms. Kaye became Charlotte K. A nickname will also do. At the Ramaz School in Manhattan, Amanda Uziel changed her Facebook name to Uzi Shmuzi. Puns and wordplay are held in higher esteem.

Again for good measure: “Puns and wordplay are held in higher esteem.” By who exactly remains unclear. The students? Their parents? The college admissions officials? The esteemed Dr. Frank C. Leana? Whatever the case, kids, now you know. Want to go to college? Step up your pun game.

One student quoted in the piece more or less renders the whole thing irrelevant, admitting that name changes have very little to do with college admissions. “At this point it’s not done as much for the sake for being functional,” he says. “Now it’s gotten just more to be trendy.” Or: exactly like MySpace circa 2006, where everyone and their brother’s profile was titled [Name]! at the Disco.

The last seven paragraphs of the story (about half of the article) are mostly just examples of fake names on Facebook. Here they are from worst to best. (The puns are severely lacking.) You can probably skip this story:

4. Charlotte K.
3. Kwame “Wants to get into college” Ocran [Note: This is the article’s piss poor joke of an ending. Sorry, Kwame, not your fault.]
2. Haley Go Lightly
1. Audri Eyebrows

Now get to stalking!