Growing up, spring break is hyped as the greatest booze-fueled, sex-filled, sun-drenched week of your life. A simple combinations of tropical destinations and tequila transform college students into MTV caricatures. You wait years for those few days in the sun with your college friends and let go of any inhibitions as you enjoy Mai-Tai’s for breakfast and margaritas for lunch.
No not matter what MTV and movies have programed us to believe, spring break rarely lives up to the hype but it does usually amount to some laughs and a good time. Plenty of people get fall down drunk and make regrettable decisions. Anyone that has been on traditional spring break can attest to that, but it hardly results in anything reminiscent of an unrated episode of “Undressed.”
According to the New York Times, the current generation of spring breakers aren’t as interested in debauchery as their predecessors — and Mark Zuckerberg may be the one to blame. The Times article focused on the revelers at the tried-and-true spring break hotspot of Key West, and the consensus seems to be that kids are getting tamer.
“They are very prudish,” said Margaret Donnelly, 28, a bartender at Tattoos and Scars who has lived in Key West for four years and remembers her own student antics “They are so afraid everyone is going to take their picture and put it online. Ten years ago people were doing filthy, filthy things, but it wasn’t posted on Facebook.”
In defense of spring breakers everywhere, who are probably offended by the fact that the Grey Lady’s article implied that they don’t know how to have fun, Key West is without question one of the tamer destinations. The southernmost point is still within the US border and therefore restricted to the over-21 crowd. The wilder places are typically in Mexico, where 18-year-olds who haven’t yet tested their limits chug Jose Cuervo until their stomach rejects it and they wake in the handicapped stall of a bar bathroom.
Nevertheless, the article does raise an interesting point about social media’s effects on society. We all know how the internet has changed the interview process and how Facebook pictures and tweets have cost people job opportunities. Camera phones have altered the way anyone acts in public. Generally speaking, kids are weary of their actions because of the consequences.
Elder spokesmen will argue that teaching the reckless youth responsibility via the judgmental, ever-present eye of social media is a good thing. But robbing 18-22-year-olds of their fun out of fear of a video of them dancing on a bar or singing sloppy karaoke rendition of “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling” makes it on YouTube is a little unfair. They have the rest of their lives to be boring, responsible adults — no one should be judged for spring break.
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