Chronicles of the Baby-Faced

My name is Evans, and by the combined powers of deoxyribonucleic acids and the cosmos, I am afflicted with the face of a baby. It's a genetic phenomenon that has been passed on for generations, and will continue long after I am dust. My fellow baby faced brethren may be cute and cuddly on the outside, but I am as fiery as an angry Shih Tzu on the inside.

Most people think it's some great, fantastic, terrific, beautiful, amazing, magical gift to have a face that refuses to age. And maybe it is. "When you're 50 it'll payoff, oh, oh just you wait!" they say. But I've been on this planet for almost 23 years and I have yet to reap any of its promised benefits. And on top of that, I realized that if the average life span of a man is 68 years, and I'm only 22, and it'll finally payoff when I'm 50 years old, that makes it only worth having for 18 years. I'm pretty bad at math, but I think that makes for a grant total of 50 years of me not being taken seriously. How magical, indeed. So here are some questions and instances that I'll deal with for the majority of my seemingly adolescent life:

"Wow, you look like you're 16!"

"Wow, how old are you?

Wait, how old are you!"

Being asked for ID at bars and movie theaters, then having to swear my ID isn't fake.

"What grade you in?"

Being stuck in between the good looking friend and the good looking friend's little brother.

"No but seriously how old are you though?

Being stopped by cops for high school truancy on a Tuesday afternoon even though I'm 6'2, 22 years old and about to get my bachelors degree.

"Is your mom or dad home, son?"

Being "one of the kids."

Being underestimated forever.

"Aww, peach fuzz! Too cute."

Instantly becoming 10 years old because there's a hat on my head.

So here's to an everlasting plethora of kids meals and student discounts, 28 more years of being annoyed at people, 18 years of deceiving annoying people, and death! 

The Hashtag War

In the world of social media, the “hashtag” that we all know and love (and hate?) is a relatively young beast. It originally started out as an easy, fun means of socially connecting with other people to talk about certain topics on the internet. Its early childhood included jokes, discussions about TV shows, movies, music and sports, the list goes on. Possibilities for hashtags go as far as your dictionary, thesaurus, and imagination will take you. Like all children, the hashtag eventually grew and morphed very fast into something with a little more depth, while also keeping its innocent origins deep within it’s DNA. Self-promotion, branding, broadcast bugs on TV and contests are some of the more “professional” uses of the hashtag in its teen years. While the growth of social media as we know it today began, the hashtag grew up and is now as complicated as an adult. It’s still is a thing that can talk about media and sports. It can still promote businesses and encourage millions of people to compete with one another (for example: an Instagram photo contest). But now it talks about complex issues like war, race relations, humans rights, politics and Game of Thrones.

This leads me to the topic of discussion: the war of hashtags and the lack of action. With the recent rise of African American killings, cop killings and murder in general, the hashtag took another form. While it still and always will have its positive uses that were mentioned above, this new form is sometimes filled with anger, contempt and condemnation. It seems that today we’re at a point where terrible tragedies happen at least once a month, but instead of taking action to enact change, we fight each other in a hashtag war. The focus is no longer about trying to prevent the tragedy from ever happening again. With #BlackLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMater and #AllLivesMatter, the discussion is now “who cares more about which lives” and “whose team are you on.” To be fair, BLM started as a hopeful way to get awareness about the systemic racism towards black people that would go unnoticed and to bring awareness when injustice is served. But now it’s much bigger than a hashtag, which is good. A common argument made against #AllLivesMatter is the “I should have my fair share too” analogy. But I see a problem with that. I believe the analogy is incomplete. Instead of complaining about our fair share, we need to take it. No one will give it to us but us. The analogy and all the hashtags are certainly fair complaints, but where is the solution? When it comes to the serious matters that require us to take action, personally, I’d prefer we do just that. These “wars” do three things: they bring about awareness of societal problems, but sometimes they demean the power and relevance of the essence of the hashtag, and they cause everyone to lose focus of the real issues at hand. Instead of being angry at the systems that put our communities in terrible situations, communities turn against each other, and that makes matters even worse until the next tragedy. With all that being said, I have no idea what action should be taken, but deep down I know it’s the answer. Tweeting doesn’t work, protesting doesn’t work, blatant evidence often doesn’t work, will voting be the answer? Do extreme (but safe) measures need to be taken? We will never know until we actually do something about it. Serious issues demand us to make serious resolutions.