Couch Surfing – Possibly the Dumbest Idea Currently Attracting College Students

Couch surfing, to those of us past the age of 30, seems relatively safe and straight forward enough.  Even the Urban Dictionary gives it a definition that would mostly fit into the acceptable: “A cheap form of lodging used mainly by college-students or recent college-grads, where one stays on acquaintance’s couches rather than a hotel. ”  The keyword is acquaintance – “a person known to one, but usually not a close friend.”

However it would appear European Exchange Students have taken this idea to a whole new level of stupid!!!

Much in the fashion of the State Farm – State of Disbelief commercial, these college aged kids / pseudo adults seem to think that if it’s on the Internet it must be true.

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As the woman in the State Farm ad says: “They can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true.”



Enter the definition of Couch Surfing from American Exchange Students in Spain courtesy of the Quirky Girls Do Blog:

“You go to this website and people post that they have a couch you can crash on for FREE.  Wow…isn’t that great they say to me.  Ok, I’m still confused so I ask a lot more questions.  You visit a website and you look for the city in Europe that you plan to visit.  You read reviews, so you know it’s safe (right…this is how a 20 year old thinks) and then you email them directly and they let you crash on their couch for FREE.  The girls say they look for girls, but haven’t had any problems with the guys’ houses either.

I am now staring in the eyes of a 110 lb blonde who thinks this is great.  OH MY GOD…I think to myself.  My next question:  Do your parents know you are doing this?  Oh no, they would kill me they all reply.   My second question: Do you know why they feel that way? The answer:  They just don’t understand.  They proceed to tell me that if it was unsafe surely the website would be shut down and that the reviews are good so it must be fine.”

Pick your jaws up from the keyboard and let that soak in for a moment. Something has gone terribly wrong here, both in the evolution of the Internet and our children’s understanding of it. What all the adults in the room understand to be a joke from State Farm many of our college aged children think is exactly the truth.

For those with kids, there is no time like Right Now to explain to them that State Farm was kidding and the Internet is probably closer to 70% BS and 30% sort of truth.  The Internet is a free-for-all for anyone who has enough money to buy a domain and start a site – a feat which even Homer Simpson managed.

Keep that in mind next time you’re surfing the web and don’t let your kids spend any time surfing a stranger’s couch!


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