When Becca Figurski graduates this Spring, she will have completed UPS’ very first Internet Studies major, despite the fact that no such major exists. Her major is self-proclaimed, the product of years of passionate exploration of the web.
In declaring her major, Becca hopes to raise awareness for the thousands of students who just want to browse the net in a scholarly capacity.
Becca starting her life of spleunking the tubes of the net when she was 10. Her father gave her a dusty Macintosh with Internet Explorer. By 13, she was surfing daily. Today, Becca has accounts with Facebook and Google+. She posts regularly on Reddit, Tumblr, and 4chan. She has 40,000 followers on Twitter.
How does one person maintain such an online identity? It isn’t easy.
“Time management is a huge deal for me,” says Figurski. “A hundred times a day, I ask myself, ‘could I be online right now?’ Usually, the answer is yes. Yes I can.”
A work ethic like Becca’s is hard to come by. In a typical week, she estimates she spends 40 hours navigating the ever expanding serious of tubes. “It’s a lot of time, sure. But the world’s cutest kitten video isn’t going to find itself.”
She described her daily routine as follows: “I like to start each day with a half hour clicking through Wikipedia. It makes for a good, stimulating warm-up. Then I usually spend an hour researching meme development. You know, finding out what makes Courage Wolf courageous, or why the College Freshman is such a hopeless goon. After twittering my lunch contents, I hole up in the library to catch up with Facebook. That can easily take another 2 hours. And for the rest of the day, I mix it up, by opening half a dozen tabs and alternating between them.”
Despite her tireless diligence in investigating the net, Becca’s major remains cruelly unrecognized by the university. Nonetheless, Becca intents to continue to lobby the university for the creation of an Internet Studies major.
“It just makes sense. Anyone should be able to pursue their dreams of trolling the web at the collegiate level,” she said.
In response, students across campus have been busily gearing up for the day when they too may graduate as recognized scholars of the World Wide Web. In the library, undergrads diligently tunnel through Wikipedia and TV tropes, even if it means putting off studying. Off campus, others scan the Pirate Bay for the latest breaches of copyright law.
Even during classes, an increasing number of students are making Facebook and Reddit their top priority.
But what will come next for Becca Figurski? “Right now, I’m hard at work finishing up my thesis. It’s titled ‘Twitter: Why?’ From there, I’ll start work earning my masters in trolling. Love to all my Ents! I’m out.”