Something confuses me. In today's Western world, the majority of teenagers (as well as other age groups, but I can't exactly speak knowledgeably about them) have had some sort of interaction with computers. Many teenage girls are obsessed with e-mail, claiming addictions and true love to what amounts to a system of computers. However, bring up the topic of these nerdy objects as casual lunchtime chatter and one will instantly be berated for the geekiness of the topic.

This is a situation that has vexed me for the past couple years. Computers are still, in this modern age, associated with pimply-faced guys and thick glasses when everyone realizes deep down inside that this is not the case. Almost everyone in my school has an ICQ account, yet start talking about it and an instantaneous hush will fall upon the noon hour conversation.

Many girls learn to make webpages to put up pictures of themselves and their friends; they use photo editing software to add online nicknames and feathered borders to pictures of themselves to send to others and use email to the point that it should be considered a clinical disorder.

Online, they are not afraid to admit it. "Visit my page to see pics of me and sign the gbook!" But move the scene away from behind a computer screen and suddenly the subject becomes a taboo and quite hush-hush.

I was voted the president of the Computer Club at my school this year. What are your first impressions? Most I have heard include the stereotypical responses of "nerd", "geek" and "loser". Fortunately most people at my school know me better than that. Think again. I am just like you. I am one of the rare people that admits to being adept at using a machine, and so I am rewarded for that fact - but some others may not fare quite as well.

One of my goals for this year is to change the stereotype most students have about my club. It has been a difficult task thus far, but so far I have succeeded where my predecessors have failed by actively advertising the club as something for everyone.

But the effort cannot stop here! To make this issue globally recognized, everyone must act and convince their peers that they are mis-informed! If we all work together, we can make the world a better place for computer users everywhere.

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