Have you ever disciplined your teenager by taking away his or her electronic devices? You walked around the house, unplugging this and that, grabbing the cell phone and iPad, disconnecting the gaming console and chucking it into a dark corner of your closet.
But I’ll bet there’s one thing you missed.
Now, if you have a regular, run of the mill fridge that only functions as a way to keep perishable food from going bad, then you’re safe. But if you have a smart fridge – well, that’s a different story.
Let’s examine the case of Dorothy, a 15-year-old Twitter user from Kentucky. One fateful night, Dorothy was boiling rice and talking on her iPhone. She was distracted. So much so that the stove, according to the teen herself, “burst into flames.”
Well, apparently Dorothy’s mom didn’t take too well to the kitchen being on fire. So, on August, 4th she confiscated poor Dorothy’s phone.
“Im leaving forever,” Dorothy subsequently tweeted from her Nintendo 3DS. “ill miss u all sm. im crying. goodbye.”
It’s a dramatic statement. And to show just how serious she was, Dorothy included a picture of Ariana Grande crying, along with the hashtag #ACNL. This texting code apparently does not stand for the Association of California Nurse Leaders as I had initially thought. It’s an abbreviation for an addictive Nintendo video game called Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Yeah, I don’t get it either.
Anyhow, Dorothy’s mom caught on pretty fast, and she took away Dorothy’s Nintendo. Then mom commandeered her daughter’s Twitter account and tweeted the following: “I seen that Dorothy has been using twitter on her Nintendo. This account will be shut down now.”
But wait, it doesn’t end there. Dorothy also had a Wii. So, using the game console’s image share function, she tweeted “Hello. my mom took my phone and my nintendo ds soi have no choice but to use my wii. thank u all for the support and love.”
That was August 5. The next day, August 6, bright and early in the morning, Dorothy tweeted that her mom was at work and the teen was using the opportunity to search for her cell phone. “wish me luck. lov u,” she said to her loyal followers as she embarked on the harrowing adventure.
It isn’t known if Dorothy found her phone, but she did locate her Nintendo 3DS. An exuberant Dorothy tweeted “FOUND MY DS! im goin to my friends @harrietjace tonight so ill be active! Omgggg” along with a pic of Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. Because… why not?
And then it happened. Just two days later, on August 8, Dorothy once again tweeted that her mother had confiscated her devices. So, what did she do? How in the world did she tweet?
With her LG smart refrigerator. Naturally.
“I do not know if this is going to tweet I am talking to my fridge what the heck my Mom confiscated all of my electronics again.”
Well, that message not only tweeted – the refrigerator tweet went viral. As of this writing, Dorothy’s refrigerator message has been retweeted 18,500 times, liked over 75,000 times, and the hashtag #FreeDorothy is on fire. Kinda like Dorothy’s stove. (See what I did there?)
Oh, and lest you think Dorothy doesn’t have corporate backing, both Twitter and LG have used the #FreeDorothy hashtag to tweet their support as well.
In an interview with the Guardian, a distraught Dorothy discussed the refrigerator tweet and complained that her mother’s harsh punishment had ruined her summer vacation. “I felt mortified!” she said. “I was worried because I’ve been bored all summer and Twitter passes the time for me.”
And while Dorothy didn’t answer questions about how long her punishment would last, she did ask her fans to be patient with her. “I may be late to reply,” she told the Guardian, “as it is difficult to find something to use Twitter.”