Yes, I am serious, and there is a sociological lesson to be learned here.
But first, some supportive information. There are plenty of accounts that would seem to point to Anna Nicole Smith (in that Getty images photo) as an enthusiastic Internet user and e-mailer.
Take for instance "BIG MO," an Anna Nicole Smith bodyguard who appeared on Larry King Live last night.
BIG MO said in part: "The media wouldn't let her grieve. She was someone that read her own press. No matter how much myself or Howard or any other people that was close to her tried to get her away from that computer, she would always read about these things..." (death of her son)
Meanwhile, while BIG MO mentioned on CNN that Anna apparently spent some time online, the co-founder of CNN (Ted Turner) as well as the host of that program (Larry King) have often been quoted that they have never used the Internet.
Earlier this week, Anna Nicole Smith's former boyfriend Larry Birkhead attested to the fact that she was on the Tiffany.com Web site, and then alerted Larry to some items that were for sale. And court testimony over the last week parenthetically referred to some emails Ms. Smith had personally sent.
Ms. Smith, whose "fame" was first achieved by her being named Playmate of the Year. Playmate, as in Playboy magazine-blue chip property in an enterprise headed by Hugh Hefner. Hef says he doesn't use the Internet personally.
Even ex-Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill, who is in his 70s, recently told an interviewer that he doesn't know how to use a computer.
I've been thinking about all this. What's the deeper meaning in the fact that we still have brainy and distinguished individuals don't use the Internet but then the lady in question did?
I think the answer is mostly generational. Once you get past a certain age, you see powerful men (mostly men) for whom a computer is yet another device for clericals. These men have 40 or 50 years of workplace experience in which they have dictated letters, hired personal shoppers, even rarely have dialed their own phone calls ("please hold for Mr.."). And now they have Web pages printed out for them by harried staffers.
Notice I said mostly generational. And this holds true for some celebrities as well- traveling with harried BlackBerry-totin' personal assistants to manage the email flow.
Back to Anna Nicole. She was many things.
Brainiac, not. But apparently not ditzy enough to not know how to call up a web page or send an email.
Enthusiastic Internet user, yes.
Talkin' 'bout her generation.