ST. LUKE’S — Columbia student Mike Goldberg CC ’20 remains in critical condition following a near-fatal Wikipedia bender last Friday, according to reports released by the hospital.
Goldberg reportedly opened Wikipedia to look up the name of the red Teletubby before a series of stray clicks sent the Columbia College freshman reeling into a 10-hour long binge. Goldberg was discovered by his roommate in unresponsive condition with nearly 200 tabs open on the website.
“I knew something was wrong when I saw the page for the 1918 Massachusetts Aggies football team up on his laptop,” said Goldberg’s roommate. “That’s not the kind of tab you just look up recreationally. That’s the kind of tab you fall into after a full day of clicking around…god-knows-where.”
Goldberg was carted away by CAVA in critical condition, mumbling about the connections between Little Big Horn and the taxonomy of whales.
CAVA officials later commented that Goldberg was showing the telltale signs of a Wiki OD. “His index finger had a distinctive twitch, a clear sign of chronic hyperlink abuse,” commented one first responder.
When asked to tell CAVA officials his name and birthday, Goldberg was only able to respond by incessantly repeating, “this article is a stub.”
Goldberg apparently grew violent after arriving at St. Luke’s, grabbing one nurse by the collar and loudly shouting, “The fundraiser would be over in an HOUR if everyone reading this gave $3! THAT’S THE PRICE OF A CUP OF COFFEE!”
Student advocacy groups hope Goldberg’s experience will serve to warn of the dangers of Wiki abuse on campus. “It could happen to anybody,” said student mental health advocate Teresa Hernandez, SEAS ‘18. “You set out thinking you’ll check one quick fact, and before you know it, you’re asking yourself, ‘Hmm, what is brutalism really?’”
The news comes as only the latest in a string of Wiki-based overdoses on Columbia’s campus.
“Kids need to understand the risks involved when they start to Wiki,” said CU Public Safety officer Phil Lawcroft. “There’s a way to enjoy it responsibly. Hell, I might even check out an article or two before bed some nights. But before you know it, one article turns into a hundred. You start at a list of U.S. presidents and end up knowing the entirety of Norse mythology.”
Lawcroft warned that kids are getting started with Wikipedia earlier and earlier nowadays.
“I’ve even seen some five-year-olds looking stuff up on that site,” said Lawcroft, shaking his head.“One day your 4th grader’s innocently looking up her state flower, and the next she’s got 100 tabs open on gun rights in Indiana and she’s unconscious with a juice box spilled all over her shirt. I pray for these kids.”
Still, some frequent users claim they are safe from the addictive nature of wiki sites.
“I just click the links for fun, man,” Wikipedia enthusiast Jim Danson CC ’19 said. “I can stop whenever I want. I know my limits, and if I skip a few meals to keep reading about the 1972 Democratic Convention, that’s my choice.”
At press time Goldberg’s UWriting essay remains unwritten.