Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some Correctives Regarding Internet Usage and Social Networking in an Age of Dumbassery

These are bound to change over time, but after several years of 'studying' the Internet and the behavior of its denizens, here are a few humble requests, observations and concerns. The web sites will change in time but human nature does not change:

01a. You don't need to post hundreds of photos of yourself if you are only capable of making one facial expression. You also don't have to post hundreds of photos of yourself at parties holding oversized Solo cups. It makes me and everyone else think you have a drinking problem or are running away from your demons.

01b. Likewise, it is unnecessary for you to always pose in photos with your significant other of the moment kissing. What this says is that you need outside validation that the relationship is real. People in relationships that last don't even stay in the same room together for more than a few hours if they aren't sleeping. Unless you and your partner are literally surgically attached, you can just have a simple image of yourself, some place, doing something as an autonomous being.

01c. Every single moronic post doesn't have to be about your significant other, as if that other person is your entire world ("I like honey in my tea and so does Jared!! We were meant to be together until our ashes co-mingle!!!!1"). While you're being clingy, he's thinking about fingering your best friend.

02. If you are over 40, you should not have a Facebook or MySpace account. It's like spending a Sunday afternoon alone walking around Toys 'R Us with a cup of coffee in your hand and without a shopping cart. It's freaking everyone out.

03. If you have a neurological disorder, an emotional disorder, a speech disorder or some combination of the above you do not need your own YouTube channel with daily updates. The Internet is not your Therapy Room or your Diary, it is a Hall of Mirrors, the true manifestation of the human subconscious. De Sade should have only lived so long.

04. Your art is terrible. Stop uploading it. The one drawing you did looks like Raggedy Ann getting sodomized by a Christmas Tree. The other piece you made out of lipstick, fingernail clippings and your brother's pubic hair is only slightly better.

05a. I know it's difficult to say this, but would it kill you to go to the movies once in a while? I know some people who never leave their house: they just download everything. I'm not asking to stop downloading altogether - that would be like asking Christians to be sane - but spending $7 to support a small indie theater (or even $9 for a multiplex) once in a while is good for everybody. And when you're there, shut your fucking mouth because Keira Knightley is talking.

05b. Same thing applies to downloading albums: if the musician(s) you like come(s) to town, show up, buy a T-shirt, drink a beer, talk to someone. You support the band, the venue and the Beer Gods who brew Guinness. And for you pervy types - of which I cannot be included - crowded concerts often mean accidentally brushing up against pretty girls who are dancing in front of you and are too drunk to care that they are using your skinny, denim-clad leg as a makeshift sybian. But again, this does not pertain to me. I also do not cry myself to sleep every night.

06. No one needs to see videos of your hemorrhoid surgery. Or gall bladder surgery. Or your fetish for shoving breakable glass jars up your rectum. I've seen so many medical horrors I didn't even have to go to Medical School: Johns Hopkins just faxed me a diploma. Strangers come up to me with their rashes and I can tell them whether it's psoriasis or eczema. I know treatment options for all STDs. I've assisted with two live births.

07a. Stop treating your newborn children like trophies and posting pictures of them on Facebook, MySpace, etc. They are not prizes. The sole reason you, as an animal, exist is to reproduce. You might as well post pictures of yourself eating breakfast or eliminating waste or sleeping, because they are also basic human functions.

07b. Stop using your child's photo as your avatar on blogs, chat rooms or message boards, unless your child is actually punching out the messages. It gives further evidence that the things you post carry with them the intellectual weight of a 4-year-old.

07c. Further, your newborn does not need an e-mail account or a cell phone or his/her own live video feed. Stop trying to convince everyone that it's adorable. It isn't. It looks just like you.

08a. Stop telling everyone you have problems cutting yourself and then posting pictures of your flayed limbs for pity. If you can still operate a digital camera, the cuts aren't deep enough. Google "Stihl +arm +pain".

08b. If you murder your girlfriend and saw off her limbs and head, don't use your iPhone to photograph it. You might as well handcuff yourself, read yourself your rights and throw yourself into the back of a random squad car.

08c. If you kill your newborn child and throw it in a field, do not include MapQuest directions with your accompanying Twitter post. ("Whew, those babysitters were expensive.")

09. Teachers: Stop adding your students as 'friends' on Facebook, MySpace, etc. while they are still your students. You don't need to know what fifteen-year-olds are doing on Friday nights, and they don't need to know that you like dabbling in cocaine and once had a three-way with two tiny Koreans as an undergrad at Penn State. And you wonder why they're building more jails for you.

10. Teenage Girls: Stop taking pictures and/or making videos of yourselves stripping or masturbating. I know all of you are proud of your bodies (despite evidence that many of you need to use a goddamn treadmill), and all of you probably intended the photos/videos to be seen by only one other person, but none of you seem able to grasp how the Internet functions - those pictures and videos are going to end up everywhere: the hard drives of priests, your closest friends, those dorks in school you wouldn't give the wrong time of day, your father's buddies, your school principal, complete strangers, your future employers, the authorities. Unless you want to have an awkward talk with your Mom about why all the hair brushes in the house smell like a combination of blood and trout, please heed my advice.

11. If you have an e-Spouse, that's Darwin's way of telling you that you will die alone.

12a. I never want to hear about your concerns for privacy and the government taking an interest in your meaningless life if you list the following on any social networking website: your birth date, the high school you attended, your height and weight, your home address, your home phone number, your private cell phone number, your AIM handle, your personal web sites, your blood type, the jobs you've held, the college(s) you've attended and the clubs you were an active member of, your hobbies, hang-out spots, who you've made out with in the last six months, your yearly salary, your credit score, the year and model of the car you drive and your current GPS coordinates. Your major concern isn't Uncle Sam, but the Son of Sam.

12b. There has never been a better time to be a stalker.