Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Internets: A Double Edged Sword (Straight from the Bowels of Hell!)
Just so you know, I have been using the WWW since the mid 90's. My early experience included downloading porn on dial-up, and well, probably something else but I don't remember. of course by the time I got into college I had branched out into other areas like reading about music, and music oriented porn (there is something REALLY sexy about a topless woman in a powdered wig holding an oboe!). Back in those days, people were really starting to experiment with Ebay, online dating, and porn. It was a great time to be online, unfortunately I was devoted to trying not to suck at music, so I was less involved than I could have been. Essentially, instead of surfing the web like the rest of the people, I was playing around in the kiddie pool, content that urine was warm (and really glad that those urine detecting dye packs are an urban legend!).
I somehow made it through college without either using the APA writing format, any social networking, purchasing anything online, or ever switching from the courier font (it is by far the largest font, if you can get away with it GO FOR IT!). In fact, the extent of my internet use was still very limited until 2009, when I got a new computer and decided it was time to get back to the future! Then, in 2010 I realized I was going to have to really get modern, so I signed up for Facebook, Twitter, and Formspring. As soon as I realized how entirely useless Formspring was, I deleted my account. If you are curious I also signed up for Tumblr, but I can't figure out what it is useful for, and I never did anything with it. It will probably remain that way until I can find myself a hilarious intern who wants to work for free developing my page. Anyone? As for the rest of the "social notworking" sites, they have managed to infiltrate my body, and perhaps have managed to the small sliver of my soul which I still haven't sold for Quizno's subs. What follows are some of the highlights, lowlights, and life saving tips I have come to rely on in my 9 months of notworking.
One of the first things I learned was that it is wise never to post anything negative online. Of course that flies in the face of 98% of all posts, so you might be asking why. First off I learned that if you are having a bad day, it just gets weird if people start saying too many sympathetic things. I am well aware that there are people dying of cancer and starvation at this very moment, so the fact that I have $18 actually makes me a rich man by the standards of the actual world. So instead of whining about my life into the internet, it is usually better to present the same fact in a ridiculously humorous way.
For example yesterday I posted a video on Facebook of a musical instrument I wanted, reminding people that Christmas is "right around the corner" which is funny because it is absurd. Of course I actually did want the instrument, but if I came right out and said it, I would have looked like a dick! So I just stated it in a more passive aggressive way, and let me tell you, I am waiting and watching the mail!
Right along the same time that I learned not to complain into the web, I learned about conflicts and resolution. Or, how to not get embroiled in the worst time suck since video games. If you have been using the internets for 30 seconds you have already been involved in some kind of ridiculous argument with a complete stranger. I am not sure how they went down, comment threads are huge for that. For me personally I have usually found myself being attacked by crazies who have become my facebook friends. For the record I have had to block and remove 4 people from the list, which is actually surprisingly low. The question is what to do when they pop up.
My biggest hint for dealing with online conflict is to kill it by agreeing. Nothing will take the piss out of a flame war faster than agreeing with someone after they attack you and LEAVING! Yes that is right, if you are finding yourself in an online argument with CRAZYCATLADY56, you might want to do yourself a favor and get off the computer. Do anything, just get the hell out! With that, I leave you. I don't even care that what I wrote was sort of random and sprawling. It is a sunny day, and I am going outside! Buzzsaw!