I’m one of those people who’s had the fortune of spending less than half of my life on the internet. I’m not bemoaning the internet, mind you. I actually think it’s the best thing since velcro sneakers, but I think there is some benefit to the struggles of settling debates with outdated sets of encyclopedias that missed editions G-I. Now, if there is one thing I know about the internet, it’s that it’s filled with porn. If there are two things I know, it’s filled with porn and it makes people about as civil as Donald trump at a Gloria Allred roast. I don’t know if it’s the anonymity or the excessive radiation eroding our brains, but people do and say things online they never do in real life. In fact, some of those things will get you arrested or at least a good ass whoopin’. Now, if I step on your toes, wear thicker shoes next time.
Catfishing – You know what this is, right? You steal the photos of someone better looking than yourself and create this whole online presence in order lure someone into your web of lies. Could you imagine doing this in real life? Strolling around town in a latex mask trying make time with people who are waaay out of your bush league, league. Very few of us would engage in such shenanigans in the real world, but on the internet, people will whip up a fake identity like it’s a box of Kraft Mac n Cheese! “Oh girl we gon, git his ass! Gimme 5 minutes on Facebook and ‘Kandi Steel’ will be on the case!”
Blocking – Blocking is basically an online restraining order which is exponentially more effective than it’s real world counterpart, and one of the few things on this list I wish I could do in reality, but it’s still pretty rude. You’re basically a ghost that everyone can see except for a few select asshats that have worn out their welcome. One minute Carl is talking to you, the next you’re gone! Carl’s like, “WTF? Where did she go?!” He keeps driving by your house, but your house is gone too so he’s checking the address over and over. He yells out your name a few times a day to see if you respond. Eventually, he just figures you ceased to exist, but every now and then he catches your mutual friends talking to empty space. If he was smart, he’d just get a latex mask and a new name, and poof, you’d suddenly be visible again.
Unfriending – Yeah, we unfriend in the real world, but it’s usually more direct, like “Fuck off, Carl!” Online it’s almost always on the low and sometimes you don’t find out until weeks later. It’s a lot like showing up at your parents’ house one day and finding out your keys don’t work.
Friending – “Hey, you. Person I just met staring at those children on the playground with your hands in your pockets. You wanna be friends? Great! Come on in my house and look at all these pics of my kids and find out where they go to school. By the way, we’ll all be on vacation next week… What is that? An ankle monitor..?” And that’s exactly what it’s like when you add everyone who says more than three words to you. I too have more online friends than I’d ever care to associate with in real life, but I figure I’ll start a crowd funding campaign one day and I’ll need some
Ignoring – Blocking is bad, but sometimes necessary. Ignoring, on the other hand, is a straight up douche move! Especially if you don’t unfriend the person first. Listen, these days most sites, email hosts and apps have read receipts so people know you’ve read their shit! So why dafuq aren’t you typing a response to all messages that have a salutation or end in a question mark?? I repeat, PEOPLE KNOW YOU’VE READ THEIR SHIT! If someone walked up to you at work and asked you a question, and, instead of answering, you just got up and walked away, that would be… well that would be gangsta, but online it’s douchey. Nut up and at least say, “Fuck off, Carl!” if you don’t wanna be bothered.
Nudies – Before the internet and cell phones, I saw very few naked people. Sure, I’d see Playboy’s and such, but I mean real people that I know. These days, people share pics of their naughty bits like they’re family pets. Back in the day, you wouldn’t whip out your wallet and say, “This is my son, Mike, my daughter, Laura, oh and HERE’S MY COCK! I call him Big Willie!” I’m sure half the ladies in this audience have seen the cocks of at least 30% of their male friends. Penis pics are so prevalent in fact, banks now accept them as a form of ID.
Racism – Oh we’ve already had racism, but not like on the internet. You’ve heard the song, “The Freaks Come Out at Night?” Well the racists come out on Yahoo! People who wouldn’t dream of saying such things in public will hop on the internet and spew racial slurs like David Duke with Tourette’s.
Stalking – Stalking used to be reserved for the fringe members of our society or people going through nasty breakups. Now, people will get online and casually snoop through your shit like a clearance rack at Target. I understand you checking out my current feed, but why am I getting activity on things that are 4 years old? You had to go digging for that shit!
As I close, let me reiterate that the internet is full of porn. And bad manners. But this doesn’t make it bad. The internet is just a tool that can be used for good or evil, like political influence or assault rifles. When used properly, any one of those will cause the least amount of human suffering. So, enjoy the internet. I personally never want to go back to waiting for the library to open on Monday morning in order to settle an argument. But I would like to go back to when we treated each other with love and respect. You know, for like 3 days right after 9/11. Those were good times.
the Strawboss has spoken