Monday, May 01, 2006

Ten things I hate about the internets

First, I should point out that I love the internets. I think it's great that I can watch an Alleve commercial with Tom Skerritt, then when my wife argues that it isn't Tom Skerritt, the information I need to prove that I'm right is right at my fingertips. I love that I can get any sports scores or news or just about anything whenever I want, that I can order pizza without calling and being put on hold and having to wait for them to take my order. The internets are great. However, there are plenty of things on it that annoy the shit out of me, and these are the top ten of them that are bugging me at the moment. Hopefully, sharing this information will help to ease my frustration with these things somewhat, but probably not.

10. Spam - I don't like spam, no one does. However it's not the spam itself that annoys me enough to make the list. It's all the fucking whining about spam, whether it's just people online talking about it, or Congress wasting time on making laws about it, or stupid AOL commercials promising to eliminate it. Far, far more of my time has been wasted hearing people talk about spam than by deleting or ignoring the stuff itself. If anyone has a realistic solution for getting rid of it, I'd love to hear it. But otherwise, just shut up.

9. On the Fence - I read a lot of people arguing about things on the internets, which is sometimes kind of interesting. One thing I’ve noticed quite a bit of lately is people who either don’t or claim not to have a position on whatever is being argued about. That isn’t such a bad thing by itself, but coupled with a smug superiority these people exhibit over people on both sides, it annoys the hell out of me. I don’t mind making an informed decision, or keeping an open mind. But when you care enough to contribute to a discussion, make up your mind already. I especially hate this in political discussions where the sides are pretty clear.

8. Inside Jokes - Any online community of any size seems to develop its own inside jokes. Sometimes, they might even be funny at first. But that is pretty rare in my experience. But even if they do start out funny, there is always some idiot who will carry them on too long to the point of absurdity. It seems like everyone on the internets wants to be funny, but no one wants to take the time to think up anything originally funny. They just go for the cheap familiar laugh. But I guess even professional sitcom writers do that, so it’s hard to be too upset about it.

7. CAPS - I UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS EXCEPTED INTERNET ETIQUETTE NOT TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS. AND THAT’S FINE, I DON’T DO IT. BUT I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE BIG FUCKING DEAL IS, EITHER. IT’S NOT SHOUTING, IT’S NOT IMPOLITE, IT’S NOTHING. WHY DOES ANYONE GET UPSET ABOUT THIS?

6. First! - I will never ever understand why anyone gets such a fucking thrill out of being the first post on comment thread or discussion topic. But even if you do, no one else gives a fuck. And even if they did, they would see your post was first, even if you don’t say things like, “Woo hoo, First! Suck it, bitches.” All this says to me is that you happened to open the damn thing at just the right time. Congratulations on your powers of coincidence, I guess. Either that, or it says that you’re so pathetic that you sit around waiting for new things to comment on, just so you can be first. And that just makes you look sad. Oh, and it’s even more annoying when people do this and aren’t even actually first.

5. The Last Word - Another thing in arguments that pisses me off is when someone posts a response to someone else’s post, then explains why because of that post, they won’t be talking to that person anymore, or won’t be discussing the associated issue with them anymore. If you don’t want to participate in a discussion anymore, just…don’t. Announcing it like that just makes it look like you want to get the last word in. And if you want to ignore someone, the best way to do it is to actually ignore them, not announce your intention to ignore them. This is worse when this person then goes on to continue with the discussion they claimed they were leaving, or still talks to the person they were going to ignore.

4. Retirement Announcement - A lot of people who have been in any online community too long seem to get so wrapped up in it that they seem to think it’s a big deal if they plan to leave, recurring some big announcement detailing their reasons for leaving. This is particularly annoying if the person is leaving angry. If you want to leave, just leave. If anyone cares where you went, they’ll email and ask you. And if they don’t even have your email address, then I don’t think you were all that close anyway. This shit always just seems to me to be the person fishing for compliments or wanting people to beg them to stay in some sort of ego trip.

3. Retirement Announcement , Michael Jordan Style- Same as above, except after posting, the person doesn’t leave. Whether because they’ve just changed whatever plans they had that were going to cause the departure, or they just “gave in” to all the people begging them to stay. This is particularly annoying since people who do this tend to do it repeatedly.

2. Ad Hominem - I’m pretty sure that I had never in my entire life heard this phrase actually used anywhere before I got on the internets. And now, of course, I see it everyday. If someone is resorting to attacking you personally instead of disputing your arguments, that pretty much speaks for itself, without you wasting time pointing it out. Doubly annoying if the person using it offers up a definition along with it. Three times as annoying if they give the wrong definition, or confuse someone pointing out a stupid statement with calling the person making it stupid.

1. W00t! - By far the most annoying thing on the internets as far as I can tell is this crap. Whoever thought this was a good idea in the first place is an idiot. And anyone actually talking like this has probably never had an original thought in their lives. If you’ve ever intentionally substituted teh for the, then you should be punched in the face. If you've followed it up with ghey, you need to be beaten. Same goes for teh funnay, or pwned, or n00b. This shit isn't clever. When I see someone talking like this, my opinion of them drops significantly. If any of you are doing this, please get help.

Posted by

19 comments:

maurinsky said...

I don't read the comments at Atrios or Firedoglake because of the damn "Frist!" and "Fitz!". So I guess that includes #8 and #6. The last word stuff is childish. In a community, the last word stuff is annoying - for a blog, I like it when people let me know they are stopping their blog or leaving, because then I can stop checking their blog hoping for an update of some kind.

John Howard said...

Yeah, I can see that. However, if I ever quit blogging, don't expect any announcements. Keep coming back and checking in, no matter what.

Chris Howard said...

I don't really like caps, so I can't agree with you there. IT IS YELLING. LEARN TO USE YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY DAMNIT.

There's a name for that crap? Leet? You're right o on this one. It's not clever, it's just moronic.

John Howard said...

I agree that people should type in the proper case, but what's the big deal if they don't? It isn't shouting, there is no sound.

somewaterytart said...

I'm with Chris on the all-caps thing. It's annoying. I actually hear the yelling in my head when I read it.

puzzled said...

You speak of the internets. I thought there was only one. Ok, picky picky, right?

John Howard said...

I used to think there was only one, but our President made it clear to me in the debates that there are at least 2.

John Howard said...

tart, you and Chris are the kind of freaks that get me frustrated enough to post this stuff. What difference does it make if someone types in caps? If you hear the yelling in your head, then the problem is in your head, not on the screen.

Chris Howard said...

If you hear the yelling in your head, then the problem is in your head, not on the screen.

It's about conventions. All caps is generally considered shouting, not just in blogs, but writing in general. Even in paper books. It's not all about the exclamation point. Of course, people are free to type any way they want to. If they want to type in all caps, they'll just have to get used to people thinking that they're yelling all the time.

somewaterytart said...

Exactly. Just as italicizing words gives them emphasis (which you hear in your head), capitals make them shout.

John Howard said...

I'll put! exclmation points! wherever I want! also!

I'll put one here! and here! and here!

Like I said, I understand the convention, and I don't type in all caps. What I don't understand is getting all bent out of shape and whining about people who don't. Not just because it's silly, but because it doesn't accomplish anything. First, because if they still don't know that people don't like it by now, there is probably something wrong with them, and if they do know, then they obviously don't care and aren't going to change it because someone gets upset about it, and actually may be doing it on purpose.

John Howard said...

Yeah, but no one gets all upset if someone italicizes words improperly, or at least not many people, but leave the CAPS lock on and people freak out. That's my only point. Not that it isn't the accepted convention.

John Howard said...

But we can all agree on that l337 crap, right? Since that was the one that really inspired my post in the first place. Paarticularly, people saying teh ghey.

Robert Bayn said...

it's actually wo0t!

and it's awesome!

It's like the most genius thing since the internets.

John Howard said...

Robert, don't make me ban you.

Chris Howard said...

We can definitely agree on the leet, woot or whatever it is shit.

The Disgruntled Chemist said...

no one gets all upset if someone italicizes words improperly, or at least not many people

I don't get upset, but my opinion of the person typing is lowered a bit because they can't learn proper writing conventions. And I'm with Tart - a lifetime of reading means that I do hear those italics (and ALL CAPS) in my head as I read them. I heard your exclamation points, too, and they threw me off a bit.

Just saying.

Toast said...

But we can all agree on that l337 crap, right?

Oh, fuck yes. And I wholly support your suggested rememdy of punching people in the face when they use that shit. The first time I saw someone in a comment thread had written "pwned" I asked a friend about it. He said "it's 'owned' only you replace the 'o' with a 'p'." "Why?" "Oh, it's just something people do to seem cool." I mean, what the fuck? There are people out there who think using the wrong fucking letters or using numbers for letters is "cool"? What is wrong with our culture that it generates shit like this? Explain.

John Howard said...

The way I heard it explained was that they needed something better than owned (a stupid use of the word anyway) so they go up from owned to pwned. But whatever the reason, it makes me think you're a retard if you use it.