Showing posts with label The Internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Internet. Show all posts

Thursday, 24 May 2018

10 Things I Learned When I Quit Social Media for 213.5 hours

10 Things I Learned When I Quit Social Media for 213.5 hours

Remember the other day when everyone freaked out about Facebook? Ironically, our news feeds were plagued with disdain towards the very platform they were being broadcasted on. It was as if an army of annoying parasites were cursing the host that fed it, even though this was the only thing keeping them alive. What's more, these festering creatures sure had a lot to say! Our data was being misused! Our privacy was under threat! I hereby swear my allegiance to the #DeleteYourFacebook movement! No more shall I be a part of such a blatant exploitation of the information I have happily surrendered up until this point! I am not a sheep like the rest of you, and instead, I will follow these other people over here! And we will remain undetected while reigning supreme!

Myself, I rose above such mass hysterical nonsense. I called its bluff, convinced that yet another panicked fad was corrupting the vulnerable little minds of our agitated society, and when I peered over the side of my pedestal the other day, it seems like I was correct. Again. Because do you know where those people are now? They're still on Facebook.

Eventually, this mad hype calmed its dribble, and then I jumped ship anyway. I did so in the most hypocritical manner I could possibly muster too, by posting a lone image across all of my social media accounts, dramatically making a big deal out of my departure with a grand announcement, one which provided no reasoning behind the decision. My hope was to provoke some light concern among my friendship group. I wanted them to ask questions. Had something terrible happened to Jared? Who hurt him? Was this a cry for help? Were we about to find this guy face-first in a bucket of dirty shower water? An intentional drowning? Nothing left behind but a suicide note which simply read, "So long, and thanks for all the Likes"?

No such luck, peasants. Rather, my trusty iPhone was having some hardware issues, and those friendly geniuses at the Apple store deemed it best to wipe all of my contents clean. My optimistic reprogramming told me that this may very well be an opportunity. I hesitated before diving back into the mass app installation process, and then opted to gently step away from the digital scene instead. I took a breather. I reevaluated my real life. I tested whether or not I even existed outside of this online persona I had so carefully crafted for myself. Believe me, I had my doubts.

My initial goal was to make it to 14 days, otherwise known as two weeks. After a while, I changed that into 11 days, which was still two weeks in working day numbers. I then reduced that to 10 days, because it’s a nicer number, I prefer it. In the end, I nearly made it to nine days. 213.5 hours, to be exact. But what had broken me? Had my online addiction overwhelmed my otherwise impenetrable integrity? Was my premature reconnection a result of deteriorated willpower? No. I had returned because my people needed me.

Here are 10 things I learned during my time of electronic solitude:

1. A stream of chatter immediately stopped running through my brain.

It was the voices of my friends! All day long, you guys are like blah blah blah, married kids food holiday gym feminism blaaaah. Omg, you mean I can turn that off? That shit was driving me crazy!

2. My battery lasted longer.

This is probably more of a moo benefit because it's like a cow's opinion. It just doesn't matter. Obviously you’ll have more battery! But you’ll also have nothing to use it on! Maybe I’ll just check my bank balance again. Nope, still nothing.

3. My phone’s entire purpose became uncertain.

For many of us, our phones are like dependable superhero sidekicks. Right by our hip whenever we need a helping hand. An instantaneous diversion at the tap of a button. Quickly, post that status before you forget it, boy. No longer was this the case for me. I would watch full movies without any idea where my phone was. The phantom pocket pangs eventually tired themselves out. There were no sly hits of Instagram before I went to bed. There were no provocative updates from the amateur alt-girls of Twitter, God bless you. There was nothing. Nothing whatsoever. In these moments of peaceful clarity, I began to question who had actually been in control all of this time. Was it me? Or was it that expensive little rectangle over there? I never answer phone calls anyway, so why do they even call you a phone?

4. That said, the autopilot aspect was scary.

Your brain is like my brain, and my brain is well trained. How often I’d catch my thumb frantically searching for the social media icons was unsettling. If they were available, make no mistake, my thought patterns would have broken me back in without even waiting for my command. “Stupid trained brain!” my trained brain said to itself.

5. I did miss stalking people though.

This happened often. I’d meet someone new or a recruiter with a hot name would send me an email, and my instinct would be to rush over to Facebook and analyse how this person had chosen to represent themselves online. But I couldn’t do that! Because I was on hiatus! Oh, the horror! How many potential wanks to fresh profile pictures did lose? I can't jerk off to normal porn anymore. I don’t know who those people are.

6. For the first time, I realised what social media actually is.

Social media is a time killer. People often use that term as a diss, treating Facebook as a scapegoat for their lack of productivity, when in truth, it was the human who pulled the trigger. Certainly, Facebook is a waste of our precious hours. But when you’re waiting in a queue or you’re stuck in an awkward conversation with someone who looks funny, then this Fast-Forward Life Button can be a fucking godsend.

7. It’s also called social media for a reason.

I was always one of those people who tried to sound smart when I said stuff like “social media is fake, it gives you a false sense of socialising, but it can never be a replacement for genuine real-life interaction hahaha”. I still believe this to be true, but not as true as I once believed it to be true. Rather, in these times of abstinence, I felt less connected to the real world than ever before. Even worse, was that my own ingenious thoughts had no escape route and they were forever absorbed into the murky muck that I call my memory, gone gone, without a trace, gone.

8. Facebook is well sneaky.

When you’ve been offline for a while, Facebook starts to pummel your email with useless information such as, “You have 60 unread notifications,” or “Your hot friend commented on their own status,” or "Remember that person from High School? They shared a meme about ducks, you'd love it". Shameless low blows which exploit your friends to entice you back, often mentioning them by name within the very subject line itself just to ensure that you can't look away in time. When my torturous experiment was finally over and I logged back in, roughly 75% of my notifications were completely unrelated to me. It’s as if the Facebook algorithm has a panic attack and does whatever it can to lure you into its dark labyrinth of distracting distractions again. It's a dick move, Mother Zuckerberg! Fuck you, Zuck! lol, that's a good one.

9. Nobody cares that you’ve left.

When I returned to the world of the half-living, I expected people to drop to their knees, begging for forgiveness that they had taken me for granted in the past, promising me a better future where I would be glittered by an abundance of reactions and praised via grammatically correct comments. Nope. Life went on without me. Nobody wrote on my wall. Nobody sent me a message. I am no one. I am nothing.

10. Social media is good for some people.

You often hear about these humans who quit their digital lives and feel an overwhelming sense of freedom, finally released from an anxiety they never knew they were carrying around in their pockets. Not me. I withered without my daily dose of validation. I have too many words bouncing around my skull and I need to put them into other people’s skulls because then it becomes their problem too. I cannot carry this burden alone. So yes, as it turns out, social media is actually good for some people. And I am one of those people.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet

My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet
I know what you are thinking: the internet is a pretty big place. Well, bravo, genius, did you come up with that all by yourself? Or did I just come up with it for you? It doesn’t matter, the fact is that, yes, it is a big place. I myself reached the end of the internet once, and it was a complete mess of long-forgotten cat images, a bunch of gore videos primarily focusing on genitalia, and a gigantic demon with Nicolas Cage’s face who claimed to have my bank details. It took a while to get home from there.

Just listen to me for one second. While the task of writing a list such as this may seem impossible to some one like you, I am no ordinary person. For example: the ring and pinkie toe on my right foot do not bend. There are other things too, I'm sure. I reckon by now this introduction has reached a decent enough length so that it wraps around the main image, and now I will move on.

My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet: 05. The Beetlejuice Twitter Bot

05. The Beetlejuice Twitter Bot

Imagine my horror when, upon writing this entry, I discovered that this once beloved Twitter account was now defunct, the genius retiring the idea around August this year. GODDMANIT, WHY DOES EVERYTHING I LOVE END UP LEAVING ME?

But even if its existence has evaporated into the afterlife, its presence still lingers in the joy it once granted me, hence why I cherish its memory by keeping this point intact. I just feel sorry for you lot only discovering this anomaly now, as you will never know the joy of tweeting the words “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” only to have this bot proudly spring into action upon your mentions, proclaiming “IT'S SHOWTIME!”, just like in the mooovie! Lolyay!

A moment of silence for its passing, and while we do that, let’s look at some other funny botty Twitter accounts in hopes that this passage justifies its worth afterall.

Yes, You’re Racist
An account which calls out people who tweet “I’m not racist, but...” because any sentence that starts that way is more than likely racist.

Your in America Bot
An account which corrects people when they say something to the effect of “Your in America, speak English!” Oh, the irony.

Stealth Mountain
Similarly, this account corrects people when they say “sneak peak” instead of “sneak peek”. I enjoy such things.

My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet: 04. The Same Photo of Jim Carrey Every Day Facebook Page

04. The Same Photo of Jim Carrey Every Day Facebook Page

Nothing will brighten up your life more than the same photo of Jim Carrey, every single morning, delivered straight to your Newsfeed. Trust me, I live a very active and rewarding existence, but when this post shows its smiling face, I know my beautiful day has truly just begun. And I am not alone, as the page itself boasts over 150,000 Likes, while the identical image racks up 1000s of further Likes on a daily basis—many of which are my friends. They probably don't know this, but I desperately spend most of my early hours attempting to Like said post before they get a chance, as if some sick competitive ritual.

However, the secret magic of this image lies not in the daily delivery, but in the comments. Here you will find many different users honouring the practice of routinely commenting the exact same thing every day, to the point of madness. There are many, but the most popular by far revolve around Cody’s story, like so:

“It's good to see that in this world of changing chaos, that there are some things that will never change” - Cody Hendricks (close to 200 Likes a day)
“Lean on me, when you're not strong. And I'll be your friend.” - The Official Page’s response to Cody Hendricks (over 50 Likes every day)
“I'm not the Cody you're looking for.” - Cody Mann (around 100 Likes a day)

Naturally, it doesn’t end there, and so I encourage you to go forth and find your own favourites, whilst welcoming the safe regularity of this wonderful distraction.

My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet: 04. The Same Photo of Jim Carrey Every Day Facebook Page

03. Spinal Tap’s IMDB Rating Goes to 11

If you haven’t seen This Is Spinal Tap, you should. Immediately. Stop reading, find it online, watch it, and then come back. Do not eat nor sleep nor speak nor fuck your boyfriend nor lick your teeth until you get this done, and then thank me in the comments below, to which I'll respond with "you’re welcome".

Did you do what I said? If so, great! I have a few more things I’d like you to do, mail me for details. And please continue reading.
If you have already seen the mockumentary, good on ya! You understand the importance of keeping up-to-date on significant cult classics. And please continue reading.
However, if you have chosen to proceed without viewing the film, you are an idiot, and I experience no guilt as I ruin this particular scene for you, primarily because the “up to eleven” idiom has become such a large part of popular culture parodies, that you’ve missed far too many jokes already. In a way, I’m actually just helping you out. Once again, you’re welcome.

ANYWAY, a very quick summary: the scene in question from the film presents guitarist Nigel Tufnel, as he shows-off the Spinal Tap Marshall amplifiers, which go to volume 11 rather than 10. It’s one louder.

Here is that exact same thing I described, except the actual video clip, which I probably should started have with.

Which brings us to the great dudes at IMDB, who recognised the significance of such a potent line, and took it upon themselves to ensure that this movie’s rating went to 11. God bless you all, really.

My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet: 02. All Wikipedia Articles Lead to Philosophy

02. All Wikipedia Articles Lead to Philosophy

Unlike the other entries on this list, the “All Wikipedia Articles Lead to Philosophy” phenomenon is just that: a phenomenonon. This was not some intentional man made lolsies, but rather, something that just kinda ... happened.

It works like this: by clicking on the very first (non-parenthesized, non-italicised, non-external) link in the main text of any Wikipedia article, and then continuing to do so as you ride along subsequent articles, you have a 94.52% chance of ending up on the Philosophy page (usually within 23 clicks). Granted, you may get stuck in a loop or fall on a linkless piece, but that more than likely won’t happen. Try it yourself! Go to a random article and start clicking! Count your steps! Tell your friends! LOVE YOURSELF.

And you know what the best part about this is? Nobody is entirely sure why it happens, ooooooh. However, there are some theories, the most popular of which stating that (due to the Wikipedia Manual of Style guidelines on how to write the lead section of an article) contributors are encouraged to start an article by defining its topic, leading the user into a wider more umbrella subject. And seeing as philosophy is known as the "mother of all sciences", I guess it kinda makes sense that every road leads there. Man, that’s some deep shit.

My 5 Favourite Things On The Internet: 01. Futurama Neutral Balance YouTube Likes

01. Futurama Neutral Balance YouTube Likes

I have no strong feelings one way or the other.

Which is to say, I do! I really do! I mean, what is going on here? WHO KEEPS DOING THIS????

It’s pretty much the simplest thing ever: Six years ago some dude uploaded a 4 second video to YouTube, a clip from Futurama titled Neutral Response, and the internet decided they liked this. In fact, they liked it so much that they've watched it over 4,850,000 times. And, before we knew it, a suicidal mission had developed, one to maintain the neutral balance, proving that we all have strong feelings about having no strong feelings one way or the other. If you’re confused, just look at the Likes and Dislikes, and then you’ll be part of the team. Godspeed.

Of course, as is the nature with such a fragile system, it has become a little bit of a war, and there will always be those kids on the playground who want to watch the world burn. With that in mind, you might be unfortunate enough to see the Likes/Dislikes sway one way or another, much to everyone’s embarrassment. However, generally by simply refreshing the page, you should find that order has been swiftly restored. If not, maybe try help rectify the situation yourself? Be a pal. Make yourself useful for once.

Regardless, it’s my favourite thing on the internet, excluding this one porno video where Hillary Scott takes it ass to pussy over and over again, risking an infection but proving she is a professional whose priority is to please the part of my perverse brain which has retarded beyond recognition.