It’s funny to think about this now, but a decade ago I had never bought anything online. Nothing. Not from Amazon, not from a trusted company, nothing. I don’t think I had even started online banking yet. I was one of those silly people who thought if I put my credit card online it would be hacked instantly, that very second, and I would lose everything and be living on the street by the end of the day. That’s what happens when you blindly believe the media and movies about hacking and online security.
I have a friend who knows how to hack. He says it’s nothing like the movies.
Since then, I’ve started buying more and more through the Internet. At this point, I’d wager the bulk of my non-food purchases go through the web rather than a physical store. I love it for the convenience. I grew up in a small town with a small shopping selection, so having virtually any product in the world delivered to my doorstep is a most welcome experience. I think I prefer shopping this way, and I would prefer it even more if not for the two banes of Internet shopping: shipping and customs. Continue reading →
I think we can agree, by and large, that the Internet is a pretty awesome thing. It lets us communicate in ways previously unimaginable, and it has changed the world more in two decades than most inventions have in a century. There was a time where, if you didn’t know something, you had to call a friend or go to the library. Now we google it and get an answer in five seconds. That’s a massive change.
And images! Can you imagine living in a world before lolcat?
Of course, some of these changes are for the worse. The Internet has likely made us lazier, both physically and mentally. We are less likely to memorize information when a quick search finds anything we need. We are more likely to trust dubious authority, and a whole generation of people are currently growing up in a world where ‘trolling’ is seen as normal, even common behaviour. Strange.
Today, I don’t care about any of that. I want to condemn the Internet for one stupid thing, autoplay videos. Also known as the devil. Continue reading →
The beauty of the Internet is that it allows people from all over the world to interact and communicate with each other, regardless of distance or geography. You can communicate with just about anyone on anything, which sounds amazing … until you realize that most people you meet are average, and, well, George Carlin said it best.
Technically, he’s mixing up the mean with the median, but that doesn’t make for a very good joke.
Now, I have had some incredible experiences and made some fantastic friendships through the Internet, but I’ve also had the opposite, terrible experiences with innane idiots, people who get off on making other people angry or opposite. It got to the point that I gave up on virtually all Internet interaction. Continue reading →
Tonight is Superbowl Sunday, the biggest sporting even of the year, at least according to the media. Millions of people will watch, and millions will be spent on advertising, and millions will forget about it by next week. Super Sunday indeed.
Feel free to substitute in the current Superbowl if this one becomes outdated.
I will watch the game the same way I’ve watched it for the last few hours: it will be in the background as I do other things. If I hear the announcers get all excited, I might watch a replay. Maybe. Football isn’t the most exciting sport in the world, visually, and you can only watch so many catches or runs
before they all bleed together.
Nonetheless, I will watch it, just so I will know what everyone is talking about tomorrow. That’s really the only reason. Continue reading →
Let me describe the situation and tell me if you know the feeling. You go online to look for something, maybe check your email or something else relatively trivial. No worries. You’ll be done in a few minutes. One of your emails has a link to a YouTube video. Okay, no problem, let’s watch that and then get back to whatever you were doing. After watching, you see the list of recommended videos after it. Oh, that one looks good, better watch it as well. You watch one video, then you watch another, and another, and the next thing you know it’s been several hours, it’s one o’clock in the morning and you’ve wasted your entire evening.
Let’s look at another possibility. You go to search for something online, and naturally you check Wikipedia first. I’m not saying you completely trust Wikipedia, you certainly wouldn’t use it as a source in a university paper, but it can be an informative read on some things. You read the article and feel more knowledgeable because of it. That said, there were a couple of things that you wished were explained in a bit more detail. Fortunately, those things are links on Wikipedia, and you can now learn in that depth you wished. While reading you click a few more links, because they sound interesting, and then those links beget more links, and the next thing you know it’s one o’clock in the morning and you wasted another evening. When will the madness stop? Continue reading →