By Trent Wilkie, Sherwood Park News
Thursday, January 10, 2013 11:00:00 MST PM
My generation is one of the last to remember what is it like to not have the Internet.
We will remember when chat rooms were the rage and how long it took for a jpeg of Samantha Fox in a bikini to load on our 286s. We will be the last group to know what it is like to have to describe to someone just what the heck an e-mail is. With that said, here are some things that the Internet has taught me that hopefully future generations will not have to learn.
If you say something on the Internet, it is forever. I’m not talking about what you think about God, or that picture of you flexing your muscles in the bathroom mirror, or how you think that boy from N’Sync is super dreamy. I’m talking about saying incredibly stupid things. The Internet is a public forum. Say it out loud: Public forum. That means if you are racist, sexist, a bully, or any other manner of social miscreant, and you post it on the Internet, you are beholden to it. Deleting harassing posts off Facebook does not make it go away. Deleting Checkstop locations on Twitter does not make you any less a nimrod. The Internet is forever. Think before you speak. These things can be used against you in court. With that said, you don’t have the right to be not offended. There is a difference between attacking someone and disagreeing with them. Google it. I know what I’m talking about.
You know the phrase “Preaching to the choir”? In social media, that is tantamount to a commandment. If you yell or soap box on social media, you are basically doing it to friends and family. You are blasting off at people who either know you or like you or heard that you are selling a sofa couch at a really cheap price. When you start talkin’ sass, it is akin to your mother telling you that she thinks you are smart and pretty. I’m not saying your mother is wrong, but she is doing it for your benefit. If you really want to engage people in what you say, and you want to open a dialogue, dodge the sycophants. Go outside your comfort zone and try your radical ideas about how people should raise their children or how Dr. Suess is the embodiment of post-colonial sexism. Then you will actually get feedback on your ideas.
Finally, finding love will always be the same. Dating websites are fine for seeing who is single (or pretending to be), but nothing will ever beat eye contact and body posturing. No matter how many pictures of tight shirts, or no shirts, or full costume recreations of a Wonder Woman zombie riding a flaming jet ski fashioned to look like a unicorn there are out there, nothing will ever beat physical actuality.
All in all, the Internet is revolutionary. Then again, that is what they said about asbestos.