42 Things I know about the Internet

1. If you have any doubt whatsoever, DO NOT click it.
2. From a typographical standpoint, some websites look like vomit. You say tomato. I say tomato.
3. Search terms matter. Early search results for “Dorothy’s yellow brick road” are safe. Keep looking and you’ll discover you are NOT in Kansas anymore.
4. Do not overshare.
5. There’s a lot of noise online. Find time to step away from the screen, give the brain a rest, and talk to people you can smell and touch. (But I’m not telling you to touch them, or sniff them, for that matter.)
6. The online world changes by the minute. You can’t keep up. What is cool today will be old news tomorrow.
7. It is not “The Facebook”.
8. Gambling online is just like gambling in a casino. The house always wins. Don’t be a chump.
9. If the picture is too good to be true, it probably is.
10. Ditto the bio.
11. Ditto the sad story where money is solicited, but don’t confuse this with the many situations where total strangers have used online resources to right a wrong, fund a miracle, or create an amazing opportunity where none existed before. Good people want to help each other, and the Internet can deliver on the promise of hope.
12. Even if you’re middle aged, you can still qualify as a “creepy old man” to many online residents, so act accordingly.
13. Beware the online “expert”. These are the ones who build a social platform that needs some serious reinforcing underneath. They blather and carry on, but really have not bothered to master their subject. (The people who make lists about the Internet are the worst.)
14. You have no rich relatives in Africa.
15. You are not descended from royalty.
16. There are no strangers in the real world who ask you to “hold” money for them.
17. Try not to spend all of your time online via a smart phone. We’re creating a nation of squinters.
18. Any online interaction that begins with double expletives is probably NOT going to end in thoughtful, intelligent conversation.
19. Lurking can be fun.
20. But lurking online is like looking in your neighbor’s window. There are some things you don’t want to know.
21. Twitter: shorter is better, except when it comes to sex. Or conversation. Or voicing a single valid and complete thought, w-o havn 2 use code dat cn e-sah-le b mis-n-tur-pra-did.
22. If you’re only digesting information that reinforces the opinions you already have, then you have made your computer a “yes-man”.
23. “Yes-men” are painfully boring.
24. There is a thin line between being funny and being malicious. Think about the funniest people you know. They are generally kind, even if, sometimes, the truth hurts.
25. If you have a personalized car tag that matches your online persona, you need help.
26. Because they can act anonymously, people online can be real nut jobs. And bullies. Don’t engage them. Don’t encourage them. And don’t fight back when they refuse to be reasonable.
27. As such, don’t tell people you’ve just met online exactly where you live.
28. And don’t ask them where they live, either. If you want a face to face conversation, get up from the freaking computer.
29. The persona and name you put online will dictate who you interact with. If your page is “The Big Boob Blog”, don’t be surprised if you fail to connect with a lot of churches.
30. Never have we had access to more information, and used so little of it. Explore outside your comfort zone.
31. The online world is NOT like Vegas. What seemed like a good idea at the time really wasn’t. And what happens online, will stay online FOREVER, so be careful.
32. Typing in ALL CAPS MAKES OTHER PEOPLE FEEL LIKE YOU ARE YELLING AT THEM.
33. Explain “food porn” to your mother. She is concerned.
34. Sure, go ahead, reach out to that old high school girlfriend or boyfriend and reminisce about the good times without remembering the warts and reasons you parted ways. It is your current relationship that should be blamed, not technology, if you convince yourself you made a mistake then, or if you’re about to make one now.
35. There will be cats. Lots of pictures of cats.
36. If you put yourself out there, expect feedback. Not all of it will be good, or worthy, but if you identify a common thread in the criticism, even if it is something you don’t want to see, then they are probably on to something.
37. You must respect other cultures. If you don’t, then why the hell are you openly communicating on a system that has almost no barriers? Instead, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
38. A web page featuring cute cartoons characters can be nice.
39. A web page featuring cute cartoon characters that morph into zombies with blood coming out of their eyes is not everyone’s cup of tea.
40. Just to say… there is a little bit of everything online. Test the water before you jump all the way in.
41. Sure, you googled “Kim Kardashian” because you’re a fan of Kanye.
42. If you’re online corridor is a dial-up, God Bless You. Yeah, it might be impossibly slow, but the online world was a better place when we had to wait for it.

2 thoughts on “42 Things I know about the Internet

  1. I LIKE THEM ALL (excuse me cap lock was on), but 22 affects too many of my FB friends. Hopefully when I share this some of them will see themselves and get help. 🙂

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