5 Things To Remember About The Internet


1. Internet relationships aren’t real.

I concede that chatting with a girl from Canada whose profile pics are all perfectly angled who’s got an amazingly curated MPDG Tumblr who somehow manages to strike this sexy balance of affect and intrigue just by the way she ‘talks’ (chats) can trick you into feeling super connected and attracted to her, that’s totally possible, but just remember that you aren’t actually attracted to her. You’re just like attracted to all the data she carefully feeds you. In other words there is no guarantee that your feelings of attraction online will in any way translate to physical reality. It’s not something you can count on. Because when we’re face to face with members of the preferred sex who we’re trying to get something going with, I think we’re mostly working off prelanguage stuff — body language, eye contact, physical touch, frequency of laughter, physical attractiveness. The internet leaves all that out, so our brains trick us by imagining the information to fill in the gaps. And it does it with a bias basically completely unconnected to reality. Duh, right? But it’s so easy to let yourself slip into the comfort of an internet crush, however ultimately unsatisfying and delusional it actually is.

2. People are way, way different IRL than they are online.

Just as with internet crushes, we have this tendency to take relatively sparse bits of information and withdraw from them a much, much wider context based mostly on non-concrete stuff like our hopes, expectations, and interpretation of the ‘tone’ of emails, IMs, and texts. In other words someone can seem so funny online but then when you meet them IRL they’re oddly serious and when you try to joke with them they’re either unresponsive or just fail to understand the references you’re throwing at them. Awkward stuff like that. The point is that one’s general online ‘profile’ (including emails and chats) is more a static canvas not limited by the constraints of linear time whereas one’s RL persona is, which, among other things, makes the two much, much different. It’s very easy to forget this.

3. Hanging out online is a poor substitute for IRL.

IRL hanging out generally involves a bunch of stuff that sitting in your mildewy basement apartment at 3AM chatting with someone you’ve never met doesn’t, like, walking, and talking, and maybe spending money at a local business, and eye contact, and shared laughter, and all that. When you’re hanging out on the internet you are functionally just ‘tittering’ at an inanimate object in your underwear, with your sink full of dirty dishes and you haven’t brushed your teeth for days. This is not good. IRL is better. Don’t forget it.

4. Stop slouching.

Right now. Seriously — stop slouching. It’s bad for your posture. Keep going like that and you’ll be hunchbacked by the time you’re 50.

5. The internet is unnecessary.

I get that the internet provides jobs and stuff but when it comes down to it when Western civilization declines to the point that oil’s too expensive and natural gas has all but been depleted and rollling blackouts are a daily part of life, none of us are gonna be like, “Damn, I need to get on Gchat, this is terrible!” We’re more likely to want warm clothes and tools for building furniture and stuff. Concrete skills. Internet savvy will be a thing of the past. And more concretely, how much do we really need the internet when we’re like, hanging out with our friends? It doesn’t matter then. It probably shouldn’t matter as much now.

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