It probably won’t come as a surprise to any of you that I spend an awful lot of time on the Internet. In fact, in many ways I’m never really ‘offline’, with so many apps all set to alert me whenever the slightest thing happens. Life on the Internet isn’t so much awesome, as life without the Internet has become unthinkable. For instance, how did I ever cope before having a smartphone in my pocket which allows me to prove other people wrong on the spot?
But there are downsides too, some problems unique to life online. Here’s brief glossary of some of my favourites:
‘Adgorithmfail’ : when the article you’re looking at contains keywords which trigger ads for related products and services to appear, even though the article is actually talking about how terrible these things are.
‘Cherrypop-oogling’ : when you google something seemingly innocent, and then – usually straight after hitting the ‘images’ tab – abruptly realise that the term also has much less innocent meaning as wildly nsfw posts fill your screen. You can slam your laptop shut, you can even delete your browser history, but you can never unsee what has already been seen. The opposite would be ‘Cherrypie-oogling’: when you google something expecting nsfw stuff, and get innocent stuff instead – although this is clearly hypothetical as I never actively look for nsfw content.
‘Gabiggening’ : when you order something online and then when it turns up it’s waaaay bigger than you expected because either you didn’t read the description properly or hey it’s hard to visualise what a 5-litre container might look like when they don’t put anything in the picture to scale it all right? The opposite is ‘Galittling’ when the item turns out to be much smaller.
‘Meatspace shock’ tfw you have to interact with people irl and suddenly you can’t converse entirely in reaction gifs, l33t, and pictures of Kermit the Frog sipping tea, and are instead forced to fall back on forming words with your mouth like some kind of medieval peasant.
‘Stormbacking’ : when you follow what seems like a legit link – usually buried deep in a comment thread – and end up on Stormfront (’White Pride World Wide’) or something equally unsavoury, and have to hit the back button hard and hope you don’t get followed by racist cookies.
‘Thatxkcdcartooning’ : when you can’t go to bed because SOMEONE IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET.
‘Tubemetic’ The feeling of physical sickness caused by reading the cesspit of hatred, ignorance, and poor spelling that is the comments section on any given YouTube video. The only coping mechanism I’ve found is to regard them as a kind of mass-participation Dadaist artwork meditating on the hopelessness of the human condition.
‘Twemenews’ when you find out about news stories indirectly through seeing the piss-taking tweets and memes, and have to try to reconstruct what’s actually happened.