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The Internet has bettered the world, and connected mankind in ways we could never dream of in the past. But I’m not here to talk about any of that. On the 25th anniversary of the Internet, here are the 25 worst things it has given us.
1. Myspace Top Eight
I can’t think of any worse combination than teenage cruelty and self-consciousness, and a ranking system of friends that everyone can view. It’s a miracle any of us survived this era with our self-esteem intact. I’m still low-key salty at my so-called “best friend” for having me in the fourth spot.
2. AIM Away Messages
Before Facebook posts, Tweets, and Instagram captions, this was the only way to express your wittiness online. Too bad we all squandered the opportunity by only posting Green Day lyrics, the “anniversary” of our three-week relationship, or a “random” inside joke with our friends. Example:
I walk a lonely road, the only one that I have ever known.
I love you Ally | 9.12.07 | <33
“OMG Cole, you can’t put the potato chips upside down” LMAO XD My friends are so random :]
Even writing that caused me to have ‘Nam style flashback about my attempted 7th-grade flirting.
3. Tinder Sex Bots
There’s nothing worse than firing up Tinder in a desperate attempt to break the cold streak you’ve been on (because let’s be honest, Tinder is a Hail Mary at this point), and realizing you matched with a bot. One second you’re all jazzed, bragging about this hot, yet slutty girl Ivana you matched with, and then you get the message that makes you stop in your tracks and consider all the life choices that got you to this point. She wants to have sex with a skilled partner likes you, but her messaging isn’t working, so you have to click on this suspicious link to talk to her. And for a second, you consider it. Then you jerk off, put the feeling of betrayal behind you and keep swiping.
4. Two Girls, One Cup
Speaking of jerking off, I bet you thought you’d never be able to again after watching this horrific video. I’m not going to explain what it shows, because let’s be honest, you’ve seen it. You’ve all seen it, and you all hated yourselves for it. And then, in a cycle of abuse, you all showed it to your friends so they could hate themselves too. I’m not sure who is specifically credited with inventing the Internet, but they probably cried when they saw that this is how their baby is being used.
5. Blind Sharing Fake Articles
The Internet is a beautiful thing. It allows instantaneous communication throughout the world, and allows the sharing of knowledge and opinion on a scale more vast and thorough than anyone in the past could have dreamed about. However, all of that is offset by everyone blindly sharing articles without checking if they are accurate, or even opening them to see if they are actually about what the click-bait title says they’re about. In the words of noted contributor Kyle Bandujo, “Blind social media sharing is plaguing this country like feline AIDS at an animal shelter.”
6. Snapchat Filters
These were amusing for the first few months, but holy shit, am I tired of them. Every day I open up my Snapchat and receive pictures of my friends with their faces swapped, distorted like a funhouse mirror, or wearing flower crowns. Don’t even get me started on the dog filter; I don’t know why I think it makes girls look hotter, but I don’t like what that says about myself. Snapchat was invented for one reason only – to allow for the safe messaging of nudes. Why ruin such a beautiful thing?
7. Facebook Political Rants
I’ve left Facebook off my social media rotation for the past year because every time I check it, all I see are political rants. I’m all for discussing politics with my friends, but the last thing I want to see in the morning is my uncle going on a racist tirade in his efforts to convert people to the cult of Trump. This isn’t limited to either side of the aisle either. Almost all of my friends are from California, and I actively cheered when Bernie lost the primaries, not because I’m super stoked about Hillary, but because they would finally shut the fuck up about him being the Messiah that would save this nation with free money for all. Keep your political rants where they belong – at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
8. Obviously Edited Instagrams
Why are y’all doing this to yourselves? I’m all for tossing on the Hefe filter to make myself look 100 percent more tan than I am, but the editing is getting out of control. You’re not fooling anyone with Facetune. I know you don’t have the cheekbones of Keira Knightley, and no one outside of Crest commercials has teeth that white. Also, unless you’re good at Photoshop, stay the fuck off it. No one thinks you secretly lost 20lbs in the last week, especially when the whole background distorts around your torso. Love your body or hit the gym; there are no shortcuts.
9. Unnecessary ESPN Notifications
This might be a case of me being tech illiterate, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to stop getting random updates about sports/events I have no interest in. In the past month I’ve gotten daily updates on Olympic fencing, Soccer, and a dozen notifications about Tom Brady’s personal life. Don’t get me wrong, I love TB12 more than I do my own girlfriend, and I’ve been an advocate of the #FreeBrady movement for almost two years, but I don’t give a fuck that he missed a practice because to see his kid’s play or whatever.
That’s right. I bet you tried to block this site out of your mind, but I’m about to bring all those repressed memories back. This website was the only place in human history that had a 90 percent straight male following, but also had 90% of its content filled with dudes jerking off on camera. This was a truly dark time for the Internet, and I can only attribute its success to “the slim chance of seeing titties.” This phenomenon, also known as TSCST, is responsible for nearly all the stupid shit guys do, and Chatroulette was no different.
11. The Netflix “Are You Still Watching” Screen
Come on, Netflix. You know we’re either watching, or asleep facedown on our keyboard like the lazy sack we are. Don’t humiliate us by making us click yes. Just let us binge in peace.
12. Being “Facebook Official.”
Thankfully, I think this trend has died, but during my college years, this was the bane of my existence. Girls put more stock into their relationship being “FBO” than they did into the person they were “FBO” with. I was once “broken up” with because I would not make a girl (who I had never hung out with sober) my official girlfriend of Facebook. I blame Zuckerberg for the loss of that fuck buddy.
13. The Kardashians
If the Internet didn’t exist for Kim’s sex tape to be released and shared on a mass scale, this obnoxious family wouldn’t be famous, and I wouldn’t have to hear about what Kim or Khloe are word vomiting on Twitter. Internet port giveth, and Internet porn taketh away.
14. Stalking Your Exes
Before the Internet, if you went through a breakup, you had two options. Get over it by yourself, or become a full-blown stalker. Like driving a windowless van, peeking through their windows, following them around with dark sunglasses on; the works. Nowadays, anyone can be creepy in the privacy of their own home, and my ex from high school can friend request my current girlfriend in what may be the weirdest attempt at a power move I’ve ever witnessed.
15. Venmo/Quickpay/Snapchat Cash
Gone are the days of simply “forgetting your wallet” when buying beer with your friends, content in the knowledge that they aren’t going to fight you over six dollars. With these instant pay apps in your pocket, there’s no amount to small to request a payment from, and your friends aren’t going to fall for your mooching ways.
If you haven’t watched the last episode of Game of Thrones, you better put yourself on a technology timeout until you do, because spoilers are everywhere online. You could literally open up your weather app and be greeted by an ad telling you that Ramsey Bolton finally got what was coming for him (I warned you. Everywhere).
17. After-Hours Work Emails
Always being connected to the World Wide Web was a great thing, until your bosses found out about it. Now you’re expected to always have access to emails and be ready to answer in case of an “emergency,” which let’s be honest, you’re not important enough to really have. More likely, it’s your workaholic boss asking you questions about stuff that could definitely wait until tomorrow morning.
18. Sliding Into DMs
Before the Internet, if you wanted to hit on a celebrity, you had to send them a letter, which would be opened by their publicist and promptly thrown away. Nowadays you can reach out to any celebrity (or hell, random attractive person) and send them your most cringe-worthy, vulgar message. Although to be honest, I am a little jealous no one has ever tried to slide into my DMs.
19. Unsolicited Dick Pics
In the same vein (pun intended), the Internet ushered in the golden era of the dick pic. With ease and relative anonymity, any creep can send anyone an unsolicited picture of their genitals with no warning. I know multiple girls who have received random Junk Mail to their Snapchats by guys who added them via username.
I’ve had cancer four times this year, according to WebMD. As a bit of a hypochondriac, having the ability to instantly search my symptoms and find out how serious they are is a nightmare. It’s gotten to the point where if I had a legitimate illness, my doctor wouldn’t believe me because I’ve came in convince I had Lupus twice already. Why does this site always give you the worst possible results? I’ve never submitted my symptoms and had it tell me to stop being a pussy and take a cough drop, because I have a sore throat.
21. Recipe Videos (Before Lunch).
It’s 10:30am and I’m already starving. All I want to do is dive into that subpar sandwich I made the night before, but I know if I do, I’ll have nothing to keep me going for the rest of the day. As I battle my own metabolism, the last thing I need is a delicious Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parm recipe video popping up on my newsfeed, rubbing it’s cheesy goodness in my face until I break and take an early lunch to Chili’s, letting my healthy sandwich rot in the break room fridge.
22. Professional-Quality Proposal Videos
As evidenced by this tear-inducing failed proposal, women have unanimously agreed that if it isn’t recorded and placed on social media, it never happened. As such, guys are going to further and further lengths to create a unique and elaborate proposal, and make sure it’s all caught on film in full HD quality. This trend needs to stop before I start thinking about proposals because I’m not about to propose on a plane like this asshole.
Nothing gets me more fired up than a video I’m trying to stream not working. I don’t know what it is, but something about my technology not working perfectly, or taking more than ten seconds to do something drives me up the fucking wall. My Chromecast went out three times in a row yesterday while I was trying to watch Ballers, and my girlfriend had to leave the room because I was “stressing her out.” Even typing the word “buffering” is getting me riled up.
24. Tracking Steps
Nobody gives a shit how many steps you’ve taken today. “Taking steps” is the lowest possible bar you could set for exercise. If you expect me to be proud of you for walking, you better be one years old, otherwise do a real workout at the gym, or stop bragging to me about it.
Just kidding. Porn is the only thing the Internet got totally right. The Internet is always going to be a jumbled mess of assholes, but at least in porn they’re bleached. .