Mar 262012
 
Authors: Bayley Enright and Emily Kribs

Bayley Enright:

So, there’s this thing. You may have heard of it. It’s called the Internet. It’s kinda like this massive net of jumbly, wibbly-wobbly, crazy everything. And that’s a technical term, mind you. I was talking to someone recently who admitted to not knowing how use the Internet, and to me that was like not knowing how to brush your teeth –– in our society today, it’s just a basic life skill. But at the same time, the Internet has this obnoxious habit of taking over your life if you’re not careful.

Seriously guys, if you’re spending several hours a day sharing pictures of food that looks good with all 5 billion of your Facebook friends, it might be time to take a step back. Maybe you should actually get yourself to the kitchen and make those raspberry cheesecake brownies. I guarantee that your friends –– though maybe not all 5 billion –– would appreciate that a lot more.

Have you ever stopped to think about what you’re using the Internet for? Like really using it for? I know back in the day I used it pretty extensively to find out which “Harry Potter” or “Lord of the Rings” character I was most like by taking (I’m sure) rigorously accurate personality tests put together by some dude who called himself HotStuffDeathEaterXXX or something of the like. You know, a professional personality expert.

I’d like to think I’ve moved past that kind of thing. Maybe not. But really, what should we be doing on the Internet? As someone with a lot of experience in the matter, I’d like to offer a few suggestions.

1) Expanding your knowledge of useless trivia. Did you know that Napoleon III was afraid of cats? Or that Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts? Well, now you do. And you can thank Google for that.

2) Familiarizing yourself with the animal kingdom and the abilities of various creatures. Like the ability of kittens to look adorable inside teacups. Or the ability of a mouse lemur to make its eyes really, really big.

3) And last, but certainly not least, sharing random details of your life with many people who probably don’t really care that much, but who are doing the same thing. If the Internet has done anything for contemporary society, it has given us a place to indulge in our narcissistic tendencies on, like, five different platforms. Not that I’m complaining.

Emily Kribs:

Everyone knows what the Internet is … Or at least I can count on anyone reading this, as either college students or Internetizens, to be familiar with it. Let’s not kid ourselves: The World Wide Web is essential for our educations, whether checking for homework via RamCT, registering your iClicker or just hitting up EasyBib.com — because who even memorizes how to cite their sources anymore?

And it’s just as well, since the Internet will continue to be required as we leave school and go into the workforce. From CEOs checking their email to pizza delivery folks receiving an online order with a request to draw Goofy on the box, the Web will be involved.

But who cares about work and school? The Internet’s most important function is obviously recreation. Obviously. But as a full-time Internetizen — something my parents don’t like to hear — I have some tips regarding safety. No, I don’t mean any of that crap about giving out personal information. I think you’re a little old to get stalked by pedophiles by now.

No, these rules are about where to go and where to avoid. Do that, and you’re not going to run into anyone sleazier than some of the people you’d meet on campus anyway.

Avoid

4chan: Unless you know how to navigate it, this site will bring you nothing but sadness and, quite probably, disgust.

Gumblar.cn: This is one of the sites with tons of malware that is sure to beat up your computer. The domain is Chinese, but if you’re looking to practice reading Mandarin, I suggest you look elsewhere.

Any alleged “shock sites:” “Shocking” is never a word applied to good things, like how shocking it’d be to actually get an iPad 3 for being the 10,000th visitor. “Shock” means gory pictures, offensive videos and porn in your work environment.

Check Out

Anywhere your friends are: The best way to make the web fun is to do it with friends. That sounds corny, but why do you think Facebook’s so popular?

CutestPaw.com: This is where you’ll find those cute kitty pictures Bayley was telling you about. Not a cat person? They have puppies, too, as well as ducklings, piglets and tiny, tiny turtles.

Goggles.SneakyGCR.net: This isn’t a site so much as an online application that allows you to vandalize your favorite websites. Hell yeah.

Gyazo.com: Again, more an application than a site you’d spend time on. This gets you a screenshot with a shareable link in less than three seconds.

 Posted by at 3:30 pm

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