I am hotheaded, distractable, and spent many of my formulative years on the Internet. And I love the Internet, but like any long term relationship, I’ve had to set some boundaries. If you are not a crazy person or nerdling, you might find these rules and references confusing. That is okay. That is a good thing. Pat yourself on the back and go enjoy an outdoors sporting activity, you deserve it.
But if like me, you sit down at your computer “just to check your email” and then emerge hours later disoriented and surrounded by your dirty laundry, hungry pets, and bored toddler, you might want to try a few of these guidelines.
1. Never read comments on news articles, blogs, YouTube, etc.
2. There is no way to “ironically” read Perez Hilton, Dlisted, ONTD,etc. Just admit your weird voyeuristic desire to gossip about the lives of people you don’t know and then watch a TV show instead. OMG can you BELIEVE what Dany said to Jorah last week?? Being catty about fictional characters is way less creepy.
3. Going to websites that have offensive/dumb content just to see what “hilarious” things they are up to almost always ends in anger, not laughter. Stop visiting. This includes: Stormfront, childfree forums, Mothering.com, Supernatural fandom, Yelp reviews, and reddit’s /mensrights and /atheism.
4. Internet arguments are like having an internet argument about whether or not that macro about Internet arguments being like the special Olympics is offensive or not. In the end, you’ve wasted a lot of your time arguing on the Internet.
5. Sigh, okay, fine. You have to argue anyway? Well, remember two things. 1. Argue in good faith, because the person you are arguing with is a PERSON. 2. Accept that the other person probably will not extend you the same courtesy.
6. Flouncing (leaving an argument in the middle) is the best. Yes, it infuriates others and goes against “netiquette”. After all, it’s tantamount to admitting that your position was wrong but you don’t even give your opponent the satisfaction of surrendering! But you know what? If you’re bored/tired/getting too upset….just do it. You can close the window and the argument magically goes away FOREVER. It’s amazing. The ability to close a tab when you realize you’re getting too involved in a dumb battle of wills does wonders for your blood pressure.
7. Got an idea for a Facebook update? Wait an hour. Seriously. Nine times out of ten, you’ll realize it’s dumb, useless, or oversharing.
8. Go outside. It’s summer. And I mean, you have a smartphone anyway, right?