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Back to School Special

Why I Hate the Web (Ironic, Ain't it?&#41: A Report
By Janet Glasser, just in time for back-to-school.

I hate the web because it's infinite. Because I can surf and surf until the cows come home and link my way through several million different subjects, but when I have a specific question or want to find something out about a specific place or thing, search all I might, No Matches Found. Or six million matches found, all of them outdated and none of them helpful. Websites themselves are even infinite: I recently visited a site that I hadn't been to in quite a while and found out that the entries he had written could now be sorted 101 different ways. I started out thinking that I had two new entries to read, but every time I sorted them — by subject, by date, by area — I got a bigger and bigger list of entries. So many new ones, in fact, that I got overwhelmed and left the site. I have problems finishing magazines in a timely fashion, never mind something that updates constantly.

I hate the web because it's hyped as such a new and modern form of media, but all it really is is 60-year-olds sending e-mail to their grandchildren and everybody else forwarding lousy urban myths to everyone they know. The internet is something that came to pass during my lifetime…something new, as pure as the driven snow — nothing but potential on top of potential. All it seems to be now is just another giant billboard — a big, slow-loading billboard — for every single corporation, every single soft drink company, every single movie, with a bunch of teen-aged websites ("Come look at my website full of pictures that I ripped off from other websites, but none of that boring text, which is good because with my god-awfully patterned background you couldn't read a thing anyway!"&#41 mixed in for flavor.

The web's not that big out here, on the East coast. When we lived in San Francisco, I had a job that afforded me the luxury of being able to surf the web for several hours during my workday, and guess what! Everyone else was doing it too! And when we came home from work, the computer went on and stayed on until we went to bed. Our computer used to be strategically placed on the coffee table in front of the couch, which of course faced the TV, so no matter what we were doing — eating, watching TV, playing video games — we were at the same time surfing the web, writing updates for Scowl, sending e-mail, or chatting. Nearly all of our friends had their own personal websites which were updated frequently. Everyone knew at least HTML. Everyone was connected. Every bit of information was up-to-the-second. It gets to be all about updating, and who is and isn't doing so (i.e. "They never update" = the site's updated three times a week. See how easy it is for virtual life to surpass real life?&#41

I hate the web because sometimes I want to read…oh, how do I put this…at least semi-intelligent and time-and-space-worthy information without wading through the following:

"And for all those people who hate Tori Spelling because she is skinny, you can just SHUT UP because she is pretty!!!!!! And she is a GOOD PERSON!!!!!!!!!!! SHE IS NOT THE BITCH, YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!!!"

Or the middle-aged "Diary of a cat-loving, single, overweight, been-through-hell-and-back born again Goddess." Sample excerpt: "I know I am living my life to the fullest, even with the disease. I am growing stronger in love and in life! The cat loves to curl up around my toes and purr; it's as if she knows I have made peace with the past!" (Spelling errors may or may not occur in this type of entry, depending on literacy level of the individual Goddess.&#41

Or this crap: "If you know me, then DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER!! Anyway, even if you do know me, I'm only using the first letter of the first names of people on this site. I have changed the names of everyone I know for this site and I have also changed a few of the details of their lives, so unless you REALLY DESERVE TO BE HERE you will not know who I am talking about." (In other words, what the hell's the point? Just another hairclog in the septic system which is The Web.&#41

Then there's always the "I have a free website and on the website I put only icons which move, like the envelope which keeps stuffing and unstuffing itself , and the little walking man, and the lizard who keeps peeking it's head out of the ground because I want my exit on the information highway to be unique" website.

And finally, anything that mentions the phrase "Our own little corner of the web" or has the sole purpose to be a site solely for the purpose of keeping "the family" informed of upcoming family reunions.

Since we've moved to Connecticut, I haven't really surfed the web at all, and have been more and more disenchanted (or is it bored?&#41 with the web as a whole. I still write for Scowl, but aside from that and balancing the checkbook on Microsoft Money, I rarely log onto the computer. Is it because the computer is in another room now? Is it because the weather's better here in the summer? Is it because my job doesn't even afford me the luxury of going pee, I'm so busy? Or do I really… have I really…grown to hate the web?

If you need me, I'll be busy deleting the 84 pieces of daily spam from my Hotmail account.

Posted in Observations.

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