Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dance Inside (All-American Rejects)

You know: if this guy were dancing on the inside, perhaps it would be loads safer. As it is, I'd be terrified to be on the highway with him, and I know how I drive. (This is the point where I would smile at my mother and pretend not to have incriminated myself.)

(cockpit for competent and careful carriageway cruising, or Eastern European-disco-fueled dance floor? You decide.)

Anyway: I owe this one all to Seb. I got the link from him through the Google feed reader, and found it amusing enough to share further. Sort of like (but more innocuous than) bad chain mail that you get from that friend/relative who seems oblivious to the buttons in their email client other than "read" and "forward." The "forward" button, of course, must be used gratuitously to send well-intentioned spam to everyone they know. And I do mean everyone. Their co-workers, siblings in other states, friends from church, children who are married or off at college...the list goes on. That last entry, though, seems to heavily implicate those mothers everyone affectionately terms "empty nesters" as the main culprits of this inane form of internet entertainment: they are not the only malefactors! Just think of it in other, equally insideous forms:

I once worked at a museum for a semester, and I really liked my boss there: he's a great guy. However, he discovered Facebook some time last year and since then I have not been safe from invitations to join his "mafia wars", "knighthood", "lil gren patch", "plastic horses" obsessions. Internet Truth #99: Facebook applications = insanely aggrivating.

Even more well-intentioned are the friends who constantly invite you (and everyone else they "know" on Facebook) to join their latest Facebook "Cause". Ranging from support for Congressional bills to TV boycotts to saving kittens in Biafra, this is the most insideous of all spam because it is in fact, so well-intentioned. Bringing political awareness into all the fori of 21st century technology and all that. Be that as it may, I don't think those kittens in Biafra are gaining much by my support of their cause via joining a Facebook group.

Of course, ever-present are the classic chain-mail/viral notes. You know...those things that get titles like, "25 Random Facts about me! Send to all your friends!", "Survey! Only Real Friends Send This Back" or "A Quiz for All Muh Girlz". For the truly hypocritical you can resort to a title such as "I can't believe I caved..." or "Fine, so I jumped on the bandwagon..." as an informative opener to your latest indulgence in the world of mindless pointless surveys. Do 15-30 of your "closest friends" care that you were wearing green pyjama trousers as you wrote this? Or that the first thing you ate today was (shamefully) a Dunkin Donut with a can of Dr. Pepper? Not a chance. They probably don't even care that your middle name could be anything from Lynn to Lunsford. Let us face the fact of what these email/facebook note surveys really are: a forum for everyone to be shamelessly self-obsessed and then encourage their friends to do the same. Be serious: how much time do we really spend perusing our friends' answers to such questions as, "# of siblings?", "what shoes do you have on now?", or "how many people will send this back?"

Perhaps I'm being too harshly critical, you may say. In truth these mindless diversions do have a place (much like my recently celebrated diversion of dolphin olympics...); however, they should be confined to a more modest sampling of one's e-acquaintences. Think about it: your freshman roommate to whom you haven't spoken in at least 3 terms doesn't care that your first pet was a turtle named Sparky. Really.

(sorry Sparky, but the truth hurts.)

To conlcude, I must say that there are many other mindless diversions afforded by the internet. (Or interweb, if you will) Some are much less vocally narcissistic, and others are just absolute unmitigated time-wasters (which, unlike facebook applications, don't require you to send an invite to 15 uninterested friends to continue in your pursuit of procrastination!) Enjoy.
  1. YouTube Videos. Some are quite priceless. Others, inexplicably compelling.
  2. Text Twist on Yahoo. I found this particularly diverting for a whole term of Intro Philosophy. (urgh)
  3. BBC Quizes and Psychology Tests. This will indulge a need to do something slightly self-centered without involving others.
  4. Sporcle. Trivia-lovers beware. This feels less guilty than some other diversions since it requires you to use knowledge you may or may not have acquired in school. This will suck hours out of your life.
  5. Addicting Games. Something for just about everyone if you need a mindless break from projects, textbooks, research, or paper-writing.

1 comment:

  1. 6. Comic Picture-Based Blogs. The entire back-catalogue of each new one you discover has to be exhaustively explored, just in case you miss a really funny picture.