Internet. Serious Business.

The Internet is a tool. It allows people to communicate, anonymously or otherwise, with other people who are using the same tool. Kind of like a phone, except the other person doesn't need to pick up their end at the same time you do in order to communicate with you. If you search the Internet for long enough (meaning roughly 12 seconds) you shouldn't have any trouble finding a fart joke, porn, someone insulting someone else, a video of an elephant painting itself, or some other random amusement. This all leads to one question, summed up by a guy who overdosed on drugs: "Why so serious?"

"The Internet is a communication tool used the world over where people can come together to bitch about movies and share pornography with one another." So says the gospel as passed down by Kevin Smith in the movie Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back. Obviously, Smith understands the true purpose of the Internet: shits and giggles. The average person is here for random amusement, and occasionally for shopping. Obviously, some people just didn't get the memo.

MySpace = srs bsns (turn down your volume)

The Internet allows unprecedented access to just about everything: people, porn, videos, porn, jokes, stories, porn, and goatse. If you want it, odds are you can find it in seconds using Google. We just about have infinite accessibility with the Internet, which as everyone knows was invented by Al Gore as a tool to prevent Hitler from rising from the dead.

However, with great power comes great responsibility, and with the power of the Internet we were given the responsibility of making sure we don't unwittingly see a lemon party or something. The Internet is a 100% asynchronous mode of communication, which means I can post a video of a farting dog today and you can see it next Thursday as if it were in your bedroom doing it live. Scientists have yet to perfect smell over the Internet though, so I'm afraid you wouldn't get the full experience... sorry.

The thing is, we also have the ability to severely restrict what we see. If you don't like a website, you don't have to go to it. If you don't want to see pictures of naked African women when doing a Google Image Search for chocolate pie, you can turn on the safe content filter. If you keep getting messages you don't want to read on your MSN account, you can close it and start up a new one that's even more anonymous.

A Brief History of the Internet

In the beginning, there was chaos. Nobody could find out anything without resorting to things like books, magazines, or documentary movies created by Jews and Homosexuals and The British.

Then, in a bold move, someone came up with the idea of using phone lines to transmit data. No, I'm not talking about the fax machine, I'm talking about the Internet. It was probably Al Gore, at least that's what he thinks.

(Fun fact: the TCP/IP packet architecture for the Internet was originally drawn on a cocktail napkin in a hotel lobby.)

In 1973, ARPANET was created as a data sharing network between 4 Universities or something. In 1974 this network was covered with pornography. In the 1990s, the market share of porn on the Internet was down to 78%, but to the delight of everyone everywhere it was back up to 92% by early 2005. The most popular website in the world is now "lolcats.com," and rightly so.

The End.

The ultimate point here is that the Internet does not deserve to be taken seriously. How could anyone take something seriously that has that many dick and fart jokes on it? Further, which I guess means that wasn't the ultimate point after all, since you can literally turn off anything you don't want to see, why worry about it? Why so serious?

Sadly, there are people who take this porn and fart joke haven so seriously that they are willing to kill over it. On the bright side though, in most (all?) cases, they're killing themselves rather than other people, so maybe it's not all bad: after all, anyone who takes the Internet that seriously probably shouldn't be reproducing anyway.

The most well known case of Internet suicide is probably Josh Ballard, who shot himself in the head 15 minutes after posting a suicide note on his MySpace page. Even in suicide, he was taking things far too seriously by making an accurate prediction that Dick Cheney would one day shoot a man in the face while duck hunting. As far as I care to find out, the story is that a MySpace girlfriend broke up with him and he killed himself over it. Fortunately, lots of people saw this as being ridiculous. After all, Internet = srs bsns.

What it basically comes down to is that there are people who take the Internet seriously, and people who know better. I'm a huge fan of the by-line for the Basement forum on RoosterTeeth.com: "If you get offended by words on a monitor, you should stay out of here." I think that could easily apply to the Internet at large: "If you take the Internet seriously, GTFO." Also Internet acronyms are dumb, and I feel dirtier for having used one. See what you made me do, Internet? Jerk.

Internet.  Serious Business

Now, some of you may be thinking "Manliest of Men, what about all the business and company websites, and the stock exchanges, and banks?" I'm glad you asked. Those sites are not part of the Internet, they are part of the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web (WWW) is a tool used by businesses to market their products and services, allow clients and members to carry out business tasks, and build market value and shareholder confidence. The WWW is serious business. The Interent is srs bsns.

Do you see the difference? One is a business and communication tool, and one is for insulting people anonymously, sharing pornography, and pedophiles (they're after the other white meat!). The WWW is a home for sound business strategy and working professionals. The Internet is home to poor grammar and spelling, and people who think lighting farts on fire is quality entertainment.

The Internet

...is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck, it's a series of tubes!

- Senator Ted Stevens, the man in charge of regulating the Internet

The point is this: the Internet is here to be enjoyed. If you don't like something, you can ignore it. If you don't want to hear a sound on a website, you can turn down your speakers. You are in total control over what you see and what you don't, and over what you read and what you don't. If you don't enjoy it, you can try something else. If you don't like what's out there and think you can do better, you can even build a website of your very own and use it to share your thoughts. Just please stop taking it so very seriously, you're embarassing yourself.

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