Archive for ‘Internet’

October 4, 2011

Homo Homini Lupus

Yep. You read that title right. I’m showing off my dead language skills and that’s Latin for “Man is a wolf to Man”. In my specific case, that would be Loulia is a wolf to Loulia but there is no Latin translation for that.

I’ve turned into my own worst enemy in the past few months because of this wonderful thing called Internet and that other wonderful thing called Kindle.

The first one allows you to have a wealth of information at your fingertips, anywhere, at any time. The second allows you to become a book bulimic except that you don’t have to hide to binge because nobody can see the cover of what you’re reading and the amount of it.

Now, throw these two items in a blender, add a copious dose of pregnancy and watch the monster take a life of its own!

If my husband had his way, all pregnancy confirmations would come with an automatic cancellation of one’s internet subscription. It’s already bad enough that, in normal times, we can do enough research to convince ourselves that the small bruise on our arm is the beginning of gangrene and our limb is about to fall off… now imagine googling the same stuff with the word “pregnant” attached to it. There’s enough information out there to convince a rational lady that all her symptoms indicate she’s going to give birth to a pony. I stopped counting the number of false frights I’ve caused myself because of the things I read online. And yet, I cannot be stopped.

The world of ebooks isn’t any gentler. Digital content is extremely easy to accumulate because it doesn’t take up any physical space. As a result, reading 10 books on the same exact topic becomes a reality because there is no visible pile of paper to shame one back to rationality. If unstopped, this will lead to the development of tunnel vision and turn me into a mother who is super knowledgeable about what to expect when she’s expecting and clueless about how to deal with The Expected after he or she is born. Though there is a remote chance my knowledge of sphincter law and nausea triggers may come in handy when handling a baby…

In all seriousness, I think this compulsion to research and read about everything extensively is partly rooted in superstition and fear. There’s so much unknown and uncertainty ahead of me (will this pregnancy go to term? will be the baby be OK? will I be a good mother? will I still have a life?) and the accumulation of information gives me an illusory sense of control. Also, some people stupidly believe that preparing for the worst may prevent it from happening (did I tell you I’m an expert in plane crashes?). I realize that sort of anguish does not do any good or serve any purpose. I bet pregnancies were a lot more laid back in the analog age. Good thing I have an unlimited yoga pass and practice everyday. Sat Nam!

January 18, 2011

Epic Fail

I stumbled upon this site today. I won’t bother naming it as it is mostly a collection of rubbish, with the exception perhaps of the picture below.

That site is fed by party-goers (and shitty friends I might say) who upload embarrassing revelry pictures of their peers. The picture above is an oddity on the site because the people on it are fully clothed and relatively clean. And that drink thief could potentially be construed as funny (OK, I laughed).

It’s probably a sign I’m getting old, but I’m really shocked by the content people are willing to post online nowadays. That site, with its photos of abused drunk people (yes, burying your drunk friends under furniture or drawing on their bodies with sharpies is abuse), is only the tip of the iceberg.

Stories of the tragic aftermath of youth being harassed online are becoming increasingly frequent in the media, so I’m really shocked the owners of the site (which also houses other less offensive initiatives like the world famous lolcats and FAIL blog) actively solicit that type of content. I know people will upload similar things to Facebook, but the social networking site wasn’t created for the sole purpose of displaying embarrassing photos. It’s also there for me to share pictures of my PETS and rant about traffic with the universe.

Yes, freedom of speech and all that is the reason sites like that will continue to exist if not proliferate. Expecting young people to wisen up and to start acting decently and respectfully toward one another might also be a far stretch – pigs growing wings seems more likely.

Which makes me very thankful and appreciative of the fact that the Internet wasn’t really around when I was a teenager. Pictures of me costumed as a tree or of my younger brother forced into a dress will forever remain in the vault of history.

OR WILL THEY? (Subtly-inserted cliffhanger to make you come back)

January 3, 2011

The end of an era?

The New Year started with a bang by dealing a major blow to freedom of speech. While we all sleep soundly, one of the four pillars of Internet Fun is under threat of demolition.

“California’s SB 1411, which adds a layer of criminal and civil penalties for certain online impersonations” went into effect on January 1, 2011. Similar laws in other states will probably follow suit at some point.

While this may be a victory for high school kids who worry about bullies impersonating them online, it is painfully obvious that lawmakers overlooked the dramatic impact this piece of legislation would have on the Twittersphere.

Some of the most interesting and witty Twitter accounts are online impersonations. Here is a small sample of what SB 1411 threatens to TAKE AWAY from us:

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