5 Things You Are Not Allowed To Do On the Internet

What would we do without the internet? Realistically, probably go to libraries and get regular vitamin D, but it’s really a moot point. The internet is not going anywhere without some horrific viral pandemic preceding it. But with this great power comes great responsibility, and we must accept that there are certain things we simply cannot do on the internet — for the good of mankind.

Go On Wikipedia Without A Specific Goal.

I am of the belief that Wikipedia should be used with as much wary discretion as prescription medicine. When used properly, it’s beneficial for all parties involved. When abused, you will wake up in a dumpster at 5 a.m. shivering and rambling about the War of 1812. And what makes this even more difficult is how innocuous most Wiki-benders seem at first. You have a paper to write, or an argument to settle, and you look up, say, John Locke. But then you click on philosophy, which leads you to Stefan Zweig, which leads you to pre-war European intellectuals, which leads you to Dadaism, which leads you to nihilism, which leads you to so, so much crying. Even the most simple of searches can leave you either reading about the reproductive processes of single-celled organisms, or reading a textbook-like definition of felching. So, to prevent this from happening to you (again), I recommend writing down exactly what it is you need to find out about and ignoring everything else, even the most tempting of links — even the one about toilet paper roll direction — and get to your goal. Clean, quick, painless.

Engage In Any Form of YouTube Commentary.

Amongst the most undisputed truths of the internet is the fact that any and all comment forums will, eventually, become a festering pile of human brain waste and our worst characteristics in their most uncensored form. And no comment forum exemplifies this better than those under YouTube videos. Without fail, a discussion about a video of a cat playing with a piece of popcorn will quickly devolve into a theological, political, and socioeconomic debate amongst the world’s least literate writers. It is my personal belief that the most militant racists, sexists, religious extremists, and Luddites coalesce on YouTube to disseminate their propaganda and scream at each other in all caps. And, in perhaps the most unfortunate feature of YouTube’s comment section, one only sees 10 comments at a time, so the vast majority of the time, one has absolutely no clue why the first three commenters are screaming about France banning the veil under a video about leg exercises. And, should one be tempted to engage in this discussion (as there is no forum-like reply format for people talking to one another) you actually have to scroll through comment after comment to find the person towards whom the previous commenter was hurling his vitriol. Scrolling, of course, that leads you past a veritable smörgåsbord of paranoid theorizing about global warming, Islam, and the Illuminati. For your own sanity, it is in your best interest to keep your eyes glued to the top of the screen and just watch your video.



Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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  • Fdbfdbfdbdfbd

    But what if I deleted my Facebook and don’t think much of it?
    WHAT am I?

    • justno

      Still talking about it, that’s what.

  • http://mason-jar-memories.blogspot.com/ Grace Elizabeth

    Ahhh this is all so true XD This needs to be taught in school.

  • ssims10

    I laughed embarrassingly loud (at work, oops) during the youtube commentary section.  So true.

  • http://www.thenormalmachine.com/ Michael Zunenshine

    I actually went and searched Toilet Paper Orientation on Wikipedia before even finishing to read this. It exists. The more information, the less you know…

  • http://www.zebra-talk.blogspot.com/ Zeba

    To Google or Not to Google. First world problems. Sigh. It’s difficult not to though. Bitch curiosity. 

  • Joe

    I can’t really agree with the section on Wikipedia. For the sake of productivity sure, find what you need and get out but I think that if your genuine curiosity implores you to click that link about toilet paper orientation it would be a pity to ignore that. 

    • http://twitter.com/iamsubmerged Jordana Bevan


  • https://twitter.com/#!/nvvmxac danne rassle


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    it’s funny you bring up zweig because i was in the library this morning looking for a book of his but SOMEONE HAD TAKEN IT OUT. it’s your fault fagan

  • Anonymous

    “They can’t fully disown it like a disfigured Spartan baby”
    Wikipedia bender?

  • lol

    i have deleted my facebook for nearly 3 years and i’m proud of it. if that makes me a douchebag, so what?

  • Catt

    There is, apparently, no living human being with the willpower or modesty required to just delete a Facebook and shut up about it.”
    Actually, there are. But because they have shut up about it, you don’t know they exist, and therefore assume everyone without a Facebook is a douchebag.

  • http://twitter.com/MelanieAvalon Melanie Lynch

    I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me a “new” piece of information about themselves and I almost drop the “I know” line by accident.  Also you should never make a status of something you actually want to tell people in real life, because then you have to preface it with “you may have seen this on facebook”  which if they have, makes it repetitive, and if they haven’t, makes you sound egotistical because you’re assuming they stalk you or something

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