Let’s face it, as amazing as the internet is, it also acts as our universal #dark place. It’s where we go when we want to lurk our exes, masturbate, and blackout shop. If our laptops could talk, they would probably tell us, “U R A GIANT FREAK WHO SHOULDN’T HAVE INTERNET ACCESS. GET OFF ME. I WANT A MORE NORMAL OWNER.” Luckily, we can keep our creepy internet behavior pretty hidden by deleting our prior history. By getting to erase any shameful activity, we wipe our virtual slates clean.
Unfortunately, I don’t do any of that because I’m a.} too lazy and b.} I feel like that would make me look so guilty. If I went on someone’s computer and noticed that they had no prior history available, I would think they were looking at kiddie porn or something. i would then immediately scream, close their computer, and run out of their house yelling “Fire!” So yeah, I realize this is my own fault if someone looks at my history and sees something embarrassing. And I have no doubt that they will. If someone were to view what I did on the web, they’d be seeing a very disturbing snapshot of my life—one filled with porn, inappropriate Google searches, shameful blogs, and an obscene amount of Facebook and Twitter. To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, here’s a blurry watercolor of my internet history from the past three days: a girl I kind of know but not really’s blog, My Ex’s Facebook, My Ex’s Photo Albums, a porn website, hot Muscle Jock Rams Twink, Google search of “Thai Delivery in New York”, YouTube search of “The Olsen Twins talking”, Google search of “Is It Safe to drink with Ambien?” etc. You get the terrifying idea. Our internet life may as well be our double life. I get anxiety whenever I’m doing a Google search with one of my friends on my computer because I never know what might pop up before I finish typing something like “delivery.” Maybe “dildos”?
This battle of public versus private life on the internet is an interesting duality. On one hand, we use the internet in a very public way. We tweet pictures of our food, send work emails and talk with our friends. A lot of what we do is meant for public consumption. On the other, the internet is also used to indulge in our most private fantasies. People jumpstart affairs, look at fetish websites, Facebook chat with people they shouldn’t be talking to, find drugs, and adopt different personas altogether. We think of the internet as being the death of anonymity. You can know everything about someone in a matter of a few clicks because their entire life is on display. While this may be true, it can also be used for the opposite. You can have one tab open where you’re live tweeting your stupid boring dinner and another where you’re sending dirty pictures to someone under the name of “Jock Boi.” Just as the internet can reveal things about ourselves, it can also keep things hidden.
Whenever you’re in a shame spiral about your Secret Internet Behavior, just remember that someone somewhere is looking at videos of animal beastiality. That’s much more embarrassing than checking your ex’s Twitter ten times in one day, isn’t it?