10 Things the Internet has Ruined and Five Things it Hasn't
For some people, the Internet is the killer app--literally. From newspapers and the yellow pages to personal privacy and personal contact, the Net has been accused of murdering, eviscerating, ruining, and obliterating more things than the Amazing Hulk. Some claims are more true than others, but the Net certainly has claimed its share of scalps.
Thu, April 15, 2010
It used to be mysterious and alluring. To watch two other strangers doing it, you had to either visit a XXX theater or become a Peeping Tom. Now porn is everywhere, and a new 'celebrity' sex video pops up online every few weeks. (Thankfully, none so far have starred Kevin Smith.) Anyone who's seen more than five minutes of "1 Night in Paris" is more familiar with Ms. Hilton's anatomy than her ob-gyn. Yes, sex is more plentiful than ever thanks to the Internet. You know what it isn't any more? Sexy.
Five Things the Net Hasn't Killed or Ruined
1. Irrational Exuberance
You'd think the dot-com implosion would have taught people something. You'd be wrong. Irrational faith in the triumph of new technology just shifted to social media sites and, lately, the Apple iPad. "Life-changing"? We don't think so.
2. Faith in 'the Wisdom of Crowds'
Though we're not sure why not. Anyone who's ever used the sites Digg, Reddit, or even Google knows the most popular things on the Net are rarely the best. It turns out crowds are no smarter than individuals. They're just louder.
3. Brick-and-Mortar Stores
Offline retailers are still with us, despite the best efforts of Amazon, Buy.com, and the like. One thing that seems to have thankfully passed on, however: the phrase "click and mortar." It shall not be missed.
The Internet has allowed people to reinvent themselves in ways they could never pull off in the flesh. You might be a middle-aged dude who hasn't seen his toes in 10 years, but your Second Life avatar is 24 and smoking hot; also, she has blue skin and a tail.
5. Chuck Norris
Only Chuck Norris is powerful enough to kill Chuck Norris, and even then he'd automatically replicate.
When Contributing Editor Dan Tynan isn't composing numbered lists, he's helping to make the world safe for snark with his geek humor site, eSarcasm .