>>> The Hard Way
By staff writer Mike Faerber
May 22, 2005

There is a force out there which grips more and more of your life with each passing moment. It consumes you, requiring all your energy and focus until you are obsessed with the power it provides. Many have fallen to its evil grip and seen their lives worsened for it. The fate of the galaxy rests in your hands. Of what danger do I speak? To be honest I've confused even myself. It's either the dark side of the Force or the Internet. Oh right, the title. I knew they were good for something.

Anyone who has spent any amount of time on the Internet will tell you of its vile nature. It starts out small. “Just going to check my email, Mom,” the 11-year-old you says exuberantly. Next thing you know you're 25 and your sack lunch has molded. You are also bent on destruction, power, and greed as you scourge the galaxy for Jedi to be murdered.

DAMNIT! It's really hard to get Star Wars off the brain. What I'm trying to say is that Internet is addictive. It's like a drug… a drug that you shoot up in your fingertips as you type acronyms for sayings that you would never use in actual conversation… a drug that you absorb through your eyes late at night when you're craving more content. There is never enough content. A drug that causes you to ask people you despise to be your Facebook friend.

But most shocking: A drug that you are all using right now. Fucking Stoners.

But here's where it all went wrong.

AIM High


They don't call it a laptop computer for nothing.

Instant messenger is the gateway drug of the Internet world, your first step to the dark side if you will. It hooks you young and it doesn't let go. Pretty soon you find yourself spending hours out of your day online. And that's when you don't have anyone to talk to. If an actual conversation starts, you might as well cancel your plans for the next week. Because your real life friends that you have lunch with aren't going to get the inside joke you made with the 14-year-old from last night. It's okay though, you both said you were 17.

It can be hard to pinpoint what exactly is so appealing about having half-hearted conversations with acquaintances using half-hearted attempts at spelling and grammar. Perhaps it's quantity over quality. In our media saturated world, we become bored with the concepts of one-on-one conversation, understanding and companionship. Much like that link sent to you by a chatroom bot, you need multiple partners, multiple conversations going on at once in order to thrill you. In this orgy of BRB and “Hey did you get booted? Ya my internet sucks. Bummer, I know what you mean. Hold up my dad needs the comp,” is there any hope for humanity? Probably not. But maybe what we need to keep in mind is that God never closes the door to a chatroom without opening another AIM window.

It's your ex though, so don't respond.

Fe-mail

What do women have to do with electronic messages? They both rhyme and you're not getting any. You're not even getting messages from women. That's really sad. This is indicative of the major flaw of the next step in the ladder you climb before spiraling down the slide of Internet addiction. Sounds fun? Yeah well it's not, because there's a lot of static on the Internet, meaning as soon as you touch one of the metal bolts, it's going to zap you.

The flaw with email is that although you want your inbox to be full, you don't want junk mail. Most email programs now have a filter that weeds out spam from your inbox. This leaves your inbox hungry. So you try to feed it an e-sandwich. But there was some kind of file size limit error, and you don't know how to attach it. There's some problem with the server now. He said he'd be right back with our drink orders! All this hassle and suddenly you get this big return email saying it didn't work. Huh, how about that. Problem solved. You are now e-mail proficient. How does this help you find the ladies? Well I'll be honest, it doesn't. But if you're lucky, the ladies will come find you.

Now if you'll excuse me, Chelsea is about to show me her webcam.

Macebook

Facebook, like ecstasy or opium, is the hotness right now. I know this because I watch trends like a hawk—a hawk with torn, faded jeans who listens to Modest Mouse on his iPod. This isn't to discredit Facebook; I thoroughly enjoy it and stamp it with my official “So College” seal of approval. But trust me ladies, if you're going to have a Facebook account, you're going to need some pepper spray. That thing is stalker heaven. And guys… yeeaaaah, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. *Pounds fists and brags about his sexual exploits*

Facebook definitely has its devils however. You'll discover this when you're reading the info on a friend of a friend of a friend's page and going: “This guy is such a loser…Wait who am I to talk, I'm the one reading his profile… Wait this is ME!” Other things you gotta watch out for? Napoleon groups, getting poked by other guys, and deciding which will get you more ladies in the “looking for” section: relationship or random play. Not that it matters, they can still see your picture. Overall I have to hand it to Facebook, it has saved numerous friendships by reminding me of birthdays, and it never ceases to remind me how every other guy has way more hot girl friends than I do. The keen observer will notice, however, that they are all already married.

To each other.

Vader: Who are you chatting with?
Luke: Just some friends from the Alliance.
Vader: TonsofBuns04? Is that Leia? She's kind of cute you know.
Luke: What would you care? You tried to have her killed. Besides she's with Han now… God I want you out of my life.
Vader: Look son we've had some rough times. You and your friends destroyed my Death Star, twice. You're going through this Rebellion phase right now, but I want you to know I love you… Anyways, why don't you shut that thing down and go to bed.
Luke: (under breath) I'll shut you down.

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