The Internet sucks because idiots are legion and vocal

I’ve been pondering for awhile now why the Internet sucks so much. Sure, it has its good points (like free knowledge), but it also has the largest collection of idiots ever assembled in one place, virtual or not. All you have to do to verify this for yourself is to spend a few minutes browsing through random profiles on MySpace (don’t spend too long though; that level of stupidity is contagious). Some of that has to do with the anonymity that is frequently afforded on the Internet; after all, if you fear no repercussions, no damage to your reputation, then you won’t hold your tongue. But the problem goes deeper than that.

The problem is that the morons are incessantly vocal with their idiocy while the smart people generally know better and only pipe up when what they have to say is actually worthwhile. Let’s use this blog as a case study. The level of commenting here is overall pretty decent (though active moderation plays a bit of a role in that). But there’s one particular post that has attracted attention from the absolute worst of the web’s denizens: my post about Zwinky.

Zwinky is a crappy online “game” targeted at children, and it shows. The comments on that post are simultaneously ignorant, vulgar, poorly put together, and unnecessary. Like an intrepid scientist studying a fatal disease in a Petri dish, I have resisted destroying that which I know is evil in order to better study it, so the comments remain thoroughly and dangerously unsanitized. I dare you to read through all of those comments in their native state and not feel terrible for the prospects of humanity’s future.

These kids are just so damn dumb. They don’t know how to spell, they don’t know how to punctuate, they don’t really know how to write at all. It’s as if their English teachers tried their best at the Sisyphean task, realized the futility of it, and then, in sheer desperation, began having sex with their students in order to be sent to adult prison, where at long last they are no longer tormented by idiot kids. This is what IM speak does to people! And it’s horrendous! I tried to make a “New Rule” to elevate the level of conversation:

All comments must observe proper written English punctuation, spelling, grammar, capitalization, and proper style. All offending comments will be subject to immediate disemvowelment at my sole discretion. I don’t know if it’s all the lessons on creationism or sex with teachers, but it seems like they’re not teaching kids writing anymore in schools?!


But it proved hopeless, as it turns out none of the little buggers were actually reading the preceding comments before contributing their verbal diarrhea to the pot. Intelligent adults like you and I don’t mindlessly comment on every little thing; we only contribute to the discussion when we have something worthwhile to say. Not so with the Zwinkybots. My post on Zwinky doesn’t get a huge amount of traffic compared to some of my other posts, but it has gotten a lot more comments. It’s as if kids (and yes, I’m using “kid” interchangeably with “idiot” here), upon seeing a comment box eagerly awaiting input, cannot resist. This also explains the abysmal quality of comments on sites like Digg, and especially, YouTube. It’s the age-old 80/20 rule made manifest: 20% of the IQ is responsible for 80% of the comments.

I think we should start teaching in schools that participation isn’t valuable just for participation’s sake. Tell the damn kids that unless they truly have something worth saying it’s best not to pipe up at all, and by virtue of being kids, they will rarely have anything truly worth saying. This will also have the pleasant side effect of fewer instances of teacher-on-student sex. But I’m not hopeful. I think we’ve already lost this war. My only respite will be to focus my writing exclusively on topics that kids aren’t interested in whatsoever. Like grammar.

89 Responses to “The Internet sucks because idiots are legion and vocal”

  1. Kelly Martin Says:

    Your observations also explain, of course, why Wikipedia is a phenomenal success and a catastrophic failure, both at the same time.

  2. Jeff V Says:

    rotfl lol,

    zwinky iz da shittttt yo

    fa reeeelzzz

    OK. I’m done.

  3. William Says:

    In what way is Wikipedia a catastrophic failure? It serves as a one-stop place to look up almost anything you could care to. It doesn’t, by itself, count as a credible source for research above the the middle-school level, but most of the pages I’ve seen provide at least some citations and serve as a great starting place for almost any inquiry.

  4. Joe Anderson Says:

    Better idea Cyde: teach them English!

  5. drinian Says:

    Suggestion: Make this Flash video required viewing before posting.

    http://www.tesuji.org/videos/posting.swf

    (Ok, more directed at forums, but excellent nonetheless).

  6. 雷化痕素茶文 Says:

    Unfortunately, there’s little anyone can do to hold back the tide of total idiocy that runs rampant across the Internet today. Now, I understand that Internet shorthand has its place in certain areas (say, if you need to let off a quick text message to someone or the message charges by the letter; perhaps you’re playing an MMO and you’re not using voicechat, and you need to shoot off a message to your groupmates in the middle of combat, or something of that sort). But for the most part… we have 13+ years of education for a reason, do we not? I was under the impression that the things we learn in school are supposed to be utilized in most aspects of life: particularly the part where we speak English properly. For crying out loud, most of the people who rape the language via the Internet are American children and teenagers. This really does show just how far American education, and American society as a whole, has fallen. The sad part is I’ve seen and heard immigrants and foreign visitors write, type, read, and speak English more fluently than some native people I know.

    God, I feel like crying now… I may not have liked my English classes in high school very much… but damn it, I strive for excellence and eloquence in most everything I write. I pride myself on being above the Internet zombies and their ‘l337sp34k’ or their horrible spelling and grammar skills. I may make a typo every now and again… but I try my damnedest, and that’s really all anyone can ask of a person. Am I so wrong that I would like to be able to read something without wincing in pain every two letters?

  7. prosoir Says:

    Wince twice for every time someone winces at you. If you need encouragement to continue supporting opinions of the minority, do not look to the majority for support. Part of the sacrifice you make in standing for something you believe in tends to be becoming a target for others who do not. Everyone has an expiration date. Try focusing more on doing what makes you happy instead of repeating the lie that you have some say, or control over what people think and do. You cannot loiter in alleyways at 2 am and claim you were surprised when you were robbed. So why would you run to the special ed room of the internet and act surprised at the fart jokes?
    The war is over, you lost when you took a side. Go buy a motorcycle and travel the world, lamp in hand, and attempt to find yourself some wisdom.

  8. Tai Says:

    I agree 100% on this. I hate the internet because there are so many obtuse people on it. It pains me to read a message board and see something like “idk, i kno what ur talking about”, holy crap, just type the damn thing out… People cannot puctuate or spell anymore, and what’s worse is the fact places like Pepsi is getting in on it by calling Mountain Dew “MTN DEW”, that just irks me because idiocy is spreading so quickly… Youtube is axiomatically one of the places that has the worst english ever, I hate Youtube for more than that reason, but it doesn’t concern the topic.

    Overall I just now visit corperation sites where I can understand what I’m reading, I just feel bad for the English Teachers who have to deal with a world of kids who need drool cups…

    On a side note, I speak leet, but only in characters and only as a code if I don’t want anyone to read what I am writing.

  9. kingmob Says:

    I think that the internet has had the effect of giving people this illusion of instant celebrity. Instead of anonymity being the problem i think people go stupid because they have a willing audience. Sure people are idiots online, everyone is. Instead of derriding participation, we should focus on the tendancy in our society to seek fame. People who are trying to be famous end up presenting an image of themselves that is neither true nor accurate, and unfortunately it means they end up being trendy. Since being a moron online has paradoxically become fashionable our fame seeking kids are gonna play along with it.

  10. kingmob Says:

    Participation isnt a problem if the people participating have no problem learning from their mistakes.

  11. Lucky Fox Says:

    80% of the world’s people are – whether they want to believe/like it or not – idiots.
    80% of the 20 remaining % of the world’s people just don’t care.
    80% of the 20 remaining % of the 20 remaining % of the world’s people are evil capitalists;
    who use those 80%’s to gather huge sums of money on other people’s backs.
    They are the ones in control of the so-called ‘democratic’ governments in the world.

    Certainly, you weren´t expecting INTERNET to be any better?

    Someone who sympethizes with the fight against ill-literacy.

  12. Pepe Says:

    Grammar Nazi.

  13. Jonkheer Says:

    He doesn’t even mention that internet is filled with evil and seductive entertainment.
    That’s evil too for some people! ME! Why did i read this anyway? This is entertainment! lol

  14. Captain Reality Says:

    I’ve seen the future, and it can’t spell, can’t use punctuation, has a 12 second attention span, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

  15. Soma Says:

    My god, it’s full of stars.

    *This comment brought to you by the makes of American Idol*

    ++groupthink

  16. Gordo Says:

    After a full 14 hours of watching useless internet junk instead of studying for my exams, thanks largely to a complete lack of motivation and an endless sea of laziness which washes over me daily, my frustration came to its pinnacle in the form of a google search.
    What was that line of text? My last cry for help? My friends, my feelings of exasperation, coupled with claustrophobia and depression, emerged in the form of a simple yet poignant statement, which twists the very fabric of modern man upon itself, like a contradiction or a dark inspiration. I had entered “the internet sucks”. The search was over in a mere 0.2 seconds, and I forthrightly clicked upon the first result. Location: this very webpage.
    What is the significance of this? My volition, chance, the google browser, and a series of tubes led me here. In what possible way can I contribute?
    ur gaye! jus bcoz u thk ur smrt doesnt mean you cn tel me wot to rite on tha net. stfu!
    I say no more.

  17. anonymous Says:

    we are legion also you just lost

  18. hentai Says:

    in all fairness punctuation and capitalization don’t really determine the intellectual content of a poster’s remarks — in fact, they have nothing at all to do with it whatsoever

    posting to a bbs or a blog or a forum or whatever flavor they come in years to come has absolutely nothing to do with writing professionally or scholarly, it’s about getting your point across to the other person in a way that they understand the content of your message. while punctuation and grammar play a role in understanding, the message:

    “u suk @zzhole die and rot in hell lolz”

    is no more intellectually stimulating when written:

    “Your viewpoints suck, asshole. It would be amusing to me if you died and your soul was sent to rot in Hell.”

    in fact writing it like that makes it seem even more hurtful and pointless, as if you’re putting more seriousness and weight behind your words

    i agree with everything else you said though the internet is full of dumb bastards BUT it also always has been. it was no different in the 80′s there were stupid people who got their jollies trolling boards back then just to put peoples’ opinions down while they made no effort to contribute to the subject at hand

    i think it’s sad now because since a much larger percent of the population has the internet readily available to them you can truly see the intellect:stupidity ratio of civilized humanity as a whole. in the 80′s only someone educated enough about the internet to want access to it had access to it, so the idiots were fewer and further between. now it’s fed to us with our mothers’ milk and every joe has access to something that was once informally reserved for government, businesses, and “nerds”

    the only way to get rid of an idiot is the oft-heralded, tried and true method: DNFTT

    do not feed the troll. people saying some stupid shit KNOW they’re saying some stupid shit and only say it because your reaction or getting some kind of rise out of you pleases them. if they get no reaction whatsoever you remove that pleasure :)

    of course if whatever messaging system you’re posting to has ops or moderators they’re f’ed anyway

    that’s my 2 cents

  19. Cyde Weys Says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with you there. Knowing how to properly write is very strongly correlated with the intellectual worthiness of a post. Smart people can’t bear the thought of having their opinions disregarded for no reason other than not taking the time to make sure it doesn’t look like a complete idiot wrote them.

  20. Kaleb Says:

    I’d have to agree with you wholeheartedly on this blog entry of yours. The current idiocy of the internet astounds me. I cannot believe that the human race has declined so much in their intelligence.. It’s really quite pitiful. I’m finally coming to the conclusion that there is basically no point in posting anything on the internet, for there will always be these “children” who incist on publicly exposing their dumb.

  21. Stan Says:

    I agree with this entirely. I liken the internet to WALMART… morons abound, cheap products, everything becomes homogenous. What I’d really be interested in is starting a “smartnet”… an internet alternative if you like, where you have to demonstrate you have some intelligence to join. Eventually it would mirror the good and beneficial elements of information and exchange. Imagine reading in a forum where it’s not just the blind leading the blind… imagine reading provocative posts where people respond with intelligence and debate rather than the reactions of dumbfounded belligerence. Imagine… well… quality! Looking for partners to start it!

  22. JEremy Says:

    It is true that there are many, many morons out there. The thing is that internet is internet, not real life. Their rantings don’t really matter. In real life they “pump gas and cut sheet metal” (to quote south park). On the net the idiots run rampant. In the real world, they just pump your gas.

  23. ZwlkY-FaNIg9s Says:

    WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111 HW DAER U SAY TT SWINKY IZ 4 KIDZ?????????????? U SUCK OMG WAT A FUKIN AS$ U GRANDMA SUX CAWKS AND U 2 JZ U FKIN’ SAY ZWINKY 4 KIDS. OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAT A LOOOZER U R LOL LOL LOL

    i bet a 12 year old could do that better than me

  24. JAD Says:

    >>On the net the idiots run rampant. In the real world, they just pump your gas.

    Wow. So because someone has a low paying blue collar job they are an “idiot?”

  25. Jenna Says:

    I think you’re a hypocrite. If the internet sucks than why even post about it? Just turn off your computer and find something better to do. Blogs and idiots go hand in hand.

  26. gorkamorkaorka Says:

    I used to think “Oh, Wikipedia has sources so that means it must be true!” Some parts of it are good, but other parts are as biased as hell. What happens is, one user doesn’t like an article, so they go in and rewrite the whole thing and then troll it, making sure no one else changes anything in it. Citing a non-professional website, outdated scholarship (Google books mostly has things written 100 years ago), or someone who doesn’t have a degree, is a great way to make your side look like it’s relevant.

    JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE IS PUBLISHED DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEIR OPINION COUNTS.

  27. steve.o Says:

    humans are stupid. and the most stupidest of all are americans. u all should just die. the rest of the world are just waiting for your utter destruction. its happening and we all are laughing at u. hahaha.

  28. cameron Says:

    awesome

  29. Herbert Says:

    I don’t use the internet much, though it has it’s points. I have never read a blog (first time for everything though), but I happened across this one. I drink sparingly, so lets call tonight an anomaly (despite my spelling/grammar, I can assure you I’m tanked).

    You see, I registered a search query in Google for “why the internet sucks.” This site was top dog; congrats. I clicked and read.

    The thing is, I had an agenda. I already know why the internet sucks. I wanted to know who else knew. Not too many, at a glance. But then, it might just be possible for the internet to know that it sucks and why, and so it might just intentionally bury the real reasons it sucks in the plethora of sites retrieved upon the aforementioned request. I scratched that last bit (I’ve been reading science fiction) and decided that a thorough search before bed would be mad, and sank into the futility of knowing that, for whatever the reason, my reason for why the internet sucks did not appear among the first few sets of hits. Well, here’s my chance. [Though nothing on the internet is really anonymous (unless you really know what you're doing)]

    I might add that Google registered eighteen million seven hundred thousand hits for the aforementioned query. You couldn’t put that many pies in an oven.

    The internet is the latest (and most drastic, consuming, catalyzing) development of a logical and systemic acceleration of the movement of capital. The internet was meant to make rich people richer. Sure, free knowledge. I indeed often depend on it, though I know how to use a library. Yet the costs are still greater. Get rid of it, I say. It connects our brains while dislocating our bodies. But you see, we need both (no exception regarding communication). It’s a perfect evil; we think it’s god. But anyway, I’m all puttered out. Just think about it, eh?

  30. Joe Says:

    As odd as it may sound, every time I read a post blasting out system of education and grammatical errors, I can generally find at least two grammatical errors in every paragraph posted by the author of said post. I generally make it a point to not point these errors out due to my Southern upbringing. It would simply be impolite and not of gentlemanly ways. But… Rest assured, I do see them.

    I make plenty of mistakes myself so I’m certainly not the one fit to cast the first stone as it were.

    We all need to take into account that languages change and evolve as time passes. New words and variant spelling enter our everyday speech while others become obsolete. The average modern English speaker would have great difficulty carrying on a coherent conversation with an English speaker just a few hundred years ago. Even today, regional variations are vast in almost all languages including and especially English.

    Technically, English isn’t even a real language to begin with. It’s a mix of Germanic, a bit of Latin, and a whole lot of various Gaelic dialects. Then when we add the use of the Latin alphabet, things are bound to get tossed about.

    But, just for the record, beside misspellings, the most common error I see from quite eloquent posters is the use of a comma when a period would do just fine.

  31. ncer Says:

    ~t3h br34k dwn 0f l4n93 1s b34-tf1~ xD

  32. Anonym Says:

    It, is pretty funny that people with only one practice Language, always blame other countries people to practising a non-native. nice… Lern German, perfect. then we talk again. Btw. I talked with a Germanteacher from the usa. And his german was terrible in relation to mine english.

    The sense of a Language is that you got understood and nothing else.

    good luck!

    achja: Amerikaner sind anscheinend doch ziemlich beschrenkt, auch wenn sie das nicht gerne hören.

  33. simon Says:

    I think the incessant posting of comments on forums is fueled by a desire to communicate and to relate. Easier said than done, really…
    Meaning, once condensed into language, suffers loss of complexity until all that’s left is the one-dimensional polemic. Us & Them. Mensa vs. Moron.
    But there’s hope: ideas clad in metaphors of everyday human experience become accessible to millions. Best of all is the common household pet (Schroedingers cat, for instance).

    Damned be the dog that ate the world wide web!

  34. simon Says:

    hmm.. “the god damn dog ate the world wide web” probably works better.. Another example of form versus function, I guess.

  35. Richard Says:

    Obviously you all seem to spend too much time on the web as its causing you web rage hehe

  36. Richard Says:

    . , ; ‘ Aa Bb Cc Does it really matter. I mean your all Clearly Intelligent enough to understand there CoOl NeW LaNgUaGe LoL init yo ya Kno wha him saying blud Shiiiittttt (suck teeth) haha. Yes ok i give in they do suck but i dont let it get to me they’ll grow up one day we hope…..

  37. Lord Rumblebottom Says:

    Technically, English isn’t even a real language to begin with. It’s a mix of Germanic, a bit of Latin, and a whole lot of various Gaelic dialects.

    Technically, yes it is. It’s a Germanic language, just as valid as Icelandic, Dutch or Swedish. Having influences from other languages doesn’t not make it ‘not even real’. If that were the case, no known language on earth could be defined as ‘real’.

    And the fact that languages are always evolving does not take away from the argument that the casual use of English is degenerating. When a language becomes less expressive – as is the case with modern English – it is completely valid to criticise the phenomena.

    As for the original post, the vast majority of humans live like parasites off the achievements and innovations of the top 5%. This has always been the case. If it weren’t for the top 5%, most of the humans today would have starved to death by 21, as nature intended.

    It shouldn’t surprise us that when the dregs of humanity(i.e almost all of humanity) get a ‘voice’ that ‘voice’ doesn’t sound intelligent. It never was. It never will be. But you haven’t seen anything yet. Wait until about 2020, when the rest of the world finally gets online. 1998-2010 will be seen as a golden age in comparison.

  38. Ben Says:

    I also agree with the person who said just because you use proper grammar doesn’t necessarily mean you are intelligent. I know some very educated people who are absolutely clueless when it comes to people. Take the grammar police and people who get off on correcting people’s grammar. Does this mean they are smart? Or are they on some power kick through the internet with people they have never spoken in their lives. I’m much more an in person sort of person. I’ve had my share of misunderstandings where people like you think you are so smart but really aren’t. Your post can come off as pretty arrogant as well. You said yourself people who are vocal are idiots. So saying what you did does that make you an idiot? According to your rules it does.

    The reality is actual intelligence is pretty rare these days. You have a lot of robots and it goes both ways and from both sides. It amazes me when someone actually says something out of the box, usually it’s either banned or misunderstood or whatever. It’s sad really. Some of the bigger corporate sites are just as bad and the worst of the bunch actually. Whoever said the bigger corporate sites are better has obviously never been to most of them.

  39. mardo Says:

    Alright, Who was the idiot who put the used toilet papper back on the roll?

  40. emocore Says:

    i h8 u adults u r always telling us kidz wat to do so fck u 2! we r so awsom u r da shitz111

    kidz rock 4 eva1!11oneeleventy

    txt speek will lolz all over yr st00pid english

    woot!11

  41. Sylvia Says:

    You’re all a bunch of douchebags.

  42. René Says:

    Just look at the comments on this post, I think they speak for themselves. The only hobby most kids have is flaming others and preferably anonymous. It doesn’t matter what the post or article is about, it is just another excuse to flame something. Why do you thinks Apple is so popular with kids, it is their culture, flaming others to feel superior. Nice, a world full of little Steve Jobs’.

  43. joe Says:

    Back in the old days (mid-90s), the Internet was such a nice place… Then again, few people could afford Internet access back then. Having access to the Web was something special back then. Especially with web 2.0, this is no longer the case now, unfortunately. Every goddamn idiot is spamming like crazy. When I read my favorite news site and check the comments section, I usually have to go through like several hundred comments just to find anything useful or pertinent. I want my Internet back :(

  44. RT Says:

    Who are you Joe? Because I want that time back too!

    It is these damn poorly raised kids these days ruining the internet. Yeah we used the internet for some fun stuff, but we weren’t godless, arrogant punks who think we are the best thing since sliced bread.

  45. Gibbie Says:

    Hello Clyde,

    I am also tired of the generally terrible quality of forum discussions on the Internet. The best theory to explain this situation is “John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory” which states that: normal person + anonymity + audience = total fuckwad. People that don’t have a reputation to protect (99.99% of users on the internet) say and do irritating and shameful things. With this observation it becomes clear why then only a tiny fraction of comments written online are worth reading.

    People want to keep their anonymity. I know I do. Individuals who operate forums that have hundreds or thousands of messages posted a day cannot moderate every one of them. The signal to noise ratio on forums can be as high as 20% like on slashdot.org or as low as less than 1% as in the case of libertypost.org. Both sites are stated as being serious discussion forums. Slashdot suffers from moderator favoritism and that unfortunately steers what people see, but it does feature something innovative called a lameness filter. The lameness filter can do the following:

    Too many capital letters
    Too much repetition
    ASCII art
    Comments which are too short or long
    Use of HTML tags that try to break web pages
    Comment titles consisting solely of “first post”
    Any occurrence of the word “gay” or other terms deemed (by the programmers) to be offensive/vulgar

    Another filter which I have heard of but I have been unable to try is the Stupidfilter. The stupid filter has similar goals as the lameness filter.

    http://stupidfilter.org/main/index.php.

    Another tool that could be used to eliminate garbage content is a grammar checker. Fortunately there is a free software web enabled grammar checker already made:

    http://www.languagetool.org/demo/

    It doesn’t check for spelling errors. There are a few opensource spelling checkers out there. This one is web enabled:

    http://www.netjs.com/speller/

    I think what is needed is an automoderator that combines the Stupidfilter, grammar checker, spelling checker.

    Another extremely annoying kind of post is what I call the “you’re an asshole post” or YAAP. This kind of post is emitted from trolls who lack basic reading skills and cannot articulate their own objective opinions and instead just throw shit at the parent post. I am not sure how these could be automatically eliminated but perhaps something like the crm114 could classify it. A vigilant moderator could tag these YAAP posts for training crm114 inside the forum. 10% of all fark.com posts are YAAP and on libertypost.org a full 30% is YAAP. I’d like to see all that YAAPing kept to the person who wrote it.

    Some would say that this filtering would eliminate nearly 90% of all posts on political and sports forums.

    Well that is the point!

  46. Mike Says:

    This blog is almost undiluted truth. The only part I’d comment on is:

    “…being kids, they will rarely have anything truly worth saying…” – kids (especially the little ones) have a lot of teaching to offer us adults. Good blog – I wish more people realized this situation for what it is.

  47. Zeke Says:

    Yep, I was so much happier when I didn’t know how many crapweasels, bugcrap conspiriologists and obsessives were actually out there. And say goodbye to effective education as everyone blags information off people on Messageboards instead of learning to research for themselves. There’s this thing in the Bible about “Cast not your pearls to swine”. That is so damn true for the Internet. Here’s how it goes: You post something then return to see how it went. Normally, you’d hope for a good reception and constructive criticism. But SINCE IT’S THE WRETCHED INTERNET and there’s a sense of impunity, a mad twisted part of you is secretly hoping for a bad reception, so you can go into a spitting rage and get some sad sense of “Victory” out of shooting fish in a barrel. WALK AWAY. Not to mention that the kind of conversations you get online would NEVER fly in real life. So it’s a ticket to madness and all you conceited ranting wackadoos can have it.

  48. meh Says:

    You sir, are a paragon of virtue. A light shining brightly in a sea of darkness, a darkness that is the ignorance and stupidity of the vast majority of the human race on the internet. While some may think you are a bit egotistical and perhaps a tad judgmental, and maybe a bit of a cynical curmudgeon, we stand behind you and your efforts as you make your last stand against the prevailing decline of Western Civilization. Fight the good fight sir, and never give up the war.

  49. The Crypt King Says:

    Nice post. I was just thinking to myself how much better the Internet was about 10, 15 years when there was less stuff online. Well, it’s not the scale, actually… The useful info to crap ratio was much better back then. Today there are simply hordes of mindless zombies online. And yes, they can’t speak spell at all, never mind the spelling. Although English is my secondary language it’s quite dreadful to see native Americans saying things like “your an idiot” and “I’m better then you”. But then again, the situation is no better if I look at my country.

    However, there is a bright side. While you remain your good old self, the masses of zombies are getting dumber by the minute. Since everything is relative, you are consequently getting smarter. I’m a student, finishing my master’s degree. I have already felt the effects of Internet stupification on some of my peers. The saddest thing I’ve ever seen in my life was when I saw a 20+ years old girl devoting her *entire* mental capacity (it was really obvious) to some stupid quiz on Facebook about what color her hair should be (during a lecture).

    The situation at the faculty is quite grim actually. There are a few highly talented students, but the rest are completely incompetent, illiterate and lazy. They expect everything to be handed to them. In the past people would be happy to get given a chance to learn something, today it’s all just another stupid hassle to them and the professors basically have to be extra nice and practically beg everyone to even bother finishing college. It’s f****** pathetic. The only upside here is that the few of the not completely retarded students don’t even have to try anymore. This entire thing has made me depressed. I bid you farewell and good night.

    P.S.
    If you have time to kill, find an article about how constantly sending messages lowers your IQ. It’s got something to do with the brain being in a constant ready mode.
    Then check out Pew Internet and you’ll see that American girls from 14 to 17 years of age on average send or receive at least 100 text messages per day (at least 3000 per month). I won’t even bother mentioning those that are above the average. So imagine that you are a teenager. You send or receive 100 messages per day on your phone. That’s one every 6 minutes, if you get a decent amount of sleep. In addition to that you of course keep a constant check on Facebook, MySpace and so on. So how can you not be a completely retarded zombie, if you basically type mindless messages all day long?

    If not that, then it at least means that you can’t get anything done. There was a study regarding workplace productivity (can’t remember the name) that found that if you get interrupted during a task (like a phone call or an email), it takes you at least 20 minutes to become completely focused on the task again. This study was initiated by a professor at some university that got reassigned to some managerial position; she found out that she was completely unproductive because of the constant interruptions. That’s why a good corporate guideline is check your email at 8AM, noon and 4PM. And that’s it.

  50. TBK Says:

    You must be a Virgo, but I agree.

  51. Blue Says:

    The problem is not only with the grammar of said post,s but also the ‘logic’ behind it.
    Many of the kids who commented in the linked post had no sort of logic behind their actions. They just saw the word ‘Zwinky’ and performed an instant action. I read many of the comments, and there were three main problems:

    1) The ‘author’ of the comment did not read your post, despite deciding to comment immediately.

    2) They read (gasp) your post, but failed to understand it.

    3) They read (gasp!) the comments of others and decided to replay/flame others.

    Many of the idiotic comments were are discussing followed one or more of the three points I wrote above.

  52. robert Says:

    Well all of you are making very good points, however, you all are also absolute morons. The thing is, kids will be kids. I myself am fourteens years old and have realized that everyone is much less intelligent than they should be. I realize that bad grammar is extremely annoying, it bothers me as well, but there is a difference between bad grammar and “text talk”. I’m sure there will be a few mistakes in my comment and I apologize for them, but “text talk” is like a kind of shorthand so we kids don’t have to waste time typing unnecessary letters or punctuation. It’s so we can get our point across quickly and efficiently not to piss people off. As to the morons posting totally unnecessary comments with little to no relevance to the subject, I’m ashamed to say I’m listed as the same species. If you don’t want to write something thats intelligent and a worthwhile contribution to the topic at hand, don’t fucking say it! To demonstrate my point that “text talk” isn’t to piss you off but to be more efficient, I’ll write a sentence in proper english and then “text talk”.

    Hey I’ll meet you there at noon.

    As opposed to: hey ill meet u there at 12

    Now you try and tell me which one is easier to type. My point exactly.

  53. hardison Says:

    When I see something written in idiotspeak I just skip it. If someone sends me a message or email like that I ignore it. Just like people who send me mass addressed email forwards or other dumb shit they find online.

    It’s not clever, it’s not “cool”, it is stupid just like most trends that people partake in. Yeah it doesn’t mean you are smart because you TRY to use proper language (I said try because we all make typos etc and then some jackass always jumps in and points that out as some “evidence” that we are somehow WRONG for trying to begin with) but it does make it easier for others to understand and makes you sound like less of a goon. I have had much difficulty with some foreign languages because so many people use so much slang anymore. It really isn’t that hard to speak clearly and properly.

  54. hardison Says:

    Oh Hey “Robert”. The 14yo genius. At first I was annoyed that a 14yo child would call everyone who posted “morons” but then I realized “Hey it’s just a 14yo child”. And the fact you are posting here imagining you are more enlightened that people many times your age is connected to the author’s initial points. You felt some “need” to justify this idiotic behavior. Your explanation that “we do it so we don’t have to waste time” is cute. Because we all know 14yos have such tight schedule they cannot be bothered to use vowels.

    Thank god the internet didn’t exist when I was 14 so that my ignorance and childishness wasn’t preserved forever like yours is.

  55. Emo Says:

    I actually think so too=P I have been surfing around the internet for some time today, and its really hard to find anything interesting to read on blogs=) Maybe its because there are too much of those around =) But your site actually keeps catching my attention=] Great stories, and cool design ^__^. Ill be sure to give it more visits from now on =)

  56. random person Says:

    Dude there only kids! That doesn’t mean there stupid and sleep with there teachers! So-what kids don’t want to type out the whole words sometimes, thats not idiotic! Its either laziness or just “don’t have the time” hell even I’ll type like that sometimes. You know what i can’t stand about the internet! All the negative shit people post on the internet like this shit! Get a life!

  57. Katie Says:

    It’s true that many kids don’t understand how to write properly or even keep their thoughts to themselves. But honestly, who raised the kids? Who taught them English? Don’t pity the teachers for the kids not learning, or the parents for having such unruly kids. Children can’t know how to be responsible until they are taught. Everyone always complains about “kids these days,” but where did these kids come from? Who taught them to be the way they are?
    Take a look at yourselves and who got this world into the situation it’s in before you judge others.

  58. Le très petit souris Says:

    At these buffoons’ ages (and actually, below their ages, back in 2002), I already figured out how to use taxpayer money in the NCBI to satisfy my brain when the deplorable middle school assignments were sent out. Modeling proteins was fun at that time! Since most of it took place on graphing paper bought quietly from the student store (yes, I admit that I funded the whole monster), I would say that it was far more productive than modeling with the fancy new software. Of course, we who try to keep society from collapsing need not fear progress, but we should be cautious. Anyway, with the family model falling apart from the many “side-business events,” I would say that we have lost any concept of true society. They still do arranged marriages in the East but surprisingly to most of you, the families are extremely stable in general. What we do not understand is that love is an act, not an event or feeling. We choose to love out of our own will in the same manner we choose to hate. I do not despise those who cannot achieve as their problem is simply that they do not want to achieve. The average SAT score can prove just as much. After all, it consists of middle-school arithmetic and basic grammar concepts reiterated annually from the second or third grade. I would assume that comprehension would be everyone’s [sic] Achilleus’ heel because of the self-imposed ADHD that seems to have spread. Still, I feel compassion those who even with free will and unlimited mind, choose to oppose intelligence for the sake of following an increasingly toxic society. Of course, in any society, there must always be a class of workers and drones. In a perfect society, everyone would be so adept that the position of drone would meet argument unless altruism was widespread. Unfortunately, we have a nascent class of unwitting but willing drones to do all the bottom work. It is a truly sad state of affairs that most students cannot even spell properly more than 40% of the time. What have we done to the human race with all of the concepts of “progress,” and “equality?” The only equality we achieve is the equality of a miserable outcome.

  59. TonyLyman Says:

    I also agree with almost everything said here, I’m 25 years old and I spent a lot of time dreading english class in high school. I find myself searching and searching for some form of intelligent life on my 14mbps connection (the only thing that has gotten better from the internet). All I find is crap crap crap! I’m personally 12 beers deep after work (I can still use proper grammer, then if i can’t spell it atleast I google the right spelling) and NOTHING on Facebook is even worth my time. Who cares if your boyfriend pooped himself or your A-hole hurts. OMFG (sorry to use text) next thing I’m going to hear about is “whats this lump on my?!?!! I also remember when the internet was worthwhile and things were actually entertaining and educational. What happened to the good ol’ days. The net is only good for directions and porn!

  60. swizzlestick Says:

    The proper grammar (in the original post) should be “Intelligent adults like you and me”, not “Intelligent adults like you and I”.

  61. Robert S Says:

    That’s true. The internet is so overrun by idiots that they would flame the color purple for appearing on their monitor and forget to use correct grammar in the process.

    WHAT A WORLD WE LIVE IN.

  62. Robert S Says:

    The internet is a testament to retardation on earth. At least use a spell checker you dumb fucks :P

    While we’re at it, let’s flame the monitor itself and break it with a bat.

  63. David Says:

    The proper grammar is not the problem. The real problem is the idea. A stupid comment IS a stupid comment regardless of grammar. The language is the media, not the message.

  64. Burr Says:

    The perspective I have always had on the subject of trendy internet tween-speak is that typing improperly is not necessarily a sign of a lack of intelligence, but it is absolutely a sign of common courtesy and respect for those who have to read it on top of an indication that you are not sucked into fads (which always garners my approbation). However, a comment that contains properly-spelled 4-syllable words is a pretty clear sign of intelligence, or at least an admirable grasp of the concept of expressing thoughts cogently through a written language. In short, would you rather show people that you are intelligent or make them have to give you the benefit of the doubt?

    Also, I am possibly equally frustrated with the sheer arrogance and obnoxiousness of kids these days, but I happen to think that the worst perpetrators of spreading anti-social ignorance and perma-adolescent stupidity on the internet are 20-somethings. The next time someone does actually post something you find to be astoundingly idiotic that isn’t anonymous on a website that features some sort of profile information, check their age. It is almost certainly between 20 and 30. 25 seems to be the new 17, and that is what I believe to be the most disturbing trend in all of this.

  65. Le très petit souris Says:

    All I can do now is simply sulk in the corner at why all this happened…

    …until, of course I remember about the “Great Society.”
    What happened here??? Marriage used to be beautiful. You would save out on the ‘lower details’ and still enjoy a wonderful life with your spouse who is the perfect one for you. The singles rate is increasing, it seems, and so is the rate of childbirth anywhere outside marriage. I think the government is to blame for all this! Giving certain single mothers money is fine, that is what a widow lady is, but why not provide an incentive to marriage? It would stabilize the nation! Education is improved primarily by the familial conditions, and divorce really ruins the poor innocent children (unless, of course, someone started an ‘extra business’). I generally pride myself on serving only the greater of two goods or the lesser of two evils, but upon analysis, the Conservatives had it all correct all along. By encouraging people to live on their own minds and discouraging people from (or is it against?) entering perpetual helplessness, we can build a better, competent future. Perhaps, the analogy of a tooth extraction at a young age can explain this:

    When you have a loose tooth close to falling out, it is a little bit of torture. You can still eat, generally, but you do not want the tooth to fall off.
    When it is getting close to falling out, you begin to be more worried. You know food is good for you and so is brushing your teeth, but it is just too risky.
    When it is practically out but not quite completely, you probably fear the taste of blood if you know what is good for you. After all, it means something is probably wrong.
    At this point, you can either:
    Not risk pain or profuse bleeding and allow it to stay OR
    Extract it and end the agony then and there
    Now honestly, at such a young age, one would probably prefer the first option. I know I used to fear loose teeth for the torment and likewise with my friends. Of course, leaving the problem will not fix it at at all, but instead, you are sacrificing long-term relief for short-term calming. I know how it feels, and I guess I was a Liberal back then, as my ickle self. Of course, if you know what is really good for you, you will extract that tooth and in, at most, a few hours, likely stop bleeding and agonizing over the extraction. I think a little sting for a while should be fine, should it not? Our budget situation could be improved significantly by halting such parasitism. Of course, it would be a little cruel, but think of the cruelties our brood will face if we do not do something intelligent and wise now.

  66. Ben Says:

    Online, you can have heated argument with a 10 year old child…and not know it.

    Or drunks. Or, literally, crazy people. Without the visual cues…we’re all basically the same.
    This was thought to be a great unifying, liberating thing. Maybe in some ways it is.

    Reminds me of when I was in elementary school. Someone figured out how to use a plastic comb to switch of the lights in the bathroom and we’d all go hogwild punching and slapping anyone around us. It was great fun, actually!

    But, not the type of thing one should get used to doing.

    BTW< I didn't read every comment. So….maybe that's the problem too?
    People don't take it as serious as a rl discussion. Which it has nothing in common with.

  67. Ray Says:

    Since when are we all suppose to be professional writers? I’ll admit I’m an idiot when it comes to writing, and grammer. I like to get my point across quickly or the easiest I can at the time I’m giving. However I am a computer technician and the stupidest people I’ve seen with dealing with the internet and or computers are adults 30-up. I’ve notice two types of generations of using the internet first type knows its crap, fake, and full of greedy ripoffs and idiots. The second type are the ones who didn’t get involved with it till their later years. These are the people who give the internet too much credit and instead of putting themselves in any situation they assume everyone must be at their same level. Facts have been falsified for years in any major popular or national book, at least now a person will choose more than one source because of the internet’s known fact of not being exactly true at one source. (think of the internet as entertainment) and thats it, using it as a tool isn’t has easy as googling the question.

    I think the younger generations know this and aren’t as dumb as they seem, and after all if your older than them you may have contributed to their ways of thinking now. It bothers me that adults blame the youth when its us that have made the bad decisions that led us to the world today and we also have a ton of infulence on the youth. Violent games were made by adults not young kids that play them, porn the same thing. Half*ss false statments websites usually generated the same way by adults wanting to make some kind of income through websites and advertisements.

    Also I notice people like to make things harder than they really are, and when you speak the simple truth no one wants to listen. Everyone is to blame why the internet is what it is today from the smartest to the dumbest of mankind.

  68. Luis Says:

    I agree with what you said here, the younger people are just idiots, they can’t spell at all, use terrible grammar, and act what they call “hyper”, which is actually called acting CHILDISH.

    Heck, I made something against a series of books which are probably meant for children or retards who like animal abuse, those books are called “Warrior Cats”, and a lot of the comments I got were young idiots going all “HOW DARE U SAY THAT ABOUT WARRIORS!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!??!?!?!???”, honestly, I laughed, not because they were funny, but I laughed at how pathetic they sounded.

    Also, some of the “most popular” people on some sites, are nothing but guys who like to terrorise others, and ruin their reputation. Those idiots who love doing that are the ones lots call “trolls”, and honestly, they’re the bottom of the human species in my opinion. There are also sites which only exist to insult, and ruin the reputation of just about EVERYTHING, two of those sites, which I really despise, are Encyclopedia Dramatica, and 4Chan. Those two sites are probably the scum of the Internet, people who deserve no respect go there, and laugh at the insults directed to others.

    I think that’s about everything I can say, smart, polite people are not respected at all anymore, and only idiots who love terrorising others’ lives are the ones that are respected and “loved”, it makes me sick.

    And I think I can FINALLY say this: I have found someone who agrees with me!

  69. ananon Says:

    the internet turns out to be as smart as the people using it

  70. Marco Says:

    Compared to a decade ago, the web has evolved into a cesspool of negativity and anonymous obnoxiousness. I’m feeling that within another ten years, it will be over and deserted. The toplogy will be used for communications but the web as a social playpen/space will be over with. The buzz 1995-2005 was novel, fresh. In the same way that freedom to express alternative lifestyle was novel in the 1960s, in the same way citizens radio was fresh and novel for a while in the 1970s.

    Listening to the news media on the radio today, it struck me that much of their kind are just Trolls! THe modern media approach to generating news, scandal, intrique, discontent is professional Trolling. How so many people behave now on the web, hiding behind bogus IDs is coming out of this negative conditioning.

  71. Todd Says:

    I agree with Ray. Its the internet and shouldn’t be taken that seriously. Some folks need to relax and stop analyzing every detail. I understand the point to this article and agree there should be set principles in life which should be followed. Purpose of language was to understand one another. If your understanding someone but obscessing about how there message is delivered perhaps you need help. The moment we stop not judging others we lose ourselves.

  72. Zee Says:

    Hey “random person”, did you ever once consider the fact that these kids shouldn’t be on the internet to begin with? Why don’t YOU get a life first, and maybe a job and a brain while you’re at it!

  73. Zee Says:

    Thank you, Luis, for being the first person on this blog mention those hell hole sites known as 4Chan, Encyclopedia Dramatica. That is where most the obnoxiousness comes from on the internet.

  74. The Grim Squeaker Says:

    If only Marco would be right…

    The internet used to be a decent place of intelligent people using it for higher purposes. Now, there is almost certainly a perversion lurking in the corner. Perhaps this relates to the increasing theft rates? There once was a time when one could leave one’s door unlocked with low risk of theft. Nothing good lasts forever or even for a long time. See how robberies seem to increase as well. My wish is to restore and purify our resources– starting with exiling the trolls.

    P.S. Do not mention something possibly used as an advertising slogan. You should know how the adbots work.

  75. Robby Says:

    Man, I agree with this blog. All these stupid kids on the internet going around calling things “epic” every five seconds. It’s so retarded…

  76. Tired Old Veteran Says:

    I’m done. The internet has become so juvenile, so insanely retarded, that I’ve quit using it. Other then for work, of coarse. I find more smarter kids than on the internet at mentally handicap schools. I find more intelligent people than on the internet at the far ends of my local subway station.

    I would rather eat a large bowl of live centipedes than have to visit a teenaged girl’s facebook page again, OR listen to some little brat yelling IT’S OVER 9000!!!!!!!!!11111!!!. I would rather have unnecessary bowel surgery. I would rather lick the inside of John Goodman’s underwear after he’s been for a three-day hike without changing clothes.

    I hate all you stupid kids and teenagers who waste your pitiful lives doing nothing but degenerate crap on the internet. You’ve killed something that once had great purposes for humanity. You all suck.

  77. Jamie Says:

    Adults are just as bad as kids putting stupid comments about how punctuation is needed when its not. FK U GUYZ

  78. Someone Says:

    The Internet is full of idiots no matter where you live (I’m living in Asia). In my country, teenagers today spend too much times on Facebook, Youtube, and some idiotic forums. They use bad spelling, bad grammar just like American teenagers, and their reason is exactly same: It costs less time to type!
    Facebook is just a waste of time. After 1 month not using Facebook (because my ISP banned it), I find myself working more efficiently and having more times for learning useful things.

    “Well, we can not stand up against idiots because they are too numerous and agressive…”

  79. Paul P Says:

    You’re absolutely right. The internet is a useful tool in so many ways, but as well as providing a platform for those who have something worthwhile to say it sadly also provides a platform for idiots to make themselves heard. You only have to look at the illiterate, vicious comments that you see on YouTube, Twitter and on news sites and so on.

  80. Rick Says:

    You’re not alone in being contemptuous of the level of discourse one usually finds on the internet. There is little appreciation for those few who endeavor to rise above that level; they are usually met with ridicule and vitriol. You’re fighting the good fight though and there are a few who recognize and appreciate it. I hope that is some small comfort.

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  82. JoeM Says:

    I would say “You people need to wake up”. But that’s been said many times by others and you didn’t listen. So instead, I will say “You fuckers should have already been awake…too late”.

    The Internet is a massive haven for evil. It has been taken over by greed and all that is indecent. Notice if you want to find something decent you have to willfully look for it. But in the process you have to weed out more bad stuff. Therefore the majority of all websites are pointless or vulgar.

    Everyone is out to make an easy dollar at YOUR expense. Facebook is one of the largest weapons against us. I closed my account back in Sept. I made use of any controls to protect privacy. But still, I can do a Google search and find TONS of photos and information about me. At first I wondered where it all came from. Then I realized that it all came from Facebook. The thumbnails, personal info that was only listed in my profile, etc etc.

    No one has an excuse for keeping Facebook. If you do, then you are CHOOSING to remain a dumbass. Therefore you deserve what you get. But keep in mind, when shit hits the global fan, it will be people like yourself that get blamed for it. I for one think the Internet should be terminated for good since we don’t need it and haven’t needed it for centuries.

    But if that cannot happen, I would like to see the government finally come in and take control of it. Then it would become a place NOBODY wants to be at. That would effectively terminate the Internet a different way.

  83. dnfuisdnfui Says:

    ^ Stop swearing and be polite you fucking shithead. “You people need to wake up”, is enough you faggotmouth

  84. Zee Says:

    ^ Looking who’s swearing now! Stop being a douche bag and respect other people’s opinions.

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