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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 =)

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. swizzlestick Says:

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

  11. 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.


  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. ananon Says:

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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…

  26. 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.

  27. Jamie Says:

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

  28. 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…”

  29. 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.

  30. 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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  32. 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.

  33. dnfuisdnfui Says:

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

  34. Zee Says:

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

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