The brain is typically used for thinking. Or so I'm told. Mine basically acts as a round the clock porn projector that occasionally takes a break to advertise to me the To Do list of that day. However whilst taking a break I happened to stumble across a tiny nugget of a thought and I figured since I have been so deeply steeped in the DToid community lately (as steeped as prowling around on the front page can be) I would share with you my thoughts. Specifically on how the internet changes us and how these effects are good, bad, and we need, yes need, to feel these affects.
How does it change us?
Simple. It maks us feel empowered. Somehow the anamoly of anonymity makes the user feel as if he or she can do, say, or be anything. It's a strange affect that one can argue is exclusive to the faceless universe of the internet. If you were a anonymous person walking into a grocery store would you go to the cashier, call her a cunt, and run out? I would hope not because then I would have to report you to your local insane asylum. But the internet is different and not always in a negative way. Sometimes the anonymity allows us to learn from those who normally wouldn't accept us. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
In short the internet makes us feel like we've stepped into a whole new world where no one knows you, where you can develop your own persona in your own community of your choice, and to the gamer who chases the thrill of escapism this is especially captivating.
I want to get this out of the way because I'm probably not preaching any new commandments here. Power produces pimpled douchebags. This has been true since forever. Since long before the internet. Truth be told we all probably had a little bit of troll in us at one time or another even without the internet. But we contained ourselves like the good little social servants we were. With the internet however trolling tweens (and would you believe it even trolling adults) use the power of anonymity for evil.
With the power of anonymity any old dickwad can swoosh in, stomp all over your good time pie, and swoosh out with at most a temporary ban until he finds a workaround. The ironic part is, being an ex-Xbox fanboy and mad hatter of a troll myself back in my early teen years, when most trolls receive a swift banning or just plain disapproval from the community the majority of them come back under new IDs and assume completely logical and likable personas. I know. I've done it, I've seen it done, I know how it works and trust me you think you're getting nowhere by pissing on trolls but it's just a game and like any other game when they're done playing it's back to reality.
Yes Gene Eric may very well be another totally likable dude around here. Believe me or not I don't care but I shit you not good people it wouldn't surprise me at all.
That's the negative of the internet. It's not trolls or fanboys or even disruptive dickbags (that is to say a bag of dicks being thrown and disrupting everything). It's the paranoia that can often follow after a bit of experience with these asshats. We've seen it done with our very own Jim Sterling who tries to give his own fair assumption of all the shiznit he sees in the industry and is blasted time and time again by these people who so often believe everything on the internet has some hidden motive to bend over and take a shit on their dreams. And out of paranoia you get trolls, fanboys, dickbags, who blindly follow their weapon of choice and attack even the smallest threat or possible threat.
The last negative I want to dwell on is just how easy it is to forget your place on the internet. This is one I think we talk less about. If you were face to face with, oh let's see, Steve Jobs let's say; I can't honestly believe you would say to Steve Job's face what you might say to him on the internet if you didn't like him. Or we could take a universally panned figure like Bobby Kotick. I know you're getting all hot and bothered already. Down boy. Shut up and listen. Bobby Kotick is a successful motherfucker. I'm not saying you wouldn't tell Kotick to fuck off but I'm certainly sure you wouldn't put it in those exact words. At least not if you didn't wanted to be sent to the aforementioned insane asylum. I remember telling myself I fucking hated Jessica Simpson and if I met her it wouldn't phase me in the slightest. Then I met her and wouldn't you know there is more to Jessica Simpson then being a famous-for-no-reason retardo. I knew from the moment I shook her hand I wasn't about to tell this lady to fuck off. Maybe give her some career advice, tell her I didn't dig her style, why, that sorta shit, hell we even had a mini-argument but nothing as intense as fuck off came to mind. She was the bitch on the magazines and tv, she had done something, whether it was give great head or whatever it was, to get where she was and I wasn't about to try and outdo that with some hate speech.
Here in this dilated tapestry we forget our place in the real world and it can slightly skew our view of reality. I'm not saying success equals superiority but surely my friends success doth equal respect, no? The positive:
Whew. Okay lemme go get a glass of birch beer. Ahh, okay I'm chill now.
I wanted to put the positive second to reward you for putting up with the obvious and infuriating negatives. The first major positive is something the DToid community has in buckets: community. The internet provides a sense of community that can almost be touched or even tasted (for the record it taste like a glazed German doughnut and a thousand dollar latte). I coulda sworn during pre-PAX and PAX...and post-PAX....and then post-post-PAX...somebody somewhere was shedding a tear of joy. Here in the intrawebz we take our newly formed or merely refined selves and we bask in a sea of ideas and opinions and these idea and opinions stitch us all together. Having a community purely formed around that fact and not social status or looks or whatever is really only something that can exist on the internet. If you have a strong opinion or strong ideas (oh and put those ideas to work) you have a strong say here. If Jim didn't have such a loud voice and a strong way of putting his thoughts on this blog would you really care nearly as much? No. If Colette didn't have such awesome contest ideas she'd probably just blend in. And it extends to the community too. When I read the comments I can tell, usually by avatar, who can put up a worthwhile read of three pargraphs or not. And it's not based on education or even similar interest to some extent like your typical schoolyard community. It's based on the strength of your opinionations.
The communities on the internetz, especially here and especially to the gamer trying to explore diferent parts of himself through artfully crafted characters, tales, and scenarios, are the kind that can only exist through the power of anonymity.
And finally, anonymity, given to us by the power of whatever the hell the internet really
is, allows us to talk. We can speak our minds about whatever without fear of any radical judgment or any dangerous consequence (well there's the extreme like don't come here and give us some terrorist plot in detail). I betchu there are a ton of people on here who are strong opinionators but not really loud speakers. People who, if put in a room to assess a situation with a group of friends, would form a strong opinion but wouldn't be very vocal. I'm that way sometimes. I just don't talk unless I really think I have too. I just don't really care too much. But here on the internet for some reason I feel loosened up. I feel like I can write pages worth of an opinion for an incredibly inactive blog that will be appreciated by like 3 people and still say I did something with an hour of my day that I'm proud of. Will it change the world? I don't give a damn. I'm anonymous, I'm nobody, it doesn't matter, it's not history, hell it's not even a footnote to a footnote of history. The same feeling of invisibility trolls appreciate to piss all over the yard is the same thing that strengthen some of the greatest opinionators and defenders an internet community might have ever seen.
We can learn from these people, argue with these people, and at the end of the day hopefully feel like we actually did something with our time and not just sitting around punching buttons.
Why are these affects important?
Because it's safe to assume that at that moment in time that either a positive or a negative affects you that is who you really are or maybe who you aspire to be. I aspire to be a wise ass who talks a lot but still has something to say and quite frankly fucking loves his tunes. Is that who I am? Not really. I do love my tunes quite fucking much but I don't talk very much unless I'm comfortable and I'm certainly not a wise ass. Shit I'm more of a pussy than anybody here. Trust me. But in my head this version of me, Xzyliac, is what I want to sound like and who I like to think I sound like at the point in time when I click "Add Comment." We need that. We need some sort of release like that.
The communal release isn't new either. Before the internet we wrote opinionated letters to the newspapers under assumed identities to let out that alter ego. David Bowie creates fantastical characters for the songs he write, Jack Nicholson takes on a variety of roles to explore himself, and Howard Stern does, well, whatever the fuck Howard Stern does. He's on the radio so I'm assuming he lets out a fair share of himself that he'd never replicate on the street. And of course there are diaries for peronal true persona release and even politics are, by nature, an attempt to sell who you want to be and disregarding who you are.
Focusing on the internet however hese effects are important because the power granted to you, is the power to be yourself, as pure or fiction as you'd like.
In the internetz you can fly!!!1!11!
: Yay new banner!
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