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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Why I hate the Internet

Published: October 5, 2012
Section: Opinions

We all have our pet peeves. For some people, it’s the light someone unnecessarily left on in the house; for others, it may be a certain type of pet. Especially since many of us are on the Internet nowadays, many pet peeves stem from online activity. For one of my friends, the entire idea of Twitter is just a nuisance. #UnfortunatelyIhavetoagreewithher.

Let’s get the record straight—there is a a lot of Internet to explore and, after all the hours I have spent discovering new things, I haven’t even begun to skim the surface. I am, however, fairly tech-savvy and know plenty of the general do’s and don’ts of the Internet. I also work at the LTS Help desk, so frequently my knowledge extends from the mistakes of the Brandeis population.

Here is, without a doubt, my biggest and most aggravating pet peeve: Advertisements that hide the actual X button and show a fake one in the regular location. For Mac users, you may not be aware, but clicking on these fake advertisements can lead your computer to automatically download viruses or upload your personal data. As such, it is most prudent to close out of these immediately and get rid of the problem. It is not hard to imagine why these advertisements make me unhappy.

In particular, the really harmful ads pop-up on websites of less repute; that is, if you are an avid video streamer (see Breaking Bad), you will come across these advertisements. And you will come across multiple of them, all hiding the real close button, waiting for you to make a mistake and the unintentional release of your data.

My next pet peeve is definitely a close second, albeit I do believe that the government is trying to fix this issue. For those of you who are not aware, real advertisements (such as the ones on Youtube or the commercials you are forced to watch on Xfinity or Hulu) have very loose rules in which they are forced to comply. On broadcasted television, for example, the commercial cannot exceed the volume of the program that you are watching. If your TV is on a low volume for a show, so will the commercials in between.

Online advertisements and commercials, however, do not follow such rules. In particular, if you have ever seen a Kindle commercial while online, you know what I am talking about. Here I am, catching up on my shows, when suddenly my eardrums are violated by the happy-go-lucky tunes of the Kindle and its incredible quality. Too bad that I can’t hear it anymore or I’m sure I would go and purchase it.

I have heard rumors that our Legislative branch of government is trying to help reduce and stop this issue from occurring, but these are only rumors. To be honest, even if they are true, I am not sure how useful it would be for a bill like this to pass. The Internet is a difficult place to control and someone, somewhere is bound to find a loophole. Plus, based on the average age of a congressional representative, I’m quite certain they have no idea what they are talking about. But it can’t hurt to dream that they have a chance at regulating this issue.

My third biggest annoyance that the Internet has produced is Facebook. Yes, I actually really enjoy how Facebook allows me to keep in touch with people I’ve met from my childhood or on a random adventure, and then use this connection to keep updates about their life.

I respect people’s opinions. Really, I do—I will listen to what you have to say, internalize it, and then accept or reject it based on facts or examples. But please, do not constantly update your Facebook page with articles or statuses about certain representations of arguments. The way I view Facebook is that your profile is an extension of your self; it represents you based on what you put in, and gives people an electronic taste of who you are. So when I see half a dozen links to NPR’s opinion of the current U.S. political system rolling down your Facebook page, I get a sinking suspicion that you, the human behind the computer, are probably going to force that sort of idea down my throat. And just as in real life, I will unfriend you.

So there are a few of my red buttons for the Internet. I’m sure many of you have different opinions on this topic and want to share them. If you do, however, don’t put them all over Facebook!