Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Ways Not To Be an Internet Idiot

Hey, you! Want to participate in online conversations, but are hindered by the fact that you're a complete waste of flesh? Need not worry anymore! For the small price of repeated visits here that will guarantee a revenue stream once I start getting capitalist pigs to advertise on my website, I'll give you a number of handy tips that'll make you a tolerable presence in any place!

1) Use proper capitalization, grammar and punctuation, as well as spelling if at all possible (it's okay if you're not a great speller, but I'd say if you fall below 75% in accurate spelling, and/or misspell some very basic words, you got problems). You have time to to look over what you post, you know. Don't worry, though - everyone typos. Everyone.

2) Speaking of which, never use l33t in anything but an ironic context.

3) Don't create an 'Internet Personality'. Be who you are, really. Even if who you are is an insufferable twit, at least you won't be an insufferable twit who likes to pretend he/she's a ninja or some dumb shit like that.

4) Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER speak in the third person. I honestly don't know what demonic force inspires people to commit such atrocities, but if you think of doing it on your own, DON'T.

5) No one cares about every little thing you do. Nobody. So don't make threads about what you just bought, and you're little trip to grandma's. A forum is not your blog.

6) Don't post parody threads unless it hasn't been done before. By the second time, it grates, even if you're a comedic genius.

7) Using coloured text is an obvious sign of being an attention whore, or a ten-year-old girl.

8) Properly cite it when you take something from a website. I know this from personal experience.

9) If you are the first comment in a thread, and you type "First!", God puts you one step closer to a brain tumor.

10) Be prepared for trolls. Don't get angry at trolls when they appear: either ignore them, or make fun of them if you got good material.

11) If you are a troll: die.

12) Don't take insults on the Internet seriously. They don't mean anything, and the people who insult you only want a reaction.

13) Be willing to drop an argument when it doesn't go anywhere. Do not create the 'God playing Ping-Pong against Himself' effect.

14) There are moments when randomness is good. You can feel it in your heart when those moments come. Once that feeling comes, feel free to post something random. Otherwise, don't waste perfectly good memory.

15) Do not post philosophical arguments unless you its something worth talking about (IE not mentioned a thousand times before). Also, don't pay heed to the odd simpleton who posts an intentionally stupid response (IE Myself).

16) If you do not want to post at a forum anymore, just stop posting. Don't try to get banned, as it's one of the biggest attention whore-ish steps one can take. I don't buy any 'addiction' bullshit, either.

17) Don't sign your name after every post. Display Names aren't just for your reference.

18) Don't abuse signatures.

19) Don't link to your personal website or blog in your actual posts.

20) Don't get pissy if you're accused of making a duplicate thread. Check the timestamps, and see who won. Not that it matters, the people will post in the thread they want. If it's yours, make sure it's for the right reasons.

21) Do not start a 'Forum Game' unless you have sufficient evidence that no one considers those to be a pain in the ass.

22) Don't introduce yourself in a new thread. That's just lame.

23) Don't use emoticons, except in the same cases as l33t (IE for stupid comedic effect).

24) Don't refer to anyone by name at the start of a post that is replying to them (as in "Randomusername, -words-"). Use the quote function, or insert it into your sentence like normal speech.

25) Don't make a 'Your Favorite X' thread if the forum you are on has been active for more than 2 months.

26) Never put 'Sephiroth' in your user name. A person with such will be ostracized by all thinking people within the general vicinity.

27) Finally, and this is especially key, read a dozen or so threads on a board before posting. Get the feel, get a basic idea of who posts there and what they post about. Saves you a lot of trouble.

Now, these are just the basics. Even if you follow all these, it won't help you if you like talking about Autobot sex life, or how the government uses PBS to program America's brainwaves, or you think you are a reincarnated unicorn or something. If any of those, and so much more, apply to you, you are pretty much a lost cause. But at the very least, you have a greater chance of not being an irritant by following the above.

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