Internet Chats Nearly Killed MeSubmitted by w_t_a_y_s_t_r_m at 2009-02-11 10:16:55 EST
Rating: 1.62 on 31 ratings (31 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
It's not often that I brag (except about how fucking awesome I am), but I'm proud to say that I consider myself one of the first few to take up chatting online, in actual chat rooms, for reasons other than the opportunity to beat off over a bunch of words on the screen that I could have just typed myself.
At first it was quite an interesting hobby. In my young teens, I was able to go online, enter some random chat room and there would normally be at least one person who you could have a normal (albeit weird) conversation with. You can find out all manner of things, make friends with the words that were written, and learn about places in the world I was never going to go to. At that time I didn't even know that Wales had electricity, let alone internet connections.
And then, over the years, things began to change. No matter what room you went into, or wherever it might happen to be, you could spot the migration. Slowly at first, and then it picked up speed like an ice cream truck approaching fat camp. Suddenly, every person seemed to be either so completely perverted in any which way imaginable, or they were a machine, pumping out link after link.
I stopped going into online chats when it started to look like Google had thrown up all over them. Nothing but underlined blue shit, with catching slogans like "Everyone says I'm fit, but I don't know....what do you think???!!!!!!! www.slutsformoneybutnotwhores.com/profiles/sluttygirl10000".
An enticing as that particular push for business might have been, it was never specific enough for me to be certain what I would be getting. That and having a girlfriend in real life kind of makes the whole internet sex thing redundant. Yes, that might eliminate 80% of websites, and the fact that I have fuck all money eliminates the other 70% (there's about 50% of crossover there), it leaves me scrabbling around looking for the odd gem when I have nothing to do.
Not interested in world events, being better than any blogger and impatient after searching for a single funny video on websites dedicated to the fucking thing, it leaves me to just bitch about the lack of content on one of the very few sites that I can regularly enjoy (despite the also steep decline).
Being extra bored whilst taking a day off last week, I decided to see if people had learned not to click on links in chat rooms, and if the businesses had learnt that advertising where no one is clicking is kind of useless. The results were mixed.
Trying a number of different themed rooms, the results were sometimes terrifying, sometimes boring and most often the same as seven years ago.
Some examples (with grammar improved, so I don't kill myself in shame):
User1: Who loves metallica????
User2: Deftones! DT FTW!
User1: Not as good as A7X
User3: A7X sucks! Distillers forever
User2: Fuck Distillers. What have they ever done better than DTs?
User3: How about EVERYTHING!
User2: Fuck this chat, it sucks
This was as much conversation as I could make out of the lists of complete random users who just popped up every now and again, listing a band/artist/album/track/riff that they love or hate, and then were silent again. This was the only time I decided to opt-in with a little extra credit experiment:
Nath: Who loves The Mass Field Killing?
Such a stupid, made up band name, you would assume that people would either ignore it, or call me out on it. Too many responded with either support or hatred that I was convinced that I had somehow stumbled into the Manly Pride room, but I think that one has a different subject matter altogether.
User1: Anyone here from the North?
User2: I live up North. Where abouts are you?
User1: Yorkshire. You?
User3: I'm from Kent.
After that, the room was silent for a few moments, before the pattern repeated itself. It's hard to tell, but it seems that people will refuse to chat to anyone that doesn't live next door to them. Surely, if you're that interested in chatting to someone who lives local to you, you should just, you know, go outside.
User1: Does anyone know how to make a web service work without anon access on the server?
User2: Google it
User3: Has anyone seen this error before?
User2: Check Google.
User4: God I need a new job...<some shit anecdote about their job>
User2: So? We don't care
User4 and User2 decide to have a pathetic war of words, which is not even funny or worth remembering
Admittedly I was scraping the barrel in going into this chat room, but I thought, what the fuck, I'm a programmer, maybe there's someone as amazing as me in there. Turns out that was too much to ask for. It seemed that it was full of amateurs and a bitter Google employee.
So, in the end, I just went for the most general room I could find.
User1: Any real women in here?
User2: Does this room have any REAL girls who want a REAL chat?
User3: WTF? Where are there no women in here...
User4: I know, dude. What the hell's going on?
User3: Shut up, fag
User4: Fuck you
I stood up, went into the kitchen and slowly worked a knife across my wrists.
When that didn't work, I couldn't work it out. So I Googled it. In my silent rage at humanity, I had forgotten, Down the Street, Not Across it. What jogged my memory? An awesome article telling you all about the difference between slitting your wrists to kill yourself, and slitting your wrists to get a cool looking scar. This restored some of my faith, and I put the knife down.
The internet sent me to the brink of life, and then pulled me back again. I truly am a geek.