Two weeks ago, I was sitting in a crowded public library computer lab, surfing the web. I was sitting next to a 40-ish-year-old man, who seemed to be extremely intrigued with the images on his computer screen.
Being the nosy person I am, I peeked over at his computer (he didn’t see me), and was greeted by a picture of a vagina in extreme close up.
“Oh, he must be an anatomy student,” I thought, until he clicked on a link, and the picture changed to two naked women, intertwined. Then a picture of a man and a woman, getting busy on a beach chair appeared.
Far from being a saint myself, I wasn’t disgusted by this man looking at pornography at the public library, I was more intrigued. I thought, doesn’t this man care that people can see what is on his screen? Isn’t he embarrassed at all? Doesn’t he care that people might think he’s a pervert?
I was in awe of this man’s laissez-faire attitude. I wanted to tap him on the shoulder and ask him how he does it.
I sweat when there’s even the slightest possibility of someone catching me on some website I think is stupid, yet I can’t stop visiting.
Take, for instance, Myspace.com. I first learned about this website after finding out that my 14-year-old sister has a profile on it, in which she says she’s 17-years-old. She has a semi-sexy picture on her profile! I almost cried, as my memories of my younger sister still include her watching Mr. Rogers and eating Gerber baby food.
In any case, I can’t help but constantly check MySpace.com to see if my little sister has posted anything on her blog, or updated her profile, or any stupid thing that I could find out about her if I just called her like a regular person.
I only check Myspace.com when I know no one will see me. If that’s not feasible, then I make sure I have another Internet window open that I can quickly click on in case someone walks by, so I can be like, “Why, I’m only looking at latimes.com, like the good journalist I am. See what a good, studious, informed person I am?”
Another website I’m ashamed of visiting is LiveJournal.com, a web site that allows you to make your own online journal. I’ve had a LiveJournal for about five years now, and it still makes me cringe every time I log on. LiveJournal seems so silly, and not something any self-respecting 23-year-old should like (but who ever said I was self-respecting?)
Granted, most journals are filled with quizzes, polls and boring, misspelled, grammatically-incorrect descriptions of someone’s boring day (So I got up and yeah I turned on the radio and lissened to sum music and yeah it was good), but there are very good journals too, and that’s why I keep going back to LiveJournal. Also, there are a lot of random strangers who read my entries, and they give me feedback, which makes me feel all warm inside.
HotOrNot.com is another site that makes me feel like all my years of higher education have been for naught. However, I can’t stop visiting! This is the website where you can rate, on a scale from one to ten (ten being the best) whether someone is hot or not. Yeah, I know, really intellectual stuff. I like rating people who think they’re hot at 2, and not-so-hot people at 9, just to change things up a bit. Man, I’m so stupid.
I talked to a few people about which sites they are embarrassed to visit and why. Perhaps you can visit these sites too, and we can all be embarrassed together for no particularly good reason.
“Weezer.com. Because I’m so damn old.”
“Myspace.com. Because it’s absolutely dumb as hell.”
“Astronet.com. Everyone knows that horoscopes, at least the online feel-good ones, are all complete crocks.”
“Thefacebook.com. Looking up things about people that I am connected to (through classes or other people or groups or whatever) makes me feel a bit creepy.”
“Aintitcoolnews.com. The writing is terrible and a good portion of people who post feedback are morons.”
“Ebay.com. Ebay is for nerds looking for Star Trek costumes and action figures, but I can’t help getting on and looking up items that I wish I could buy (like Star Trek costumes and action figures…)”