It wasn't until recently that I fully understood that my kids were as much a part of the online world as me. They play online games, they watch Youtube videos, they visit message boards. Half of their human interaction is going to happen online, maybe more.
Definitely more, for the weird-looking ones.
It's easy for parents to forget this because they're using their own childhood as a guide for what lessons need to be learned and, you know, the internet didn't exist when we were that age.
So kids, here is what you need to know. This is important so pay attention.
I fucking said PAY ATTENTION.
5Don't Look Like an Idiot When Communicating Via Text
Kids, never forget that anything you type on the internet can wind up etched in granite for the rest of eternity, for all to see. One impulsive post on Facebook can get screengrabbed and saved and passed around until long after you're in your grave. Keep this in mind when you are posting anything online, anywhere.
If later in life an employer decides to Google your name to find some free background on you, he or she has access to every little retarded thing you ever posted on Facebook or Twitter. It's not like having a conversation in Meatworld, where everybody will forget what you said by next month, or remember that you were drunk when you said it. Once it's in text, on the internet, every last word is there to read by anyone on the planet with a computer. There are even websites that archive web pages that have long since been deleted from their hosting servers years ago.
I've already broken my own rule here by cursing so much, and using the word "retarded" above. Uh, don't do that.
Also, never be drunk in front of a camera. Ever.
But curse words aside, learn your own goddamn language. Once upon a time you could get away with not knowing the difference between "their" and "they're" because in spoken conversation they sound the same. Online, everybody can see that you weren't paying attention in fourth grade when you mix up "your" and "you're."
Remember that text is going to be how you make your first impression over the internet; if every third word you type is misspelled, people will automatically assume that you're a moron. Even if the public school system fails you, there are browsers that come with spellcheck built-in. Me, I used Microsoft Word to type this article, simply because it checks my spelling as I type.
Also, keep texting shortcuts confined to your cell phone. Everybody understands when you use "2" instead of "too" because you were typing with your thumbs on a number pad. But you cannot let that habit sneak into your work or school emails or even message boards. And there's no reason for it, you have all the time in the world to construct and proofread your message. If you are so pressed for time that you can't spend the extra quarter of a second to type out the full word, you need to get up right away and finish your responsibilities. Don't even worry about closing the window - that would take almost a full second.
It matters. Once you type it, it's there forever.
For. Ev. Er.
Oh, and if you use "lol" in every sentence you type (and I've seen people who use it multiple times, ie, "lol I like dolphins because they're cute lol") I'm picturing you as this cackling moron. If you're really laughing out loud that much you need to be on some kind of medication.