The Internet is like a giant brain. The people using it are the neurons, firing often stupid and useless information around at the speed of light. Your Facebook and Twitter feeds give you a teeny, tiny, highly specified glimpse into that collective thought, but it's a whole different story when you're able to pull back and get a larger view -- to see the hive mind in real-time action. Well, at the risk of all our sanity, I found some websites out there that do exactly that. They're all beautifully visualized representations of what the Internet is up to, in real time, as its happening. And trust me, they open a whole new world of stupid. So if you've ever wanted to know what's currently on the Internet's mind, you can start by heading over to ...
#4. GIFhell.com: Where the GIFs Posted on Twitter Are Live Streamed
If the Internet is like a giant brain, Twitter is the part that mass produces random thoughts that pop into your head at inappropriate times, like wondering if the body is dressed during a closed casket funeral. GIFhell.com would be the part that pops in random and bizarre mental images that you can't shake ... if you were a full-blown paranoid schizophrenic. It live streams GIFs people are tweeting, and all you have to do is sit back, watch, and prepare for the inevitable insanity.
The GIFs all seem to fall into a handful of categories. The first would be Asian pop stars. I have no idea who any of them are, or if they're even pop stars. But they do give off an Asian pop star vibe, which means they look like Final Fantasy characters. The two are interchangeable, really.
Next up are teen heartthrobs, most of which are of the wispy, slightly feminine, male pop star breed. This includes your Justin Biebers, your One Directions, and other men who look like bulimic lesbians.
Then, of course, there's porn. In my hours of observation, it seems like the GIF stream gets pornier as the day goes on, which makes sense. As morning stretches to afternoon across America, people are eating lunch and sipping their afternoon coffees and jacking it in their office restrooms so they can feel refreshed and ready to tackle the second half of the workday.
Wow. She fit it all in there, including the legs. Impressive.
Finally, there's the weird. The truly weird, not just Internet-weird. For example, one GIF I can't post here featured what appeared to be a woman who had full control of her vaginal lips and was able to move them to and fro like it was imitating the sound of an alarm: "mahhhhh, mahhhh, mahhhh."
Overall, it's a strange feeling, watching the GIFs pop in one after another. Between the Bieber and The Vampire Diaries GIFs, it's like peering into the mind of a 14-year-old girl ... but then vicious porn shows up, and suddenly it's not a 14-year-old girl at all -- it's the mind of a 44-year-old male pedophile trying to think like a 14-year-old girl. That's a good way to describe the Internet as a whole, really, and not just Twitter. But if you want to label Twitter as anything, maybe it would be homophobic. At least, that's what I've gathered after spending some time on ...
#3. NoHomophobes.com: a Live Stream of Gay Slurs Used on Twitter
As I write this sentence, the word faggot has been used 7,502 times on Twitter within the past 24 hours. "No homo" has been used 2,783 times. "Dyke" has been used 1,270 times. And the phrase "So gay" has been used 2,872 times. The contexts for each are all different. Some were ironic, some were used within the context of a direct quote, some were playfully (though ignorantly) used with no intent to harm, and some were meant in the meanest, most hateful way possible.
I know all of this because of NoHomophobes.com, a site that taps directly into the gay slur centers of the Twittersphere and streams every usage of those four terms live, in real time, only seconds after a Twitter user sends it out into the world. It's men. It's women. It's people of every race and nationality. It's baby boomers, Gen X-ers, and millennials. From the sheer volume of usage, there's a damn good chance it's probably a lot of gay people, too. I mean, there would have to be at least some gay people tweeting the word "faggot," seeing the grand total of tweets containing the word since NoHomophobes.com went live in 2012 is just over 31 million.
The site gets interesting when you check the interactive line chart that details the frequency of use for each word since the site launched. "Faggot" is used more than any of the four terms, by far, but check out June 4th, 2013, as represented by the green line:
Notice how after June 4th, the use of "faggot" drops dramatically, and it just so happens to be the day with the second-highest usage of the word, being tweeted nearly 66,000 times in 24 hours. I guess the world had decided it was time to leave the word behind, so everyone got it out of their system with one big farewell bonanza. Since then, the word has been in steady decline. As of January 2015, faggot's average usage in tweets is somewhere in the range of 15,000 to 18,000 per day, and falling. Yes, it seems June 4th, 2013 officially marked the decline of the word ... which is why January 1st, 2014 is such a weird day. On that day, after months of decline, "faggot" roared back with a vengeance:
But just for one day. After New Year's Day 2014, when faggot was tweeted more than 65,000 times, the word went right back into remission. But still, that means for one very strange New Year's Day, "faggot" and "Happy New Year!" were seemingly interchangeable. Doesn't make much sense, but the stats back up a spike in insanity. Sadly, no amount of data can explain the schizophrenic insanity of ...