5 Things That Should Get You Banned from the Internet

The Internet hates you. But to be fair, the Internet hates everybody. It is a worldwide network of assholes connected by their mutual dislike for one another. And also some fiber optics. But every once in a while, the Internet gets it right and at least some of that hyperbolic vitriol is deserved. Nobody's saying you should kill yourself if you do any of the below (well, yes, actually they are -- but don't worry about it. "Kill yourself" is how the Internet says "Maybe you should work on this"), but perhaps you should reconsider before ...

#5. Correcting Somebody's Spelling/Grammar in a Facebook Status

I know you. I know you're a wellspring of good intentions. You're a veritable saint. What you do, you do for the good of all humanity -- nay, all of civilization. You're not correcting somebody's apostrophe placement in their status update because you're a hopeless pedant and extremely insecure about the size of your intellectual dick. No, you're trying to preserve the sanctity of the written language in somebody's Facebook post so that, in far-flung eons when the aliens come to Earth and find it a lifeless husk, they will know and understand that the shitty vacuum belongs to Gary, and there was not a race of Garys who vacuumed shittily.

And you know what? I'm only partially joking. Catching grammatical errors and offering corrections is a necessary and underappreciated task ... when you're reading a book, a master's thesis, or a comedy article somebody wrote while drunk at an Applebee's.

But the problem isn't the action; it's the audience. If you're a Facebook corrector, then I hate to break this to you, but not one person in history has taken your *their* reply as anything but a passive-aggressive insult. The victims of your rampant grammar sprees don't find themselves about to type "Garys vacuum so shitty it cant even suck at street fighter" and then, recalling your past corrections, suddenly backspace to fix the error while giving a giant Mentos-style wink and thumbs-up to a nonexistent camera.

"Thanks, BroDong420!"

So if they're not going to learn a lesson from it, and you -- like all trolls -- insist that you're not trolling, then what's the point of correcting them? It's best to just learn to ignore these infuriating errors, and let all of human language slowly devolve into anarchic ignorance and pictographs. Because that's what is going to happen.

I'm sorry, it turns out you were the last gatekeeper of literacy, after all. Who could have known? Ah well, back to dirt drawings and marking ownership with urine.

#4. Retweeting Somebody's Entire Account

There's nothing wrong with retweeting something that you find humorous or interesting. It's actually pretty great. You should give it a shot right now -- you might be surprised to find that a single retweet raises your IQ by a factor of 600 and gives you the power of unassisted human flight.

Retweeting is fine. That's the entire point of the platform, after all. But it is not the point to retweet literally everything your favorite celebrity plugs into their iPhone. By all means RT George Takei's scathing reviews of the outfits of evangelical hate criminals -- that's some viral shit right there. By all means retweet the latest jewel from '80s Don Draper. That's good shit, too. But you get, let's say, three. Three retweets from a single account on any given day. If your followers aren't impressed enough to follow that account for themselves after three RTs, the ensuing 27 probably won't convince them.

That means you have a choice to make: Are you going to retweet that killer joke Shelby Fero made about how cats are like boyfriends, or the picture of what her butt would look like if it was in One Direction? You can't do both! Life is made up of tough choices. Left or right, Coke or Pepsi, Jim Beam or straight ethanol -- it's time to bring some of that decisiveness to your Twitter feed. Because if somebody wanted to read every single word a B-list celebrity typed while pooping, they would be following Tom Arnold already.

#3. Syncing Everything With Everything

Every time you link your Facebook profile to something -- another social media account, your car's onboard computer, the quarter machine at the local jerk booth -- Mark Zuckerberg gets a new sparkle on his diamond-encrusted personal battlemech. I know that increased interconnectivity wouldn't be a thing if people didn't use and appreciate it. But at some point you have to wonder -- after linking your Spotify account so your friends can see every cover of "Sweet Caroline" you've ever listened to; connecting your Goodreads account so nobody will have to wonder what monster you're reading paranormal porn about today; and signing in to your Yelp account so that no sandwich will go tragically undocumented for future generations -- if perhaps you're sharing too much. You have Facebook friends in the first place because people want to stay in touch with you, sure, but maybe they don't want to be constantly touching you.

Every time you link unrelated accounts to report some banal aspect of your life back to the Internet, we get one step closer to an Orwellian dystopia. We were all so worried that Big Brother would be secretly slipping cameras into our bathrooms that we never stopped and considered that maybe we shouldn't sync our new SoCompatible ShowerCam with our Instagram account. Nobody cares what your score in the latest iPhone game is; nobody is genuinely wondering how many times you've masturbated to that porn video; and if somebody wants to see what you thought about every business you've ever been to, they were probably already stalking you and all you're doing is taking the challenge out of it.

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Robert Brockway

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