This last rule is the primary reason the beckoning song of pornography is so hard to simply sail past. It has less to do with the sex itself and more to do with its tacit hints that everything here is designed for fun, and only fun. All other emotions are abandoned for the sake of the sensual. It's easy to get sucked into that mentality forever, patiently watching one lighthearted erotic scenario after another and listening to the dulcet tones of body slapping.
Charybdis and Scylla
I spent considerably more time docked in the warm, gentle waters of YouPorn than I had anticipated. Hours felt like seconds, days like hours in that reverse naked-Narnia. Yet even with the site's potential to hold my attention hostage, I had yet to face the biggest time-sucks of the Internet. Passing between TV Tropes and YouTube was the greatest test I may ever face.
There is no right choice.
TV Tropes is a veritable black hole of hyperlinks, each leading further into the center of oblivion. The entire site is made up of a community that spends its life collecting patterns and commonalities between fictional worlds. It applies names to every plot device, every story arc and every cinematic tool ever captured by a camera and then links them to one another. The result is like being in the mind of a paranoid schizophrenic deciphering hidden codes in newspapers. Clicking on one link will ensure that you click on another, and another until you have lost your way back home and forgotten who you are.
And behind every pattern presented by TV Tropes, there is the video proof on YouTube. It is not so much a community as it is a collective made up of millions of heads, all struggling toward the same goal of immortality at any cost. There is
, no etiquette
and no structure
-- just a monstrous blob of fame-hungry faces, and barely legible insults. Yet, even knowing all that, I still couldn't turn away
. I was certain YouTube would engulf me if I explored it for too long, but I couldn't help watching children fall asleep while eating
, or drunken geriatrics fight
in the street. It was all the entertaining aspects of life distilled into three-minute videos. How could reality hope to live up to that? I realized that therein lies the threat of the Internet as a whole.
If there is anything I hope you glean from my adventure, it's that that the true danger of the Web is its relentless intent to keep you. To keep you occupied, keep you entertained and keep you rooted perpetually. It is hoping that you forget about everything else in your life and stay here forever. Worst of all, I'm part of it. You can't trust anything I say. So as you venture out into the great abyss of the World Wide Web, take my warnings with a grain of salt, but take them. Also, remember my name. Remember it when I am gone or when you're floating name options around for your first-born.