Tag Archives: internet

Can’t get enough over-analysis?

27 Jul

I’m going to assume you know about my neurotic tendency to over-analyze things. Rest assured that it doesn’t stop at text messages. As many readers commented on the texting article, any kind of communication that’s not face-to-face opens up the opportunity for misinterpretation. And I’m well aware. I planned to write this post before the texting one exploded, but I figured I had to wait a while, so it wouldn’t look like I was just trying to re-do that.

I LOVE this. So me.

I think the only form of technological communication I over-analyze more than texting is interactions on Facebook. Facebook presents the opportunity for so many more subtle, silent “body language” stand-ins, causing me, at least, to analyze my creeping to the max.

I’m guilty of contributing. I often have cryptic statuses, straight from the depths of my latest favorite obscure indie folk song. But I would never put up a cryptic lyric status unless it related in some way to what I was feeling that day, or my current life situation. There’s always a “hint hint” factor in hopes that whomever or whatever it’s directed toward over-analyzes.

Okay, so this one's not from an obscure song ("Flake" by Jack Johnson) but it's been a while since I had a cryptic status and this was the most recent.

If anyone ever gets the reference, though, they don’t tell me. I always make sure to say something if I sense an underlying reason for someone’s quoted status. Sometimes the person is like, “Wow, you got that? That’s totally what I meant!” But, most of the time, they either don’t respond (To me, that’s Facebook lingo for, “You’re totally over-analyzing, but I’m not enough of a jerk to call you out in front of the world of Facebook and make you look stupid”), or they call me out in front of the world of Facebook and make me look stupid.

This girl got called out. But she was totally asking for it.

On my inaugural creep of a new Facebook friend, if I find they have 400 profile pictures and 396 of them are MySpace-style self portraits in the mirror making the duck face, I judge. I don’t know if that’s entirely out of the ordinary — I think it’s safe to say most people will get the impression that user is pretty self-absorbed and really likes the way they look. Maybe that’s just general analysis.

Why? You're fooling no one. Your cheekbones don't look like that unless you're making that face all the time ... which I guess some people are.

While we’re on the topic of profile pictures, there’s always the “hidden meanings” in them, as well. If you’re in a relationship with someone, it’s not uncommon to set your profile picture as the two of you as a happy couple. But God help you the second you change it to a picture of, say, just yourself, or you and some friends. People will start wondering if maybe you’re mad at each other. Rumors will fly that you’re having relationship problems. Maybe one of you is cheating. It’s ridiculous, I know. But, believe me, I’ve seen it happen.

I try to limit my Facebook friends to people I actually interact with in real life (or used to and want to stay in touch with). But leave it to the one thing you don’t want that random acquaintance to see, and they’ll comment on it.

That always makes me wonder just how much of my personal stuff they’re actually creeping on. I like to imagine that only the people I have in mind when I post things see said posts but, of course, that’s not the case on Facebook. It’s times like those I wish Google+ would just catch on already, with their Circles. After worrying which things Random Acquaintance could have possibly seen in the past, I usually end up placing them on my no-no list in my privacy settings … for a little while, at least.

This was likely a hack, but if it wasn't ... Well, then I guess you're asking for it by posting it on Facebook.

Say it’s your birthday. (“It’s my birthday, too, yeah!“) Everyone and their mother will wish you a happy one on your Wall (literally). And if you have a close Facebook friend who doesn’t (which I would define as someone you know in person and interact with on Facebook a lot), it’s on.

See, your birthday is the one time of the year people will creep out of the shadows and post on your Wall. Even if I agree 100% with a post of someone I never talk to on Facebook, I’d feel like a creep if I commented on it. We’ve all got to admit, there are some people we’re friends with solely to “silently” creep on. But that inhibition dissolves on someone’s birthday, where you’re almost obligated to write on their Wall, or else you’ll look like a jerk. I admit, I still hold it against at least a certain person who I know purposefully didn’t acknowledge my Facebook birthday. It’s ridiculous, I know. But it’s like a virtual slap in the face.

I always try to avoid statuses asking if “anyone” wants to do something. (Although, I did, out of desperation, ask who was up for sushi last week because I was craving it and Chris isn’t a fan of the raw fish. It led nowhere. I never got my sushi.) These statuses are traps: Either no one will comment on it, making you feel like a loser who has no friends, or all those Random Acquaintances from before will comment on it, leaving you in an awkward situation.


The “liking” option is sometimes dangerous, too. “Liking” something is usually a way of saying, “I agree casually.” Unless you write something about how bad your day sucks and someone “likes” it with no explanation.  (A suitable explanation could be: “‘Liked’ only because I agree — Not because of your situation!”) Or unless it’s one of those “Bobby went from being “In a Relationship” to “Single” notifications. Those are always fun for attracting the wrong kind of attention. The only other acceptable case for a “mean like” is if you’re good enough friends with the “liker” that you know they’re just messing with you. An unexplained “like” on a depressing status is like kicking someone when they’re down, and is grounds for unfriending.

This is boyfriend Chris, so I know he's messing with me.

On the topic of “liking,” “liking” one’s own status is almost never okay. It says: “I don’t know how to use Facebook,” or, “I’m that much of a loser.” Exceptions, of course, apply in the case of intentional situational humor.

Acknowledged, rendering it situational humor.

Then, there’s the lingering friend request. You request to be someone’s friend, and they don’t accept or deny, but they just never confirm either way. This is a polite way of getting around things. You don’t want to feel mean and deny them, but you really don’t need them creeping on you. So you just let the request linger there in Friend Request Purgatory. I admit, I currently have over 20 of these — People I haven’t talked to since eighth grade who request to be friends with me, people I have never met in my life that come here for oilfield work and see I’m from North Dakota, and people I’ve unfriended because everything they post makes me want to vomit who just don’t get the hint and keep trying to re-friend me.

Straight from my page

I thought I was crazy with my over-analysis of texting, but with the responses I got, I know I can’t be alone here, too. Or maybe I can. Feel free to let me know if I just need to take an extra dose of my happy pills with this one.

My Super Sketchy Sixteen … with a Creepy Old Guy.

21 Jul

I may be a bit behind the curve, but I just heard about this “51 year-old Doug Hutchison marrying a 16 year-old” thing. Hutchison is most notable for playing Percy Wetmore, the guy nobody liked in The Green Mile and Horace Goodspeed on Lost. Not that I personally recognized him. He goes back to roles in Party of Five and A Time to Kill, too. (Ironically, he played the child rapist.) But those are a little before my time.

Cue "The Creep" by The Lonely Island.

And a lot before 16 year-old Courtney Alexis Stodden’s. Maybe.

Annnnd that's their wedding picture.

All creepiness and illegality aside, this couple is extra controversial. When I first looked into this, I honestly thought, “Okay, so this Hutchison guy is kind of a creeper. Scandalous, but whatever.” But I watched an interview E! News did with the “happy couple” which I found deeply disturbing. I didn’t notice exactly how disturbing until I caught a glimpse of myself reflexively making a disgusted face in the reflection of my laptop screen.

Stodden doesn’t look a day under 25.

Her profile picture on her official Facebook page.

“So, whatever. She looks a little mature for her age. A lot of girls do nowadays,” I thought. I read in RadarOnline’s article about the E! News interview that people were accusing her of being “fake”: Either she’s had a lot of work done, or she’s older than she’s letting on. I thought that was a little obsessive for something that seemed so irrelevant to anyone’s lives.

But then, my curiosity got the better of me. As the interview went on, Stodden’s mannerisms became more … odd. She was striking ridiculous poses and practicing making coy pouty faces into the camera during their live interview. From the sound of it, she was trying really hard to make incoherent, immature responses to every question asked, whipping herself around and fluttering her hair.

Whatever voice you're giving her in your head to make fun of her right now, I guarantee it's not even as bad as hers in real life.

So I looked her up on Facebook, and I found two different pages of hers. “Courtney Stodden” and “Courtney Alexis Stodden Fanpage.” After spending just a short time on these sites, I decided there is no way one person can possibly be this stupid. Something has to be up — She has to be older, and for some reason faking her young age and total ignorance as some publicity stunt. Either that, or she’s actually 16 with the IQ of a shovel. There is no way any guy even in his mid-20s would put up with idiocy of that degree in a relationship, let alone a man who could easily be her father.

Wow, I bet that's how she always pictured it.

First off, she repeatedly refers to herself as an “inspiring” actress/photographer/model/singer/anything else she can think of to sound “good.” Even after people correct her. A normal human who wanted to be taken seriously would learn that she had made a mistake and change it. Stodden seems to only put it more prominently and more often, reinforcing the blonde bimbo persona.

She's giving me no shortage of material to back this up.

Let’s just take this exchange via Facebook comments on this photo:


And that was the exact point that I decided I needed to blog furiously about this. Not only does her long response defy all logic for how little cognitive functioning a person needs to maintain basic human mechanisms like breathing and blinking, but the incoherence of her short, afterthought comments boggles my mind.

The thing that sent me over the edge, though, was her last comment. It seemed to go just a little too far. I don’t know about you, but I think I see a zipper. “… so you should respect me and stuff.” It seems to me that any 16 year-old who’s trying to prove her maturity would avoid the whole “and stuff” default teen suffix. Its belittling, childlike, and it seems like she wanted it that way.

Um, can I take you back to your ... gutter?

But that’s just me speculating. I really don’t see why an older woman would pretend to be 16 and marry a 51 year-old. I guess I don’t see what a 51 year-old would see in a 16 year-old either … besides the platinum blonde hair and I-claim-they’re-real-but-there’s-no-way-in-hell chest.

How many bras does she have on here?

Maybe Stodden is just a really dumb teenager. And, in that case, Hutchison should probably hire a nanny or something for when he’s out of town. And not let Stodden cross the street unsupervised. E! News claims they have her birth certificate, but claiming they have a little piece of paper isn’t going to convince me. Her body definitely looks … aged, in more ways than just her development.

From her Official Facebook -- Taken when she was "13"

Either way, with celebrity stories like this which, I admit, are a guilty pleasure, I always find myself asking, “Why do I care?” I usually don’t have a good reason, but in this case I do: There’s just something too weird about her … and there’s that off chance that she’s an alien robot sent here from some distant galaxy, and her only way in to infiltrate the government is through Doug Hutchison. (She’s already defiled the flag!)

Creeping justified.

I may have lived under a rock …

14 Jul

I just found out my little sister recently got an iPod Touch. She’s 10. This isn’t terribly uncommon anymore, but I find it funny because I just got one a couple years ago. I couldn’t help but think about what my life was like when I was 10, even beyond. I was technologically lame.

I thought back on how I stretched the Ethernet cord across the entire family room to the phone jack to connect to the dial-up Internet my family had until I was 14 or 15. I’m pretty sure I could never have dreamed of such things as iPod touches. Granted, I lived in rural North Dakota — not necessarily a technology hub.

I searched long and hard for a picture of an Ethernet cord stretched across someone's room like I remember it. Apparently no one else did that ... Or they didn't want documentation that they did.

I remember junior high Kaitlin timidly asking my parents if I could use our dinosaur 1993 Compaq Presario to IM my friends. There was no use saying I was just playing Solitaire; that darn dial-up cord was unmistakable. We did finally get a new Dell desktop in 2004, when I was 14. My family still has it. (Although they did upgrade to a laptop too a couple years ago.)

This was our good ol' model.

I remember 14 year-old Kaitlin getting her first cell phone. I was so excited until I realized how lame it was. It didn’t even have a color screen, just those pixel numbers. I remember going to sleepovers with my overnight bag and my friends joking that it was my cell phone case. The emotional scars are still healing.

There she is. Only mine was red. That's how the screen actually looked.

I remember getting my first mp3 player as a sophomore in high school. I carefully peeled off the reindeer wrapping paper that Christmas Eve (I always carefully unwrap — You might be able to repurpose it!) to find a small rod-shaped device. I had no idea what it was, but my parents said it sounded “right up my alley.” It was a 512 MB mp3 player, and it cost them $50. I was the coolest kid on the bus for a while, though. Very few of my peers knew what an mp3 player was either. Were there iPods circa 2006, or were we just so isolated up here that we were out of the loop?

It was something like these ones, only these might even be a little advanced.

Maybe that’s why I’m now glued to my phone and addicted to my laptop. But I always get a kick out of thinking back on the days when now-obsolete pieces of technology were the coolest thing since the last now-obsolete piece of technology.

Who’s your Doggelganger?

22 Jun

The “people who look like their pets” joke has been a longstanding one  that never really seems to die off. After all, who can get enough of looking at pictures like this?

Yeah. Not me.

But a website put together by the Pedigree Adoption Drive has added an interactive degree to the idea. On the Doggelganger website (such a clever name!) you can upload a photo of yourself and have it analyzed against available dogs up for adoption. Doggelganger will then match you up with your canine doppelganger, based on similar facial features.

Yeah, just had to do one more of those. :)

After seeing your results, if you think that you and your Doggelganger are a match made in heaven, you can make contact with the dog’s foster home and arrange an adoption, which I think is really awesome.

I found it impossible to resist the urge to try it. I’ve wanted a corgi for years now, so I was just praying to be matched up with a corgi. Unfortunately, I do not have the characteristics of a cute and cuddly corgi. In fact, I was a little surprised by the match-ups I was getting using my Gravatar image. I’m admittedly a little squinty in the picture but, hey, it was a natural smile on a bright day. I guess my natural smile has a lot in common with the facial structure of mastiffs and pit bulls.  Not necessarily a big confidence booster, but I was willingly comparing myself to a dog, so I guess what did I expect?

I see the resemblance in the eyes, I guess. I wish I would have saved one of them for my screenshot -- Its eyes were completely closed. Ok, Pedigree, I can take a hint.

Then again, the technology may be pretty solidly grounded in your exact features in the photo. Once I switched my picture, I was consistently getting results that looked more like this:

A little closer to a corgi!

I’m not going to lie, this is a really fun site to toy around with. Plus, it’s for a great cause — If it can set up even a few homeless dogs with new, loving, forever homes, that makes it even better. And I’m sure this site pairs up more than just a few people with furry companions. Still, no matter what Doggelganger tells me, I’m still going to end up with a stubby, wiggly, little sausage dog sooner or later!

Love.

.com is so 2000.

20 Jun

Ever since the inception of the Internet, we’ve been trained to recognize web sites by their addresses, usually ending in .com, .net., .org, or .gov, although there are more than 300 Internet domain suffixes currently in existence. But today, the board controlling Internet web site names approved the ability for companies and individual users to create and register thousands of new Internet suffixes.

Some of the most buzzed about changes are Apple’s projected use of the suffix .apple, and potentially .ipad, .ipod, and .iphone. The camera company Canon has reportedly already announced its plans to apply for a .canon suffix. Others include big banks using a .bank suffix and major cities using their names for their suffixes, such as .london, .nyc, and .berlin.

A few months ago, Internet regulators approved the use of a .xxx domain suffix for pornography sites, which spurred a flurry of controversy. Although approval of the .xxx suffix was delayed many times over several years, this widespread freedom domain suffix plan has been in the works for over six years. Hmm. In any case, the sites with .xxx suffixes were expected to launch this summer, but not much has been said about them since late March.

A proponent of the .xxx domain suffix's logo

With .com domain names selling for extraordinary amounts, this change could change the market of web hosting, giving the opportunity for more domains with more unique names at potentially cheaper prices. A domain name belongs to whoever happens to register it first. And Apple wasn’t quite quick enough on the draw for iPad.com. But you can bet the owners of that domain wouldn’t give that up for a reasonable price. Maybe this change would get around situations like that. Would that be a good thing?

We probably won’t see this new system go into effect until late next year. But personally, once it’s implemented, I think it will confuse the heck out of me. I don’t recognize a string of words as a URL unless it has the familiar URL-y suffixes tagging behind it. To be honest, I just got used to the idea of not having to type in the “www.” when navigating to a website. But this web suffix change, the most radical change in the Internet’s naming system since .com was introduced over 25 years ago, leaves me feeling like it’ll take some getting used to. And I consider myself to be pretty computer savvy.

What do you think? Necessary, cool, or “a solution without a problem?”

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