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An Ode to the Malodors of Online Communication

I suppose it's just the natural progression of all Internet services.  At first, they offered you something FREE.  You looked at the offer from all angles, sniffed at it, and cautiously signed up.  The service became more popular, and you began to slowly trust and rely upon it.

That was how I first signed up for Hotmail.

But slowly, the service developed a funny smell.  I don't mean funny like that commercially available fart-spray that wreaks havoc in elevators and graduation ceremonies, but sort of a "something's a bit off here" smell, as if somebody vomited in the rosebushes.  You started to notice the tiny changes, like pop-up ads for "1000 FREE SMILEYS", and sudden changes in your options settings that gave out your e-mail address to a slew of advertisers.

Before you knew what was happening, Hotmail had you bending over, staring at the bottom of your screen, waiting for your Inbox to load.  I don't know what the hell this "adfarm" piece of shit is, but I have my suspicions, and I know that it's wasting precious moments of my life:

Then, with a brilliant manoeuver that I'm certain was planned from the very beginning, they offer to take that advertising dick out of your rectum if you'll only sign up for their new PREMIUM service.

I guess you could say I'm starting to dislike Hotmail.

While I'm on the subject, there's something else that's been bothering me for a while now.  Why do people on my MSN contact list decide to use cutesy little proverbs, mottos, adages, words-to-live-by, and other forms of text-encoded diarrhea as their screen name?  Here's my working hypothesis:




There's nothing worse than a bubbly, hyperactive friend who likes to change their Messenger name on a regular basis so as to reflect their current emotional state, sociopolitical views, menstrual flow, and other bits of fluff that I don't care about.  Guess what?  If I can't figure out who the hell you are at a glance, I'm not going to talk or write to you.  It's as simple as that.  Pick a goddamned name, and stick with it.  I also hate it when your alias includes a reference to some conversation that I wasn't part of...for example, "LucilleQTpie ---> hey nice try vince but lets see u try dat standin on your head ROTFL!!".  Morons.

"Derr... what name should I choose, Daniel?"

How about YOUR REAL NAME, asshole.  Stop forcing me to allocate brain cells to remember that you're now calling yourself "J-DaWg get bUsaaaY flippin out ova herez!" or some such stupidity.  Tell ya what: if your screen name exceeds 1/4 of my monitor's width, you are officially a retard, and I won't talk to you out of principle.

It's a thin line.  Don't cross it.

Anyway, I just don't understand why everyone is so afraid to use their real name on the Internet.  Here's what most people tend to think:

"The Internet isn't safe!" --- Some whiny little pussy

You want to feel safe?  Think of all the people who already know your name...the chronically depressed mailman, that greasy trench-coat-wearing teenager with the nose/eyebrow piercings who works at Blockbuster, friends and ex-boy/girlfriends who have some reason to despise you, that child-molesting priest of yours, not to mention all branches of the government.  Oh, and guess what?  They know where you LIVE, too.

But hey, I guess it's easier to sleep at night knowing that unseen hordes of psychopaths, kiddie-pornographers, religious zealots, and country-music fans are all banging their keyboards with frustration trying to decipher your true identity.  They'd be on their way to your house right now if not for that witty, humorous, make-me-puke handle you've created for yourself this week.

On the other hand, if your first name is SO distinctive that you fear being targeted by invisible enemies, leprechauns, and the bogeyman, maybe you're better off acting like a shithead on MSN Messenger.  Just don't expect me to talk to you.


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