Thursday, October 11th, 2012

A Handy Test for Reddit Users: Are You on the Internet Right Now?

Sometimes it's hard to tell if you are on the Internet or not. For example you are almost always typing into a box on a series of screens on your computer. Because of this, there are whole sections of the Internet that are pretty sure they are not on the Internet, because, they are just boxes, right? You could be typing into anything, who knows if it's public. This was true about LiveJournal for a long time. When you would link to a posting on LiveJournal, back in the day, you would get outraged emails about invasion of privacy. Because in their minds, they were just typing in their diary. That happened to be readable by others. Any others. On the Internet. Sometimes the youngs on Tumblr think they are not on the Internet, and also some members of Reddit think they are not on the Internet! And so there is a to-do. If you would like something explanatory about the current "war" between Reddit and Gawker, this is useful.

And so you can have a long history on Reddit, chatting about girls butts, or actually posting secretly-taken pictures of women on a board called "creepshots" for the purpose of hubba-hubbaing about them on the Internet, and hanging around on /jailbait and /incest and all kinds of fun stuff. And then when people complain about those pictures, or take action around it, or decide that creepy dudes who take pictures of women in public and post them on the Internet to get all hubba-hubba should have a little limelight themselves, the only defense is… "but all the public information about me available on the Internet is actually private!" Or as one subredditor—their PARAKEET ENTHUSIAST BOARD person—put it: "Please don't take reddit outside of reddit." I mean hello, Al Gore invented the Internet, not Reddit, so they must be two separate places.

The other defense against finding out the identity of a gross dude on Reddit: "outside of reddit he might be a genuinely nice guy." I'm sure! But how can all this be? Well, it's confusing.

First you should find out: WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW.

1. Do you see the words "Microsoft Word" anywhere on the screen you're typing in? Then you are not on the Internet. (Microsoft Word is a program that old people use to type things that then don't end up on the Internet.)

2. Is your computer turned off? Then you are not on the Internet.

3. Are you typing in an email or a chat? Then you ARE on the Internet but you have some level of expectation of privacy. People can't "Google" your "emails" or IRC rooms, but people can forward or publish what you say there, so you're almost on the Internet.

4. Are you on a website, message board, network or other web-based purveyor of images and words? You are on the Internet, which is in public. Everything you type there can be found, through the magic of "having eyeballs" and "scrolling fingers." And it can be assembled.

5. Can you see the words "Warcraft" anywhere? Then you are on the Internet but in a grey area. Have all your lulz here, no one can see you but some gay guild of pasty nerds.

6. Are you texting? Not sure what that is.


77 Comments / Post A Comment

Matt (#26)

I'm wearing khakis. Does that mean I'm on the Internet?

tigolbitties (#2,150)

@Matt Nope, but if you had on khaki shorts you definitely would be.

skywalker (#240,350)

It should be noted that whilst ordering papers for sale at paper writing service, you can get unkind attitude. In case you feel that the bureau is trying to cheat you, don't buy term paper from it. business viewpoint

NinetyNine (#98)

I'm noise commenting. Does that mean I'm on the Internet?

@NinetyNine Now more than ever! <3 <3 <3

hockeymom (#143)

Also how to know if you are on the internet (high school division):

If you post a comment at 10pm saying that you want to shoot up your school in the morning and the local police arrive at your house by midnight to arrest you. Congrats, you are on the internet!

(This happened last week.)

Art Yucko (#1,321)

I'm blaming this on Drake. Does that mean I'm on the Internet?

conklin (#364)

Cross-posting this to etiquette.internet.rec.funny.cautionary

MichelleDean (#7,041)

Ohmahgah, remember Usenet?

hockeymom (#143)

@MichelleDean YES! Anytime I ended up anywhere, it was totally by accident.

Matt (#26)

I'm respecting the farm in the face of all worthies. Does that mean I'm on the Internet?

is it a gold farm

brent_cox (#40)

Stick to zines and everything's peachy.

pissy elliott (#397)

Bring back alt.tasteless

deepomega (#1,720)

This is all well and good, but I don't think you understand: White dudes have a Get Out of Internet Free card. If a white dude says that something is only accessible to his bros, you're supposed to respect that! Never link to evidence that a white dude is a creepy pervert!

Matt (#26)

"I think Burn Notice is SO GOOD though. Does that mean I'm on the Internet?"

deepomega (#1,720)

@Matt Go complain about Kevin James's body shape on tumblr or something.

CaptBackslap (#10,313)

@deepomega "Boy, this internet discussion could use some livening up. I know, I'll drag race into it, even though it's roughly as relevant to the issue as corruption in Turkmenistan's banking system!"

deepomega (#1,720)

@CaptBackslap What are you implying about Turkeminstan, man? Sounds like racism to me.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@deepomega If you're in Turkmenistan you're almost definitely not on the Internet. Unless you're in a small, stuffy room with four secret police functionaries watching over your shoulder as your wait for Gmail to load. In that case you might be on the Internet and should know for sure in 20 or 30 minutes.

Aatom (#74)

This "not on the internet" thing, what exactly are you talking about? Is that a place?

SeanP (#4,058)

@Aatom It sounds horrible. If you go there I bet you need shots.

russell brandom (#7,699)

One of my best high school friends accidentally outed himself on Live Journal. I guess this was like 2001? It didn't get ugly or anything, but man, not a great internet moment.

barnhouse (#1,326)

I believe I am on the Internet AT ALL TIMES even when I am fixing tea all by myself in the kitchen.

Am I?

City_Dater (#2,500)


In my understanding, it's a little bit like hair color. That is, you are what you say you are.
So, yes.

osmium (#7,705)

Dude I'm *in* the internet

I can positively affirm that I am not currently on the Internet.

NinetyNine (#98)


Matt (#26)

I'm continuing to comment without actually having read the post. Does that mean I'm on the Internet?

wb (#2,214)

Does anyone actually turn off their computer anymore?

Art Yucko (#1,321)

I put my computer in a bucket of blood every night. Does this mean I'm still on the internet?

I don't know, but my Mom "opens up the computer" from time to time.

wb (#2,214)

If I'm still using Alta Vista am I on the internet? This is a serious question.

cory dodt@twitter (#12,071)

Uh, people can google your IRC rooms. Not most of your private chats, but lots of significant IRC channels are logged in an indexable way. YOU ARE ON THE INTERNET.


@cory dodt@twitter I was just thrilled to see IRC mentioned! I thought I was the only old nerd who still used it! (Well, that and all the other weirdos in my IRC channel.)

JGP (#1,686)

I see the word "Netscape" on my screen. Am I on the Internet?

Art Yucko (#1,321)

no. you're on Aol..

Art Yucko (#1,321)

I'm _________ to a picture of Julia Allison on a horse on the beach from 2007. Does this mean I'm on the internet?

Matt (#26)

I'm complaining about Tumblr via Tumblr. Does that mean I'm on the Internet?

Matt (#26)

"Yes, son. It also means you're Brian Van."

Matt (#26)

Say it ain't so, doc.

Matt (#26)

"I'm sorry, kid. I'm a straight shooter."

Matt (#26)

I respect that.

This still doesn't explain what the fuck Twitter is.

laurel (#4,035)

I dreamt my Twitter feed last night. Ugh, I am on the internet even while I'm asleep.

Mr. B (#10,093)

I'm just upvoting all the comments that make me giggle. Does that etc.?

Is Flaming Saddles on the internet?

melis (#1,854)

You know what they say, you can take the reddit out of the redditor but not without a lot of screaming and blood.

cherrispryte (#444)

I was definitely a young on Livejournal who, while realizing that I was on the internet, did not realize that if I checked my LJ in the computer lab, someone would troll through the history files, figure out who I was, and print out several of the more incriminating pages and pass them out at school.
YEAH, THAT TOTALLY HAPPENED, like my life was some shitty lifetime movie. Dear lord it was also well over a decade ago.

wealhtheow (#215,539)

@cherrispryte Oh dear lord, that is the epitome of horror. So, so much worse than those anecdotes that girl magazines print about accidentally tucking your skirt into your panties or gushing menstral fluids all over your crush or whatever. Having your lj outed is worse than any of that.

hershmire (#233,671)

Oh, just put everything on the internet. Then you'll be absolutely sure.

My students who talk shit about my class on Twitter apparently don't think they're on the Internet.

tigolbitties (#2,150)

@The Dependent Clause ugghhh, I feel like I should scan through twitter for mentions of me/my classes, but I don't think I want to know what they are saying… Do you ever respond to their tweets?

hman (#53)

I'm laughing at Matt's khakis. Does that mean I'm on the Internet?

Matt (#26)

Ouch, hman. I care.

mpb (#799)

Freshman year of college, I had a friend who, while staring dumbstruck at his computer, turned to us and asked "How do you… *surf the Internet*?"

He later downloaded Bonzai Buddy, which terrorized him for a year because he didn't know how to get rid of it.

Megano! (#16,245)

Oh my sweet fucking Christ

@Megan Patterson@facebook Did you just realize you're on the Internet?

redheadedandcrazy (#207,191)

Sure you could find a comment or two I've made that would be held against me if I ran for political office.

But surely the prospect of assembling 496 pages of hairpin commentary would turn off even the most resolute blackmailer.

redheadedandcrazy (#207,191)

@redheadedandcrazy (I was hoping there would be a cutoff page number beyond which comments are lost to the ether … clearly I haven't reached it yet)

Back in 1998 I had a work-study job as a web designer at my school. It pains me to recall how many people created their web pages in Word.

Yamara (#9,395)

In Soviet Russia, Internet is on YOU.

Ben Boyd@facebook (#238,570)

Am I really me?

theharpoon (#10,705)

@Ben Boyd@facebook Only if you're on the Internet.


It was a great article, right up until the gay-bashing at the end.

jolie (#16)

@Princess of Dork@twitter "Choire" is pronounced like "Verl"

fb100003964691892 (#238,415)

@Princess of Dork@twitter Sarcasm, how do you work?

Internet, I am in you.

Danny Bloom (#5,490)

I'm in Taiwan a country that does not exist, and I do not own a computer and never have, am at the local internet cafe in south Taiwan, my home office, does that mean i am not on the internet, lowercased mind you, never Uppercase now, because 1. I am in a nation that does not exist and 2. I do not own a computer ?

Danny Bloom (#5,490)

And at night, when i am on Lipitor for my heart condition ever since the attack in 2009, stent now, i often find myself on the internet, lowercase mind you, due to the vivid dreaming that Lipitor induces due to the statins in the meds. Cool.

hapax (#6,251)

Time was, I would have written a rule like #2 as well. But I have recently been informed by trustworthy sources that the Internet has leaked onto certain small objects, like phones and music players (?). Be careful when handling small objects! Apparently they too might put you on the Internet, even if your computer has been turned off.

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