Feelings

The Benefits of Being Online

The world has changed incredibly in the span of twenty years. When I was little, my family didn’t have a computer. I don’t remember having one until I was at least 9. Even then I don’t think I ever went “online”. The only activity that I did on the computer was typing my name over and over again in different fonts. I still do that on occasion.

Now it seems that I can’t go a day without being online. I have to check my “stuff” which consists of email, twitter, blogs, facebook, tumblr, pinterest…the list goes on. Of course there are times when I’m away and can’t check my stuff. Those are the times when I’m sitting in a corner and rocking myself back and forth.

One might look at this scenario and think my online life is unhealthy. Fortunately, I’m one of the light cases. I know for a fact that teenagers stay online for hours and hours on end. Even if they aren’t physically at a computer, they can still go online with their phones. I know I’m painting an extreme picture, but the internet, despite being a big time-waster, is actually an amazing thing.

We are able to connect with people around the world without leaving our homes (or beds…in my case). We are able to meet friends, share stories, and fall in love online. Some would even say it’s easier to meet people online because no one is judging you by your appearance, just by what you say.

Personally, I am more relaxed when I’m talking to people online than in real-life. Online, you can choose to respond to a conversation whenever and however you want to. You can take the time to think about what you want to say before your say it. You can eloquently word your input instead of trying to come up with the right words in your head. Everything is smoother and thought out. We can really be our best selves online for that reason.

Will we turn into drones that don’t know how to talk in the future? Possibly. Will we go blind from the light of our computers constantly being shone into our eyes? Most likely. But we’ll have many more acquaintances than we ever could have met in our own day to day lives. We can relate to others and realize that others can relate to us. We can comfort and be comforted. We can laugh and share thought-provoking stories. And that might be worth something in the long run.

 

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Judging

Catfish

Paul and I decided to rent some movies last night. We canceled our Netflix subscription because we never ended up using it. I used it a couple of times to watch Rugrats episodes to fulfill my nostalgia quota, but I don’t think we really got our money’s worth. I wasn’t going to tell Paul about Rugrats, but Netflix sent Paul an email asking how he enjoyed watching it. I got made fun of a lot for that one.

So we went to one of the 3 video stores left in the entire world and picked out some movies. It was 9:45pm and they closed at 10 so I was kind of pressed for time. I couldn’t browse the store like I wanted to. This place has about every movie ever–top notch selection. I wanted to rent “Like Crazy” because I heard it was good, but they were all rented out! Grr. So I grabbed Catfish and Paul picked some weird Nazi movie with Stanley Tucci and Kenneth Branagh. Seriously.

We watched Catfish and it was about as weird as I thought it would be. If you want to see the movie, stop reading now because I’m going to spoil it for you.

The main character, Nev (prononuced Neev) Schulman is just your typical Jewish New York photographer. One of his pictures got published in a magazine. A 9 year old girl, Abby, painted a picture of his photograph and sent it to him. Nev was flattered and he started to write back and forth with Abby, sending her more photos for her to paint.

Yaniv "Nev" Schulman

This seems harmless to me. Granted, it’s still weird for a 24 year old guy to be emailing a 9 year old girl. Even if it’s purely innocent. Nev eventually comes in contact with Abby’s mom, Angela, and Abby’s half-sister Megan. He’s spoken to all 3 of them on the phone, becoming facebook friends with all of them, texting them, etc. Nev and Megan end up talking a lot. They flirt, they call each other “babe” and they seem like they would date if they weren’t separated by the distance (Megan and her family live in Michigan).

Megan claims to be an artsy type–she dances, and sings. She sends Nev some songs that she’s recorded and he very impressed. He searches the songs online and finds out that she actually didn’t sing them, she just stole them from youtube. He get’s super freaked out by this. If she lied about her songs, what else is she lying about?

Nev, his brother Rel (WHO NAMED THESE KIDS?), and their friend Henry decide to go to Angela, Abby, and Megan’s house. Yeah guys, why the hell not? They go to their house and find this older, creepy woman (who is indeed Angela) who takes care of her husband’s two mentally challenged children from his past marriage. She proceeds to lie about things until they call her out. She admits that she was the one painting the pictures for him, not Abby. Pretending to be your 9 year old daughter is always a normal move. She also admits that Megan is actually in rehab for alcoholism, so she was actually pretending to be her as well. Talking on the phone with Nev, texting Nev, calling him babe, and handsome…it’s just all so weird.

Angela

During their meeting she also tells them that she has cancer. So they guys leave Michigan kind of amazed that someone could fool them and make up a totally different life. But you can tell that they also feel bad for her. Clearly she used her alter egos as some sort of an escape mechanism. She obviously wishes she could be a painter, or a beautiful dancer and singer. But instead she’s stuck taking care of people who are fully dependent on her.

Right before the credits you learn that Angela actually doesn’t have cancer or another daughter Megan. That probably creeped me out the most. Even when she was coming clean, she still had to spew out lies. I don’t understand why some people aren’t okay with telling the truth. Then they get caught in their lies and STILL LIE.

Lying is the one thing that anyone can do. Anyone can lie to you. Kids can lie, adults lie, high authorities lie–anyone can. The internet is weird that way. People can make their lies almost become a reality. There’s bound to be a Word Press user or two who aren’t who they say they are. I could be Stephanie In Florida for all you know.

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living in canada, Stores

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Seems like a good life.

You know what really grinds my gears? When certain websites don’t properly function just because I’m not in the right country. I cannot express how many times in the U.K. and Canada I have tried looking at a site, or watching a video and the dreaded “This content is unavailable from your location” would appear and ruin my day. Or at least 2 minutes of my day. Plus, isn’t that racist? What they’re saying is that only Americans can view this material online but non-US citizens can’t. Usually this wouldn’t bother me, but since I’m not in the US it does.

Why don’t they make websites work in every country? And why do some online stores only ship to select areas? And why does Google.ca come up even if I type in Google.com? Everything is just so gross. I’m sure some kids in Latvia would like to watch clips of the Colbert Report, but guess what? They will never see that kind of goodness. And I would bet my bottom dollar that a teenager in Argentina would love to order some clothes from J.Crew instead of wearing an alpaca sweater for 7 years. But that won’t happen either. Unless J.Crew opens a store in Buenos Aires.

So why doesn’t someone fix this problem?!  They say that the internet connects everyone and yadda yadda, but does it really?! I feel like some countries are totally missing out on major life trends. Until this internet problem is fixed, I will never be completely happy. It may look like I haven’t a care in the world, but deep, deep down my soul is somber.

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