Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Disposable Internet Comments: The Odd Exercise of Forum Lurking with Temporal Assertions and Opinions

All the Captain Obvious-es as well as the other types of Internet citizens out there indeed have a lot of things to say. Looking at the very exercise of freedom of speech and expression online, does reveal some rather overwhelming ironies given the reality we have on hand. Even as I type and as you read this, there are probably already a billion ideas being put on text out there through the virtual platform we know as the Internet, at this very minute. It's the proverbial equivalent of an existentialist exercise - asserting a sentient being's existence: the capability to discern, analyze, and synthesize ideas, the will to put order, structure, and logic to these subjective concepts, and the choice to put the conclusions, assertions, products, and by-products out there for the world to know (whether consciously or unconsciously, whether intentionally sought after or fortuitously crossed upon by wandering eyes, ears, and/or minds.) There is no scarcity of content on the Internet, from the absurd to the genuinely relevant.

 *Image from http://www.knowledgeminer.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Internet.jpg

For the sheer volume of ideas collectively pumped out by humanity online, it does seem quite strange that from a myopic perspective, there is some sense of insignificance and triviality to what online citizens do when they type their insights on a block of space on the Internet. Considering the statistical chances of actually finding an agreeable audience to a categorical point of view owned by one person in order to build upon fundamental ideas (not to mention if the feedback mechanism in a site would ever be utilized at all given the innumerable opinions and comments being posted non-stop by other people per second resulting to older posts getting buried deep anyway), why even say your piece on a subject matter at all? Who even bothers to scroll or read back anyway, right? Well, as any active Internet citizen has observed or even practiced, it doesn't matter. Most of us will put our insights, jokes, rants, and opinions out there in any case. It just feels right to put it out there.

It feels like saying something in your old homeroom classroom at school, but not quite like it with so many strangers merely passing by. It does seem to be an exercise in futility if a person were looking to influence the mindset of 2 or 3 people (at the very least) though an angry rant, a serious opinion, or a well meant jest. In any case, looking at the feeds on Twitter, Facebook, the Yahoo comments community, product/TV/movie review sites and communities, and even the old school BB communities, people speak out their minds anyway, whether they think someone will be paying attention on the other side or not. I suppose it's therapeutic in many ways, to vent out or say one's piece (just because).

 *Image from http://theaspirer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/image7.jpg

Collectively, if given time to look at and analyze, trends and occurring themes help us create an understanding of the current or generally popular mindset of humanity (those who are capable of going online at least, obviously). Well I for one know that people are aware that there are Internet citizens who love to inflame emotions and rile-up anger with their insights (trolls), I know most people hate or make fun of idiots, most people love to laugh at blatantly obvious acts of idiocy, the hipster movement is real, left wing people usually hate right wing people's guts and vice versa, overtly religious people are irritating, snooty atheists can be irritating, rich obnoxious douche bags  can be aholes, intellectual elitists can be aholes, girls commenting on sports sections are usually worth ignoring, there are a lot of old school people who like to reminisce and live in nostalgia while lingering in sections they know are crowded by younger people, Anon users (anonymous/unregistered users) will say their piece "bravely", but are usually worthless because they know a lot of people (the registered users) will disagree, people like to thumb up funny posts and comments, racists are out there but reverse racism is what's in while reverse-reverse-racism is the future! All of these are of course already filtered observations because there are certain types of categories, sections, and articles that I prefer reading. Stamp collecting articles are definitely not among them.


It would be productive to learn more about the online stereotypes. Interestingly, Googling about it has made me realize that sociologists need to do a better job of categorizing this new virtual society we have that's thriving online. Just like Enterprise-Risk Management, the standards are poorly set and defined and we end up with a hodge-podge of ideas that are ambiguously lingering around an air space but not quite there. I'd prefer that you readers personally read them on the original websites they were found on:

Just remember, the virtual realm has an ecosystem of its own. Like a jungle to explore, you'll encounter different types of people during text-based engagements and discussions. It's worth knowing if you should stick your hand out or if you should pull it back, especially if you've established a long-term Internet identity (your handle/nickname, is generally the same in most communities and you're uniquely known by most of these community members).

In view of this trend by online users of commenting on things/posts/pictures/videos/news, come hell or high water, even if, most likely, no one will be paying attention anyway, it should be noted that since last year, Twitter has become the preferred social networking platform for teenagers (who are obviously the future consumers of the world):

The reasons had been enumerated and it seems like adults are "siphoning" the cool factor and are just too present on Facebook. Although, as part of the "adult" crowd, I would have to disagree with the younger users considering our generation (hipster mode on) has been active in online communities since the mid 1990's during the dial-up era. So we have essentially called dibs on this virtual world. Although, any generation can pretty much carve up a virtual space all for their own.

 *Image from http://racers-republic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/facebook-news.jpg

Meanwhile, I have noticed that with so many "Liked" pages on my Facebook account, I have essentially profiled myself on a granular level that Facebook pretty much knows and can derive what my Interests are. Yes, Zuckerberg, has effectively monetized my identity. While, staying connected with friends is still the primary use of platforms like Facebook, I can't deny that FB has become my own customized newspaper already. Even the ads/company pages I come across on my timeline are tempting enough to Like and I'm pretty much updated on things that other people would rather choose to ignore, which actually goes the other way too. Nope, still not digging stamp collecting.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2014. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.