Written by Chenda Ngak
Nostalgia is a funny thing. Usually it serves no other purpose than to make us hate our lives and long for a simpler time. Sometimes nostalgia can actually serve a mirror into our lives and show how really screwed up we really are. Like, for instance, what life was like before high speed Internet. Sure, our lives sucked then as much as it sucks now, but we blame the Internet for ruining a few things that were once good and holy. Here’s our list of 9 Good Things The Internet Has Ruined Forever.
9- Rick Astley
Granted, Rick Astley was never the coolest singer ever to hit VH-1, but his cheeziness still endeared him to many folks who listened to music in the 1980s. His biggest hit, Never Gonna Give You Up, was dumb enough to laugh at, but still catchy enough to sing drunkenly at kareoke. That all changed once one smartass forum commenter decided to trick people into clicking a YouTube link, and then the Rick Roll phenomenon spread like a wildfire of annoyingness. Granted, at first you might have got a chuckle out of Rick Rolling your friends or the New York Mets, but now there’s no fun to be had watching Mr. Astley proclaim his love.
8- Watching TV with Other People
Remember a time when you’d have people over to watch a show or special event on TV? Your non-cable-having friends would mooch off of you and, although it was annoying, it was fun to have viewing parties. With the expansion of broadband and popularity of torrents, everyone can watch shows in the comfort of their office chairs, couches, subway trains… the list goes on. With the major networks launching sites like Hulu.com or TV.com, you can watch most of your shows at your convenience. There are even iPhone Apps that allow you to watch your shows on the go. Good luck getting your friends to crowd around that.
There was once a time when cats had a peaceful life of eating, sleeping, and ignoring us. Then one day, images of our furry friends with funny captions appeared on the image boards of 4Chan — the most famous caption being “I CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGER?” Ever since the meme hit the mainstream, there is no rest for our cats. We’ve turned in to the cat paparazzi and have snapped pics of our kitties popping out of ceilings, laundry baskets, and everything in between.
6- Motivational Posters
Remember going to your dentist’s office? Lying there and staring at the ceiling was not fun, but at least the motivational posters were there to get you going. Sure, they were generic, but you have to admit that they did in fact motivate you. Right? Ever since de-motivational posters have popped up on the Internet, it’s become that much more dorky to have a motivational poster of your own. Now you have to hide those posters deep in your computer hard drives, under a different user name.
There was once a time when lists were just for groceries, magazine covers, and David Letterman. Although today’s list frenzy was probably copied from magazine cover cuts, they have become so abundant and ubiquitous that it’s difficult to find a list that hasn’t already been done. You have to resort to writing a list about how lists have been ruined. See what we mean?
If you’re a pre-Gen Y kid, you probably discovered porn under your dad’s bed or at a friend’s house. Remember the butterflies you felt when you were about to see your first porno? That first look into the world of sex was usually so enthralling, you’d often forget is was also a deep gaze into your parent’s or friend’s parents sexual desires. It was all so exciting. With the introduction of Internet, however, porn has become a perversely solitary thing. And you can’t even be assured your first exposure to filmed sex will of the professional variety, due to the flood of amateurs bumpin’ uglies (and we do mean uglies) on web cams.
3- Tom Cruise
You viral-video making bastards, don’t even deny that you all caused the demise of Tom Cruise’s career. Don’t you remember Maverick? Jerry McGuire? What the hell happened? If this were 1980s, before YouTube was invented, the couch scandal would’ve been a blip on Tom Cruise’s career. Instead, it was that catalyst for his career’s descent. Because we were all so concerned with his ties to Scientology and his general weird behavior, every misstep of Cruise’s for the past few years has been passed around like a cold sore.
What would happen if Clark Kent and Lois Lane worked for a blog? They’d be on their couches, in their underwear, copying and pasting articles. Remember when journalists were investigators? Magazines and newspapers were glamorous, cushy places of employment. Oh how things have changed. Newspapers and magazines are on life support and now the editorial filter is almost non-existent. Hey, who needs it anyway when you’re stealing your stories from better-run blogs, right? And photographers? Forget about it. Any kid that can afford a digital camera and Photoshop can claim they are a professional photographer. Who the hell needs Art School anyway? The journalist as we know it is a dying breed and have been replaced with bloggers and aggregators. Tough cookies, we know, but sad nonetheless.
Thank God we went through our experimental phase in college before the invention of MySpace and FaceBook. We’ve all heard the stories of people getting fired for their online activities a.k.a. personal lives. These days you can’t lie about where you’re going, whom you’re with, or what you’re doing if there is even one person there with a camera and a FaceBook account. And with your co-workers adding you as friends on your social networks, you can’t chat up your friends about how stupid drunk you were and all of the illegal things you did on Saturday night. There goes years of life experience for the next generation of college kids. Yeah, sure they have access to amazing technology and a zillion online friends… but we all know that the most awesomely stupid experiences you have are the illegal ones you have with other people around (ahem… Michael Phelps). Even for responsible adults, the lines between socializing, stalking, invasion of privacy can often be blurred.