the internet is full of it…

…of what, well, no one really knows.

So, even though I get the vast bulk of my news from other locations, rather than daily from major outlets, I occasionally go back to MSNBC and CNN for online news as well.  Something the other day caught my eye on CNN, titled “Meet the Rules of the Internet”.  As a fan of the internet (I prefer the interwebs) and someone who tries to progress and contribute to discussions about how to leverage/utilize the interwebs and it’s various branches, this made my ears perk up and my mouse to click.

Here are the 12 rules they collected (via some homage to 4chan, knowyourmeme.com, and other various websites and web users), which I offer my thoughts on as well.

1. Nothing is sacred. No exceptions.

OK, yeah, I can see that. This makes sense… especially if you have spent any sort of significant time on Reddit (if you aren’t already hooked in by Reddit, don’t ever go there, you will not come back).

2. Anything you post will eventually become public.

Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times over yes. Privacy settings are questionable, at best, in their ability to keep you private.  This is a key tenet of many talks and thoughts about digital identity, that when it comes to social media, if you wouldn’t say it out loud in public, you should not post it online, because, nowadays, it is one and the same.  Building on that and moving forward, why not leverage this publicness of your private self to build a positive brand that works for your benefit and adds to the good work you do offline as well.

3. Anything you post can and will be used against you.

OK, CNN, wow, do we need to talk about something?  But, no, seriously, if you post something questionable, illegal, or downright stupid, expect to pay for it.  However, in our field, and in other fields I hope, I hope that student affairs professionals can approach this issue in an educational sense rather than a punitive sense.  Social media is communication, and we need to be in the business of helping our students become better communicators, not shutting them down for being silly or (sometimes) stupid communicators.

4. If you post something epically stupid, it will go viral.

Yes. And I will probably laugh at it.  And then it will get featured on a terrible show like Tosh.O and no one will like it anymore.

5. Whatever viral thing you love today you will come to hate tomorrow.

It is 2013… Gangnam Style does not exist anymore. Also, the Harlem Shake should never be spoken of again… I need some V for Vendetta or 1984 censoring powers up in here.  Cats, however, will always rule… more on that later.

6. However bizarre or obscure your interests, someone shares them.

Yes. Reddit is prime meat for example.  And not that it is bizarre or obscure, but watching the Texas A&M student newspaper, The Battalion, try and deal with the concept of furries was HILARIOUS… but there was a legit community at Texas A&M.

7. There are facts on the internet if you know where to look.

I just have to facepalm whenever a Senator uses The Onion as a viable source for information on some important national policy matter.

8. Everything on the internet is free or will be soon.

Except many academic articles and journals.  Ahhh, information sharing.

9. Post pictures or it didn’t happen (Photoshop is an amazing tool.)

The latest, and amazing, source that pertains to this rule is the picture evidence of President Obama skeet shooting.  However, the White House photo guidelines said photo alterations were not to be manipulated… yeahhhhhh, right. For being such a digital President… srsly?

10. If it exists, there is porn of it.

The internet is scary yo. Heh.

11. YOU SHOULD NEVER WRITE IN ALL CAPS.

ThAnKfUlLy ThIs Is DiEiNg OuT.

…annnnnnnnnnnd…

12. Anything can be made better by adding cats… or babies.

TRUE! and then false.  As many say about the Aww subreddit community of Reddit, cats are easily upvoted… babies, however, I will downvote immediately.  Let’s be honest, cats control the interwebs.  It’s not a rule… it’s reality.

Dogs want in on the action as well.

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