Both of our children are Internet savvy and spend a lot of time browsing the web. They’re Redditors, and every time I say that in public they both hate it, because I guess it’s not cool if you tell people about it. (What’s the point of naming your club if you can’t tell people you’re a member?) Anyway, they gather a lot of information from this particular place, so they may or may not be affiliated. Our daughter also does a lot of SnapChat and our son does a lot of 4Chan and they both know a plethora of things they shouldn’t because the world is at their fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, non-stop and full blast.
I spend a lot of time in the virtual world: I’m online quite a bit, searching for trucking content and looking at cute pictures of hedgehogs. I read an average of 20-30 articles a day. I send my kids a lot of things I think they would like, especially our son. I’m forever tagging snippets about Kurt Cobain and interesting things I see about the interwebs and sending them to him. It’s one of the ways we communicate when I’m away. It gives us stuff to talk about on the phone, so we can have a conversation about something other than how much taking care of the old dogs sucks for him while we’re gone. (This is my O-m-gee, your life is awful face, by the way.)
I found a really fascinating article about a guy who started following a thread on 4Chan and was led into the depths of the underworld of the Internet by a succession of riddles. He found the black hole of the information highway to be a very weird and scary place (somehow I’m not super surprised about that one). It’s called “Chasing the Cicada” and it’s pretty interesting, if you’re interested in those things. I sent it to our son, because I could imagine him becoming fascinated with something like that, and also because of the weird and scary factor.
Of course, the Cicada was old news to him — he’d been following the thing since 9th grade, for heaven’s sake. Sometimes I’m so dumb and behind the virtual times, I embarrass myself, along with the rest of the geriatric population. Excuse me while I wet myself.
I hadn’t thought of the article again until a couple of days ago, when someone sent me a weird website they thought might be scamming truckers out of money. The original link they sent didn’t work, but a Google search quickly linked me to a MySpace page (that’s right, I said MySpace – it does still exist). The MySpace page was oddly disjointed, but had several websites listed on it, all had trucking language involved. I was getting ready to click on one of the URL’s when a thought flashed into my head.
I probably don’t want to see where this goes. It probably goes to something that I can’t un-see and will always want to un-see. I’m following a three-legged cricket down a dark rabbit hole and I don’t want to go there.
I backed out carefully and closed the browser. I deleted the history – like it really matters (it doesn’t), but it made me feel better knowing the link was erased from my immediate view. I’m going to leave this one where it belongs, which is probably in the darkest corners of the internet. It’s one story I won’t be researching, based solely on gut reaction, which I have learned to trust better than my intellect, thank the Lord.