Written by Dick Sheerer

Monday, 6 July 2015

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The web is a vast expanse of vice to entice you and virtue to hurt you; a worldwide wasteland with words of wisdom, terms and conditions and perverts living in a saturated cyberspace of sin and psychosis where content is king and everyone else is a surfer. It's a dark and dangerous jungle full of predatory pedophiles and the people they prey on. Hackers hack their way through the dense Amazon undergrowth like salivating savages in search of something or another..

Billed by Big Brother as a Great Equalizer that levels the playing field between power and poverty, but it's also a convenient distraction that keeps people from rioting in the streets. The huddled masses look to the web of wonder for liberation but instead get tangled up and caught in a trap called the Internet. Prisoners of this internment camp were like e-bait on a plate to be ate by the spider's mouth and can't wait to get out.

When the web was in its infancy it was an interesting and exciting innovation with unlimited possibilities. Within twenty years it became just one big commercialized communication channel with non-stop, end-to-end advertising, publicity stunts, and PR ploys. Surfers are inundated by a flood of sweatshop blood and drown in a sea of marketing gimmicks and overpriced merchandise.

The Internet has no doubt revolutionized commerce and communication with some temporary benefits, while at the same time it replaced the socioeconomic infrastructure that is the central nervous system of civilization-which was a very foolish move indeed. With reliance on new technology that we barely understand, the slightest glitch can send us back to the stone ages. One wonders if that's what the plan was all along, because surely the greatest scientific minds on earth could not have made a miscalculation of such magnitude. Or could they? Well what can we expect from a group of geeky nerds who sit around all day postulating and hypothesizing, which sounds like perverted activities so therefore they are, at least on some level.

Social Networks- In the early 21st century the World Wide Web reached critical mass and the time was ripe to exploit everyone's desire to have an Internet presence. Up until then only cool people had a website, then even uncool people started having their own sites, and it quickly became a necessary status symbol for all. Chat rooms and forums were no longer enough. It eventually grew to the point where if you didn't have your own web page you didn't exist, you were dead to the world. Meanwhile the standards were raised a notch and truly cool people had better sites with rich multimedia and e-commerce features, and millions more uncool people continued getting their sites online--but there was still a billion other people longing for their own place in cyberspace.

Then along came social network websites, the answer to everyone's dream. They loved these sites because they provided an online ego base for them, with their very own web page. They would end up wasting many hours every day trapped in this social network. Instead of spending a few hundred dollars for an original custom designed website that represented their unique and distinguished personality, they opted for the cheapo, freebee, one-size-fits-all, standard issue social network web page. This was a textbook example of the herd mentality in action; everyone else was doing it so they just went along with the crowd. The billionaire CEOs did the thinking so you don't have to. Suddenly it was cool to be uncool by joining a mob of clones in a contest to see who could get the most "friends" added to their page-but first they have to join.

Members of social networks are called "users", as in drug users, because they get addicted to using the sites. The sign up process is an arduous affair that involves relinquishing personal data and intimate information that is equivalent to identity rape. To add insult to injury users are must agree to the site's Terms and Conditions, which is a lengthy litany of legalize techno-babble that in essence forfeits any right they have and grants the site unlimited power to do whatever the hell they want. By the time users read it all-if they even understand it, and are reluctant to agree-they figure that they already invested so much time getting this far, and since millions of others took the leap, they don't want to be left out so the agree. They now have their own membership account, which is like having their own personal jail cell because they can't escape, even if they close the account a part of their identity--indeed their very soul--will remain incarcerated forever--while the staff laughs all the way to the bank.

The phenomenal success of social network websites is one of those amazing Internet wonders. They make you wonder why people are so dumb to get suckered into using them. The genius of the business model is in its simplicity. Once the coding is in place the website functions automatically with virtually no service or maintenance costs, so all the resources are focused on marketing. If you do enough marketing you can even sell horse manure. So a few of these sites dominate the market saturating society with their ubiquitous logos, media memes, and messages mentioning their name and your need to join. But they are the only ones that need you to join because their advertising revenue depends on traffic to their site via membership usage. They don't give a damn about the pseudo service they provide, that's incidental. All they care about is making a profit, and their service isn't enough, so they encourage members to get lots of people-anybody, even total strangers--added to their so-called friends list.

The website proactively insists that no one can have any real social or professional life without it, and pushes them to stay logged on and interacting in a feeding frenzy for friends. Because if they don't have lots of friends on their list they look like losers, so it's all a cynical game that manipulates members into generating mass amounts of traffic by spending half their lives hustling others into forming fake friendships. Members don't even know most of the people on their Friends list, and they don't care as long as there are lots of faces. It's such a farcical fiasco! The marketing strategy is simple yet critical; it relies entirely universal brand positioning and convincing everyone that they need to use their website at all times. And at first glance they seem like a deeply entrenched establishment, almost a cultural institution. But when you consider the fact that it's all based on a sinister marketing ploy with very little substantive value for the consumer, it looks like another techno-bubble full of hot air that may burst at any minute.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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Topics: Internet
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