Category Archives: internet

The Internet Police

Sometimes I run queries for redheads and find different sketches and portraits to use for my blog, or as avatars. I must be very generic looking since just about every drawing of a redhead I find resembles me. I have found so many lately I have a little folder with all the ones I like.

If I ever use actual pictures, they are my own. It is one thing to have a cartoon avatar of another woman, and quite another (weird) thing to actually use her picture.
I like pictures, and just as on Pinterest, I can spend hours distracted. Not to mention that finding one or two sketches involves looking through hundreds of them.
Ally came up next to me to see what I was doing. She is still at the age where she thinks all redheads are me, even if they are not cartoons but real pictures. Tonight I found another one I like (featured above) and showed it to her. She looked at it and exclaimed “Look mama! It’s you when you are being bad!” What do I look like when I am being good?
Later in the evening, when I thought she was in bed, she comes into the kitchen. I was on my laptop (actually blogging about ants), she watches me for a few seconds and then asks “Mama, are you being bad again?”
When did my child turn into the Internet police?

Who Did You Ask?

I am currently writing a paper on the enregisterment of Internet language as deviating from Standard English, creating its own dialect, and even perhaps a pidgin. I am very excited about how it turned out, and I found some great research on the topic. But I also found a lot of biased research, and I am curious how no one figured out the faulty assumption under which they were operating.
A lot of the research of how texting and social networking has affected the written word nationwide was based on self analysis on the part of the researchers. The researchers are well educated people who typically speak and write in complete sentences. Does anyone see a problem here? It was no surprise that they found little to no problems when analyzing their own texts. For instance, Lauren Squires wrote an amazing article, “Enregistering Internet Language.” However, she bases a large part of her conclusion on her analysis of her own IM conversations. I can only assume that someone who writes as well as she does is not engaging in sub par language use.
For example, in my informal speech such as texts, or chat conversations, I tend to speak in complete sentences. I am aware I use ellipses a lot, but even in between all the dots I form coherent thoughts. For those of you who know me, you are aware that I end most texts with “…” This does not mean anything is to follow. No, I have ended the sentence there. I just, for whatever reason, trail off with a series of dots instead of a period. I also use “…” instead of commas. Again, for no particular reason. I like to think that that is my way of mimicking actual speech in which my voice slightly trails off as opposed to an abrupt stop. Who knows.
Regardless, I do not abbreviate words unnecessarily, do not use “u” instead of “you,” and I most certainly do not combine numbers and letters as if playing bingo with someone over the phone. However, other people do just that. So, if I were to conduct some sort of research on texting trends, I would in no way assume that analyzing my own would be indicative of the population at large.
In fact, one of my friends who teaches English constantly complains of how his students continuously insert these lovely texting habits into formal papers. He was tempted to fail a student just last semester (quarter?) for writing “u,” “b4” and other such nonsense into her final paper.
So when all these articles are telling me that the Internet and texting has not overall changed the way in which people communicate, I am a little suspicious. Especially when the researchers are telling me their sample group is themselves and ten of their closest friends, who also just happen to be well educated and coherent speakers of the English language. Hrm… 

Dial-Up Phone

Even though my phone is not that old, it is also not that good. Hubby doesn’t use anything except text messaging and the actual phone feature on his phone, so when he got these phones for us he didn’t take into consideration all the things I use my phone for. I email, blog, go online, and do all sorts of other things. The realization sunk in when he looked at our phone bill and noticed the extent of my internet usage. But by then it was too late. I was stuck with a phone that takes forever to load a page, runs out of memory every other day, and needs to be restarted several times a day.
Yesterday I was speaking with someone about the old days of the internet, reminiscing about dial-up. I remember trying to go online, and waiting forever for each page to load as my mother downstairs would yell to tell me to get off the internet so she could use the phone. And the page I was on still hadn’t come up.
That is what my phone is like. I sit there and stare at it as it loads anything. Then the screensaver comes on and disrupts all activity. Then the phone locks. So I attempt it again. But this time I am performing acrobatics under a table to acquire the best signal. Or holding my phone up towards the sky as if I am trying to catch something. Running out in the middle of the street with it. And all of this just to check email. And while it is loading the webpage, nothing else on the phone works, including the actual phone part.
In fact, should anyone text or call while I am performing any of this, the phone immediately stops everything. Then the little white bars pop up. There is no coming out of white bar territory. I have to restart my phone. Anything I was doing is immediately lost.
Now that I am thinking about it, I think this is worse than dial-up. At least I didn’t have to hold my computer out the bedroom window to run the internet. And if someone called I wasn’t thrown off the internet, they just got a busy signal. Now I get a missed call and they get a ridiculously long voicemail message that I should probably change to “You have reached Christene’s malfunctioning phone. Please hang up and text me. Thank you and have a nice day.”
Either I need a new phone, or I have to switch from 3G to dial-up on this one.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, don’t worry, it’s not important.