1. Steve Jobs. Think of the most preening know-it-all you have ever encountered. Say, Pervez Musharraf. Now imagine if he was always right.
2. The constant reminder of my immaturity. As a pimply 14-year-old, you probably thought your lovelorn poetry deserved a wider audience. As a college freshman, you fancied yourself an astute political analyst. Congratulations, your ramblings are only a Google search (probably to be conducted by a prospective employer) away.
3. Fan boys and early adopters. Before the advent of the internet, it used to be easy to ignore those who claimed to love bands before they hit it big. No matter how hard you try, Linux scolds are impossible to tune out.
4. Online commenters. If people who write on the internet are the pond scum of humanity, those who leave comments on their posts are the algae.
5. The death of irony. Try and write something satirical. Then sit back and wait for everyone to take you literally. Irony has now been replaced by sarcasm. And as Neil Patrick Harris one said, “Sarcasm, how original.”
6. Buffering. The internet is supposed to be all about instant gratification. Why, then, do I have to wait four hours for songs to load on YouTube? I want to spend my entire workday pretending I’m doing something other than listening to Bruce Springsteen, not just half.
7. Websites that use Flash. When I go to a restaurant’s website, I want to see an address, a menu and a phone number for reservations. Making me wait five minutes while a rabbit in a top hat dances across the screen isn’t going to help your business.
8. It’s yet another way to measure your self-worth. There is nothing worse than having fewer followers than anyone else on Twitter. Actually, there is: having fewer friends than everyone on Facebook.
9. The rise of inane lists like this one. The average internet-user has the attention span of a gnat. Information has to be bite-sized, numbered and not too taxing on the miniscule brain.
10. Justin Bieber. The internet made this alleged human famous. There is something seriously wrong with a 16-year-old whose voice hasn’t yet broken.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, February 6th, 2011.
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