The internet is a big, bad place at times. We all know this and yet despite all the warnings from childhood, including Horrible Histories, friends and just basic common sense I have still managed to find myself at times with very dubious things appearing on my screen. I’m usually pretty good, by simply not moving from a handful of websites, this works fairly well except for a few hiccups regarding links. Because of something that happened with Youtube the other day I thought I’d share some of my accidental and unfortunate traverses on the internet.
An Adage I Should Try to Remember
I might as well start with the most dreadful sounding thing – fanfiction. Two words which together should send alarm bells ringing through the mind and in my defence it did and nor have I read much of the stuff. I was aware of the usual tripe that is fanfiction, but what I read was actually attempting to be a story and not pornography, there was a very funny one about Draco Malfoy being turned into a hamster. And one author who had transplanted the Hobbit into a sort of modern day middle-earth type thing and done an Avengers-Pride and Prejudice crossover which sticks very closely to the original book. These are nicely written, and you know you’re on fairly steady ground with them. The problem we come to is links, never go with the links its a bad, bad plan, which I followed once read about four paragraphs of something and went “Nope, where’s the back button”. Admittedly the small amount that I read was not anything too bad, just very bizarre, it wasn’t worse than the banned story from the Decameron (Day III, Tale 10 – if you’re curious its an early Italian Renaissance book which contains a story which we likened in seminar to the “medieval version of 50 Shades of Grey”). I could see however it was not going to get any better so I left that well alone and decided that it would be better all round that I never venture down that route again.
Now, the feral beast known as Youtube. This one is actually a little worse than the fanfiction. And I haven’t gone searching dubious things on Youtube, I’m not that dumb, but I have ended up clicking on videos that were in the recommended while your playing one thing. So the other day I searched for the cleaning song from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty because I couldn’t get the tune out of my head. What could be possibly more innocent than Sleeping Beauty, and Disney’s version to boot? So I saw another video that was a clip and it was called Sleeping Beauty and it was obviously live action, all that was in the description was a copyright disclaimer, so I had no warning. I thought that it would be something like a clip from one of those Hallmark remake movies that are essentially nutella films. Within about 20 seconds of a 1 minute 30 second clip, I realised this was not the case and two things alerted to me to that. Number 1, what the characters were saying, Number 2, the playing next video was entitled something along the lines of (18+) Sleeping Beauty film. As I read this, what they were saying also clicked together, it had something to do with the girl (who I assumed was Sleeping Beauty) was becoming a prostitute, and I promptly closed down the page. To go from a nice cheesy Hallmark movie to this was a bit of a jump – one that I was not sufficiently prepared for. I was searching for a Disney song ultimately at what point would I really expect something from an 18 to crop up? I certainly won’t be looking at that particular fairy tale the same way again.
And finally, Facebook. I am not stupid around Facebook, I only accept friend requests from people I have actually spoken to and aside from some bizarre and frankly slightly disturbing images that came up when someones account got hacked, life on Facebook is fine. Admittedly I am not there a lot. I haven’t quite figured out what its for yet. Except for playing Candy Crush when I should have been writing essays, I had to ban myself from it and take it off my phone, the works in about mid-February. But you know how Facebook takes ages to load sometimes, and you just click around the page, I’ve learnt not to do that anymore because I ended accidentally liking one of the recommended things and that kept of filling up my news feed with its bizarre content. For ages I couldn’t figure out where this had come from and how to get it off. It wasn’t bad stuff and it was ages ago and it wasn’t burnt into my memory so I know it wasn’t horrific but it was just stuff I wouldn’t like and I was mostly confused as to how it got there. Just in case I accidentally click on something even worse I resolved never to do that again. Also I’m now very careful when scrolling through Facebook on my phone after accidentally liking a picture of someone who I didn’t know because someone I knew was tagged in it. So many opportunities in social media to look like some creepy stalker person.
So these were my life lessons from the internet. Anyone else have anything like this? Please tell me I am not the only one to do something a little bit stupid on the tinterweb.
P.S. Well that was a palava and a half! I have had this post sitting ready now for about four days but I couldn’t log onto to my emails to retrieve the picture until just. Sometimes it honestly makes you wonder if technology is worth it.