We Are Better than THIS

5 Internet Phrases That Are Driving Me Bonkers | We Are Better Than THIS

Human beings like to one up each other. This is not an new concept, but (lucky us) this "Internet" thing means our generation gets to speed things up, causing us to lose a few limbs in the process. Instant sharing causes people to simultaneously heighten and dumb down. People want to make things grandiose, but many find themselves at a loss for words. As a result we glom on to sensationalized muck.

The following are 5 Internet phrases that are driving me bonkers. What drives me even more bonkers is that I know I've been guilty of using each of these too. Consider this an exercise in self harm. I promise it won't hurt too much:

1. This will Break the Internet 

Unless you're the greatest hacker the world has ever seen, or some kind of asteroid, nothing you ever do in your lifetime will break the Internet. "Oh!" you say, "But it's hyperbole!" Sure, it's hyperbole. It's half-baked hyperbole that has been used so much that it has become meaningless. Let it die already.

2. This will BLOW YOUR MIND

I have no problem with this phrase in it of itself. You can have your mind blown. It's a "woah!" moment that happens from time to time. But here's the key: it happens from time to time. Save it for those moments that actually warrant it.

Here's a good test: Think about whatever you are writing or commenting on and ask yourself, "How do I feel about this, inside my body?" If the only logical answer you can come up with is, "I'm awestruck. I'm drooling on myself. I haven't seen anything this amazing or thought provoking in a long time," then you can say, yes this BLEW MY MIND. Otherwise, you can borrow this one: AW MAN! This is nutz!

3. This is Genius

You know what's genius? Finding a cure for polio. Launching a tiny man in a hunk of metal into outer space. Discovering subatomic particles. Inventing a new kind of cheese that does not give you gas. You know what's not genius? An animal riding a Roomba. Social commentary on something everyone is already aware of. A dumb photo of a dumb baby with some dumb white block letter words written over it.

4. This is Best thing EVER

This is best thing ever? So, what you're telling me is that this thing is so amazing that it eclipses anything else you've seen in your life? And the next thing that comes along that is the best thing ever will take the new spot in your brain as the best thing ever, moving the last best thing ever into the number two spot? And this will continue on and on until you've climbed into the lap of God in heaven?

5. This

This is a pronoun. It refers to an object or thing (material or immaterial) without specifically identifying it. When used by itself, this it is an incredibly hollow, meaningless word.

How did this evolve into a way to say that you wholeheartedly agree with something? That something that someone said or did resonates strongly to your core, as a human being? It's a powerful statement, to tell someone that you connect with them. I don't want to be so quick to cheapen it.

There is nothing inherently special about these phrases, so why do we, otherwise intelligent people, continue to use them? I find myself falling into this trap where I see something interesting online and my brain will dart to cliches, cliches that are empty, cliches that lessen the impact of legitimate praise. Cliches that make me sound like an idiot. How did that thought get in there? Why is THIS this first thing I think of?

It's simple really... It's slang. It's sloppy, lazy, dumbed-down Internet slang. We learn and recognize slang because we see it so frequently. We fold new language into our lexicon without kicking the wheels for quality. We adopt this language because we want to feel as though we belong and, because of the Internet, this process happens rapid fire.

Oh Internet. She's like a wild, drunken friend that you love to pieces, but she's also an emotional wreck and an energy suck. She might have an alcohol problem too. I've already done an "Internet Etiquette" post, and I fear I might be becoming some kind of snarky Miss Manners, so I'm not going to drone on and nag about how everyone is doing it wrong. If THIS makes you happy, then shine on you drunken diamond. I promise I won't judge you too much.

Original Photo By: ClickFlashPhotos on Flickr (CC), Graphics by Shay Lorseyedi

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