by Nicole Fabian-Weber
A new browser plugin called WhoIsLive wants to take everything you find peaceful and private about web surfing and rip it up into a million little pieces and flush it down the toilet never to be seen again. Their mission? To add live chat rooms to all those websites that didn't previously have them -- including that certain someone's Facebook page you've been stalking and that God awful porn site. You were looking at what?
Before you get yourself in a tizzy, wondering what sites you frequent and how embarrassing they are on the Kinsey scale, take comfort in the fact that unless you install this plugin for your computer, you don't have to worry about people seeing what you're looking at. If you do install it, well, you're kind of insane.
I understand the general purpose of WhoIsLive. It's to make web surfing more social. I.E., if you're perusing some website for a gadget you've been pondering buying, you can talk to other like-minded people who are also on the site about it. Still, though, I couldn't be more against WhoIsLive. It is just not possible.
Does every g.d. thing online have to be a social event now? Sheesh! What happened to logging on, enjoying a little surfing -- in private -- and logging off? It's bad enough we're forced to learn what kind of soda our friend from high school is drinking and who our neighbor ran into at the drug store every time we turn on our computers. Now we have to talk to perfect strangers? I'll pass, thanks. Unless it's Balki. I definitely don't want to talk to cousin Larry.
For me, the Internet, along with TV and booze, is an escape. I don't go online to talk with other people. I go on to indulge in a little surfing before reporting back to real life. Call me anti-social, but I never turn on my Gchat, and it'll be a cold day in hell before you find me on Facebook chat. It just doesn't interest me. I guess I'm a misanthrope.
Or maybe, more likely, I'm just old-fashioned. Because, personally, I think we all need to take a break from talking to everyone online and start communicating the way God intended -- through texting.