Web offers new enticement for schadenfreude
So really I’m not a very computer-obsessed person. I only have two e-mail accounts, my school account and my personal account. I have one Facebook page, no MySpace or blogs. I’m not even totally sure what a blog is, to be honest with you. And I’m very surprised to find that my computer lets me type the word “blog” without a red squiggle under it. What a funny word.
I learned to use more computer things than ever this year, thanks to Ole Miss. I have to check my Webmail daily, check Blackboard, and do online French exercises, not to mention registering for classes and checking on financial aid and whatnot. Thanks to the friends I made in the dorm last semester, I learned the use of YouTube and ITunes.
But actually, I might depend on a computer more than I realize. Some things are so common that even I don’t recognize them as advanced technology skills. Like, say, typing this column right now. I had to get on Microsoft Word, change some settings, set fonts and margins. When I want to know what something looks like or what a word means, or maybe just the newest Julia Roberts movie out, I go to Google. Wow, I love Google. Other frequently visited Web sites on my laptop: dictionary.com, sparknotes.com and wikipedia.org. It’s pretty basic stuff.
As of recently, I have found a new Web site to visit. There’s a saying that I’m sure everyone has used, or has heard someone use, and it’s not a very nice saying so I won’t quote it in here. A nice way to put it: “I hate my life.” It’s usually said sarcastically, like “Oh man I have a ten page paper due tomorrow, I hate my life,” or “There’s nothing to do this weekend, I hate my life.” I mean, nobody really hates their life; it’s just an exaggerated way to say you’re frustrated. Anyways, there is an entire Web site devoted to peoples’ stories about why they hate their life. Other people can even vote their opinion on it, either “Yeah, that sucks,” or “You deserved that.”
Some of the stories are funny and others are just deeply terrible. I am addicted to all of them. Why, I ask myself, do I so enjoy reading about other people’s misfortune? Why do so many other people enjoy it too? In every magazine there’s the section with embarrassing or unfortunate stories, and last semester we even read a book about someone who made a living writing “true confessions” (early “I hate my life” stories).
An even better question – why would someone want to tell the world about their most unfortunate moment?
I’m pretty blonde and clumsy, which has resulted in many an embarrassing moment, but I feel no desire to write about them in this column or anywhere else. Sometimes I’ll send my mom, or my brother, or Seth a text about something I did, because I know they’ll just laugh and like me anyway. But a million total strangers judging me at my worst? That sounds horrific. It makes me think that maybe the things those people write about never actually happened to them, and they’re just posting them to get a laugh. I might try that for fun one day.
I guess it doesn’t matter if they’re true or not, and why someone would want to post them. The Web site is definitely popular now, I’m not the only one obsessed with why other people hate their lives! Most importantly, I have a new and strange addition to the recently visited sites on my computer, which brings me to a grand total of seven! I’m becoming slowly but surely more technologically advanced.