My parents, my sisters, my wife and I took a cross-country trip in a Lincoln Navigator some time ago to participate in spreading my grandfathers ashes at sea. With six adults, four laptops and more than 50 DVD’s (plus all the luggage), the truck was pretty full. While the trip isn’t the subject of this post (and the trip deserves a series of posts on it’s own), one of the chief Gilbertisms that the trip established was “The share and don’t share rule.”
While many things can be attributed to the “don’t share” side of the rule, the only really consistent class of items was “anything to do with your butt.” Mention of the rule still elicits giggles among the Gilbert faithful.
The internet has no such rule. Everything is shared on the internet. This is generally good in a only somewhat creepy Orwellian way. Don’t post anything on the internet you wouldn’t want everyone in the world to see both individually and collectively. Individually, you might not want your mom or your wife to see you at last years office party. Collectively, you’d probably rather people not know what you do with sheep.
It’s important that you understand both of these alternatives. Invariably, the one person you’d rather not see something you put on the internet will discover it. It doesn’t matter if they don’t know how to use the computer or they don’t generally look for that kind of thing. They will find it. It’s just as true that the collective eyeball will be turned on something about you posted on the internet when it’s most inconvenient. This is not a good way to make the news.
Now the sharper pencils may have noticed this post is tagged with GLI (Gilbert’s Laws of the Internet). But this is not a law (something intrinsic to the internet), this is a rule… for you. Or not. Feel free to amuse us.
Gilbert’s 2nd Law of the Internet states:
For each and every “it” there exists porn of “it” somewhere on the Internet.
Note that I draw on many sources for laws — this one in particular can be sourced in many places.
This is a simple law. If you’ve been on the Internet for some time, eventually you get jaded enough so as to be shocked by what someone will put on the internet only occasionally. At first, typing in the wrong search term can lead you don’t a disturbing rabbit hole. Later on, as you recognize these diversions for what they are, it can take a truly circuitous route or a blatantly teasing link to cause the shock and awe.
It’s also a simple law since it both can’t and shouldn’t be disproved.