Top 5 signs you’re an internet cliche

You think being smart makes you better than everyone on the internet. You get angry and mean when others don’t acknowledge it.

We all know the internet is full of dumbasses. Newsflash, you’re one of them. Being smart isn’t enough to set you apart around here. Welcome to the party.

You type “M$” when referring to Microsoft.

Congratulations, you’re against the establishment! Way to be a rebel, just like everyone else. Showing contempt for a company that charges you for use of their hard work is kind of ridiculous, so if you’re a consumer, you’re being lame. If you’re a linux hacker, you’ve got a leg to stand on, but you’ve also got a day job where they pay your salary by charging other people money. And if you’re an Apple user, then, let’s face it, you’re being an epic hypocrite. Before you go off on another rant about how bloated a Microsoft OS is, check out your mac’s price tag.

You make constant references to anything someone with “geek cred” would know, in parantheses, ending in “anyone?” (slashdot/reddit commentors, anyone?)

Often the committer of this particular sin is masking it as an on-topic reference. This is not impressive. But it is annoying. It is especially egregious if you do this during one-on-one conversation.

BTW, I consider this to be Jeff Atwood’s only serious blogging sin. I love that blog, but every time he does that I wince a little, just because I think he’s better than that.

You Namedrop e-famous bloggers like Yegge, Atwood or Spolsky

I just got called out on this one, by a friend who saw point #3. Look, none of us are perfect. That’s why it’s a cliche :D

You’ve actually answered a “How do I do (this) in (this environment)?” question with “switch to (my environment of choice)”.

This one is pretty generic. So, examples!

Q: How do I do (x) in PHP?
A: Switch to Rails (In the history of the internet, the person who asked this one has never once gone “I talked to my boss, and convinced him you were right! We’re scrapping 3 years of development to switch to a language/framework none of us know, on your say-so! Everyone’s cool with it! Hooray!”)

Q: How do I do (x) in Windows?
A: Switch to *nix (Because there’s no way the learning curve is going to become a bigger issue than the original problem, right?)
Alternate A: Switch to Mac (Often, in this case, the real answer in windows is to right click on something. HA! I’m mostly kidding, though I’ve witnessed it in the wild)
Non-existent A: Worth mentioning, I’ve never seen anyone say “switch to windows” when asked the question in linux or apple forums. You can interpret that any way you want, but I think it’s at least partially because the reaction of a windows user is something along the lines of “I don’t know. I’m a windows user.”

Q: How do I make my ford truck stop making this noise?
A: Switch to Chevy
I’m not a car guy, but from I understand, in certain parts of the country, saying this out loud is a really bad idea. Ah, the anonymizing power of the interwebs.

We’re all guilty of something. Be it namedropping, inappropriate evangalizing, self-important rambling (Yeah, I’m talking to you!), none of us are perfect. But I think a goal we can all agree on, an ideal we should continue to strive for, is this.

Don’t be that guy

-Alex

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Comments

Thank-you, Internet authority on clichés. We had ambiguity, and thanks to this post we no longer have it.

I’m so damn cool, I didn’t even notice the sarcasm:P

“a friend who saw point #3″

Could you add ‘creating a top 5 list without enumerating the items, and then referencing that list by number’, or is that just specific to you?

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