Internet may be full by 2010; this column not helping

We here at the Internet would like to draw your attention to a new report from Nemertes Research, stating that the Internet may be completely full by the year 2010. Granted, this may not seem like news. After all, some would argue that the Internet is already full, but it is a serious problem that must be addressed.
Otherwise, we could be faced with massive Internet brownouts within three years. Whole wi-fi networks could be unusable. Teenagers may have to talk to each other in person, using actual words rather than abbreviations. And most ominous of all: You won't be able to check your e-mail!

The problem is supposedly caused by "a booming demand for Internet services combined with insufficient infrastructure investment." But we all know the real reason: there's just too much crap on the Internet. According to the report, "Internet access infrastructure, specifically in North America, will likely cease to be adequate for supporting demand within the next three to five years." Obviously, North America is singled out because that's where most of the crap is generated.

Something must be done, and it must be done now to prevent this looming crisis. With that in mind, we here at the Internet have decided upon a few necessary changes. Some of these new regulations may seem draconian, but we must act to preserve this dwindling natural resource.

Beginning immediately, all social networking sites will be reduced to one, which will henceforth be referred to as the Internet. Also, users of social networking may only add two new friends per day. Any more is just plain showing off, researchers have determined.

Similarly, entirely too much bandwidth is being consumed by Youtube and other video sites. Before uploading a video, it is quite possible that your video may already exist. If it contains one of the following:

(a.) dancing pets,
(b.) bad lip synching,
(c.) crazy people ranting, or
(d.) copyright infringement

Stop! It may not be necessary to upload your video. We think it's already there.

Meanwhile, as of today, we will be setting a moratorium on all Wikipedia entries. There are already 2,104,345 English entries, and that's quite enough. Case in point: we just asked for a random article and were whisked away to a 1,000-word entry on Grover from Sesame Street. Did you know that in Norway Grover is called Gunnar? Did you need to know that? Unless you're a 4-year-old Norwegian, no.

E-mail usage is also seriously out of control. The use of reply-all on e-mails will be phased out within the next twelve months, to be replaced by the reply-some function which will send your message only to a random subset of the original recipients, not that they'll read your message anyway.

It has also come to our attention that there is a great deal of pornographic material on the Internet. In fact, 30% of all Internet traffic in 2007 can be directly linked to Britney Spears' habit of not wearing underwear. Effective immediately, all Internet users may view only one photograph of Britney Spears per calendar year. Other Hollywood starlets are advised to dress conservatively at all times in order to preserve our precious Internet bandwidth

Furthermore, there are far too many fetishes online, or so we have been told. Per the ruling of the newly-commissioned Fetish Rationing Board, bandwidth for all fetishes will be severely consolidated. For example, foot fetishists will only be able to use the Internet on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while those aficionados of hot teachers will be only able to use the Internet on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the weekend. Special exceptions will be made for pictures of hot teachers with particularly attractive footwear, as determined by Jim at the Fetish Rationing Board. A full list of rationed fetishes will be available at your local library, in paper form so as not to waste the valuable resources of the Internet.

Finally, the hours between nine and five on the east coast of the United States -- when the majority of Internet users are at work -- are by far the busiest for the Internet. These are the hours when a crash is most likely, and something must be done to lower the number of users then. We're not quite sure, but it seems to us that there might be some other task that workers could be doing during those work hours rather than surfing the Internet on company time. We'll let you know when we figure out what that could be.

    A periodic humor column, disguised as a blog. New columns published on Tuesdays or not as the case may be.


  • I've written for Slate, The Boston Globe Magazine, Salon, McSweeney's, WBUR Radio, The Christian Science Monitor, The Globe and Mail, and many other publications. Thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoy my Internet column.

  • ©1995-2009 Joe Lavin