Yes, it is true and you’re infected too! What I am referring to is what I have affectionately dubbed, the “Inet ID:10t Disease” or IIDD (pronounced eye-deed). This deadly disease has ravaged many souls since the birth of the internet in the 1960s (known then as ARPANET) and rise of the world wide web in the early 1980s. IIDD does not limit itself to any particular skin color, gender, age, height, weight, or any other discriminatory factors. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease. However, the potency of the effects you feel are up to you.
TL;DR – everyone is susceptible to internet browsing faux pas .. no one is exempt, not even web gurus 🙂
What is the Inet ID:10t Disease (IIDD)?
Have you ever found your self in that “DOH!” moment when surfing the web? I know I have .. more than once. It usually happens right after someone says something along the lines of, “you know you can just .. ( fill in the blank ).” The response you give is typically one of, but not limited to, “Ooooooh .. I see,” or “Wow, I’m dumb. I didn’t even see that,” or even “Oh cool, I didn’t know you could do that.” IIDD is best explained by the need for user explanations on how to use the internet.
Effects of IIDD
The effects of IIDD include:
- Sudden sense of inability to use the web without someone constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re “doing it right”
- Uttering the phrase “DANG! I didn’t mean to click that” more than once while browsing the web
- Embarrassment, but not from something you’ve seen, read, or heard on the web, rather something you did
IIDD is not easy to prevent since everyone has it. However, there are ways to reduce the frequency from whence it strikes. Here are just 3 key ways to aid in your prevention of IIDD:
- Never stop learning about the web.
- Always be cautious.
- Ask questions, no matter how significant or insignificant it may seem.
Prevention Tactic #1: Never stop learning about the web
Read books, news papers, web articles and the like about the web. Listen to stories about the web. People have some fascinating stories about their web faux pas that you can learn from. Watch how others who have been-there-done-that browse the web. Get your 5 year old child to browse the web for you and just watch their interactions.
Prevention Tactic #2: Always be cautious
~Zach pulls out his soapbox~
Everything you do on the web is tracked. There is always someone watching. For the more tech savvy people, there are ways to severely limit this data output to the point of obscurity, but even then it’s being quantified and calculated. Someone watching is both a pro and a con. It is a con for the obvious reason of cyber security. Nothing, NOTHING, is private on the web no matter what anyone tells you. Trust me, I have seen the other side of the internet and nothing is private. One of the pros is that someone is working behind the scenes to make those IIDD moments fewer and farther between by improving on web usability. Essentially, they have your back even when you do make an embarrassing mis-click or mis-type.
~Zach puts his soapbox away~
Prevention Tactic #3: Ask questions, no matter how significant or insignificant it may seem
When I asked my friend Scott for advice when going to important client meetings his response has stuck with me.
He said, “You’ve been asked to the meeting because you’ve earned your right to be there. Now, ask questions. Ask a lot of questions. Ask questions that may not even pertain directly to your work or your team. Eventually, when you ask enough questions enough times, you stop asking questions and start asking the RIGHT questions.”
I have followed this advice for years and it has served me well. So I extend this same advice to you. While I am using it here in relation to IIDD, this is advice that can serve you well in life.
How do I know if I’m Infected?
Congratulations, you already are infected! Yep that’s right, from birth to death you have the disease. Even I, a web developer (16 years at the time of this writing), still suffer from IIDD. I’ve grown accustomed to it, and you will do. It just becomes part of life. But I’ve been abiding by the prevention tactics for years now to help me and so should you.