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The Internet — Enabler of Guilty Pleasures

ScuttleMonkey posted about 8 years ago | from the secret-britney-fans dept.

206

Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "'Sure, the Internet has revolutionized the spread of information and all that high-minded stuff, but its combination of reach and anonymity also makes it the greatest enabler of guilty pleasures ever invented,' Jason Fry writes in the Wall Street Journal. 'Indulgence is just a click away, and nobody needs to know, except you and some server somewhere.' For example: Fry, a rock snob, has a double secret life as a pop-music fan (secret no more, of course). From the article: 'If your secret love of "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" has caused it to creep into your iTunes list of 25 most-played songs, a simple right-click will let you reset the play count. If you want to hear Fall Out Boy, but would rather do so in secret, you can command Last.fm to ignore that the song was played — or delete it from your charts if you forget. Viewed from the standpoint of cool logic, this behavior is at least mildly insane. But who needs things that remind us of who we really are, as opposed to how we want others to see us — or how we'd like to see ourselves?'"

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Oh so true (4, Funny)

lixee (863589) | about 8 years ago | (#16146820)

I caught myself watching MTV's "Wanna come in" few minutes ago and gave myself a slap.

Re:Oh so true (1)

MoonFog (586818) | about 8 years ago | (#16146841)

Isn't this kind of like the stupid reality shows and tabloid magazines which people will never acknowledge reading/watching, yet still has a great knowledge of? Nothing new, the scenery has just changed and now the one who knows is the IT guy, not the clerk behind the counter.

Is this song...? (1, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 8 years ago | (#16146877)

"If your secret love of "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)"

Hmm...is this song from the soundtrack of Brokeback Mountain?

No wonder he wanted to hide that one....

:-)

Re:Oh so true (5, Informative)

tehwebguy (860335) | about 8 years ago | (#16147126)

i think the point is that you can be more secretive.. it doesn't take the kind of balls to do something online it might take to do in front of a store full of people (or even just one guy behind a counter)

Re:Oh so true (1)

R2.0 (532027) | about 8 years ago | (#16147039)

Last night at the bar it was "Cartoons and Shows from the 70's". We were pretty stumped on some (Goldar, Silvar, and...Steve?). Then someone whipped out the Treo and hit Google ("Space Giants" - never did get the last one)

Good times, goood times...

Re:Oh so true (1)

myth24601 (893486) | about 8 years ago | (#16147124)

Last night at the bar it was "Cartoons and Shows from the 70's". We were pretty stumped on some (Goldar, Silvar, and...Steve?). Then someone whipped out the Treo and hit Google ("Space Giants" - never did get the last one)

Wasn't it Gam?

Re:Oh so true (1)

RackinFrackin (152232) | about 8 years ago | (#16147433)

Yeah. It was Gam. Also, it wasn't a cartoon, it was a live-action sci-fi show.

how pop? (3, Funny)

justkarl (775856) | about 8 years ago | (#16146825)

FRom TFA:

Given such freedom, hipsters can let their inner dork out for a romp, extolling the virtues of the Arcade Fire by night and retreating to their headphones by day for a Hanson or Boston fix.

I think that Boston and Hanson are two totally separate things. Boston can be filed quickly under Classic Rock, but any god fearing man who listens to hanson even behind closed doors, in my book, might need a psychiatric evalutation.

Re:how pop? (1)

deafNewt (1003036) | about 8 years ago | (#16146843)

We all have our dark sides that we want to keep secret, but Hanson -- the horror! the horror!!

Re:how pop? (5, Funny)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#16146888)

. . .any god fearing man. . .

If God wants take issue with me he come on around and I'll mmmmmmmm bop 'im.

KFG

Re:how pop? (2, Insightful)

Frymaster (171343) | about 8 years ago | (#16146904)

Given such freedom, hipsters can let their inner dork out for a romp, extolling the virtues of the Arcade Fire by night and retreating to their headphones by day for a Hanson or Boston fix.

and the internet is necessary for this how? waaay back in the days when the bbs ruled the earth you could still listen to dorky music in the privacy of your own home, away from the judgemental eyes of your peers. if anything, the internet makes this sort of clandestine pleasure harder. last.fm, filesharing &c make the music you have and are actually listening to visible (and audible) by a way larger audience.

add to that the semi-permanace of an online life and things get worse. in the internet age, your tastes can leave a near-indellible electronic trail -- poorly thought out blog posts, last.fm entries &c. you used to be able to say that you were into such-and-such band 'before they sold out' or whatever and people would just have to take your word. nowadays you have to have a suitably-dated myspace post to back it up!

Re:how pop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16146988)

Well, if you download a Hanson track, that's one thing. But if you actually have to walk up to the counter at CD Whorehouse and buy it.... well, imagine all the underbreath chatter amongst the peanut gallery. Sure, you'll stutter, "I-i-it's for my c-c-cousin. Yeah, that's it. C-c-cousin." They'll really know what's going on. And besides, even if it was for your cousin, would you want to admit being related, and encouraging that behavior?

Re:how pop? (1)

needacoolnickname (716083) | about 8 years ago | (#16147379)

If you really care what the "Im so rebellious that I wear exactly what the rebellious people wear" clerk at Tower thinks of you then you have many more problems above and beyond the CD in your hand.

That one chick from Hanson is really hot! (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | about 8 years ago | (#16146945)

(Family Guy reference in case you didn't know)

Peter Griffin - If you could have any woman in the world, who would it be?
Quagmire - Taylor Hanson.
Joe Swanson - Taylor Hanson is a guy.
  [Pause]
Quagmire - [Laughs] You guys are yankin' me. "Hey, let's put one over on old Quagmire."
Peter - No, he's actually a guy, Quagmire.
Quagmire - What? That's insane. That's impossible.
  [Pause]
Quagmire - Oh god. Oh my god. I've got all these magazines. Oh god.

Re:That one chick from Hanson is really hot! (4, Funny)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 8 years ago | (#16147519)

Now let's talk about "Tokio Hotel"...

Re:how pop? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147305)

I think that Boston and Hanson are two totally separate things. Boston can be filed quickly under Classic Rock, but any god fearing man who listens to hanson even behind closed doors, in my book, might need a psychiatric evalutation.
Well, this is nice and dandy, except for:
  • Hanson isn't doing mmmbop no more. Their newer material is very enjoyable, and not in a "teenage bubblegum pop" way, but more like a "classic rock/folk influenced lite rock" way.
  • Hanson actually puts on a really solid live show. I'm a musician myself - took my kid sister and her schoolmates to a Hanson concert (nothing like trying to get a troop of 15yo girls to behave to give your nerves a jog) and was very much impressed. They also did a Cream cover - it was funny as hell, you could see a bunch of older brothers/fathers/grownups who had taken all the kids to the concert doing a double take while the kids had those blank looks of "huh? What song is this?"
  • Hanson actually funds a small label (they split from Island) and helps upcoming local bands - that's VERY respectable, even if you aren't into three-way pop vocal harmonies :D
Anyway, the bottom line is that I've found a lot of really enjoyable music lately that I used to think of as "off limits" due to stupid prejudice - now my collection spans from Death Metal to Tango...

Re:how pop? (3, Funny)

Jamil Karim (931849) | about 8 years ago | (#16147520)

Well, it's good to see that the absence of your "stupid prejudice" has enabled you to no longer worry about how others might think of you, Anonymous Coward. =)

Guilty pleasures? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16146838)

If by "guilty pleasures" you mean jacking it to man-on-man pornos while refreshing slashdot in another tab, well ALL ABOARD THE SLASHDOT EXPRESS!

Re:Guilty pleasures? (5, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 8 years ago | (#16146938)

"If by "guilty pleasures" you mean jacking it to man-on-man pornos while refreshing slashdot in another tab, well ALL ABOARD THE SLASHDOT EXPRESS!"

Speak for yourself. I visit Digg, too!

Re:Guilty pleasures? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16146996)

Wow, you mean that Digg was not that gay porn site?

Wasn't it easier to do these things decades ago? (4, Insightful)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | about 8 years ago | (#16146847)

How does any of the write-up make sense? If I wanted to listen to New Kids on the Block without letting my Metallica friends know, I'd just go out and buy the tape and hide it in a different place than my regular tapes. The only person who'd know is me and the record store guy, and he cares less than some server somewhere since he probably doesn't keep records of every customer and every tape they bought. Whereas now, who cares if you could reset the play counter? Your friends are still gonna know if you have an N'Sync album on your iTunes because it's all there on the list.

Re:Wasn't it easier to do these things decades ago (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#16146994)

The only person who'd know is me and the record store guy, and he cares less than some server somewhere since he probably doesn't keep records of every customer and every tape they bought.

I have this thing called a brain which it was in my interest to keep full of records which records/tapes you bought, since I wanted to be sure you bought the next N'Sync album, from me.

Just so you know though, everyone who worked for me laughed at you as soon as you left the store.

KFG

Re:Wasn't it easier to do these things decades ago (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 8 years ago | (#16147084)

If I wanted to listen to New Kids on the Block without letting my Metallica friends know, I'd just go out and buy the tape and hide it in a different place than my regular tapes.

What is this "tape" you speak of? Are you into bondage? On the internet? With kids?

Re:Wasn't it easier to do these things decades ago (5, Funny)

soft_guy (534437) | about 8 years ago | (#16147232)

If I wanted to listen to New Kids on the Block without letting my Metallica friends know, I'd just go out and buy the tape and hide it in a different place than my regular tapes.

What is this "tape" you speak of?


He's posting from 1986.

Re:Wasn't it easier... still easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147211)

It's still easy. Tapes might be harder to come by but it is still possible to buy CDs...

Re:Wasn't it easier to do these things decades ago (1)

ghyd (981064) | about 8 years ago | (#16147473)

Beside, this tape was for my sister.

pleasures! noo! (3, Funny)

s388 (910768) | about 8 years ago | (#16146857)

yes, it's revolutionized the spread of information, BUT

BUT! it's become the greatest enabler of pleasures ever invented.

horrible.

everybody get back to your miserable farmwork!

Guilty Pleasures (2, Funny)

LordPhantom (763327) | about 8 years ago | (#16146860)

True enough..... I caught myself tapping my toes to Nickleback's "Savin' Me" until I saw....

BSG Season 3 promo [youtube.com]

Some blogger far more witty than I commented that "The only show that could make them sound -good-". That's now my excuse. Yes, that's it.

Not just "mildly" insane (5, Insightful)

blueZ3 (744446) | about 8 years ago | (#16146861)

First off, people who care that much about what others think about their taste in music (or food, clothes, whatever) are in need of serious psychological help. If you don't have the self-confidence to like what you like, and the hell with the rest of the world, you are (in my book) suffering the deepest kind of herd mentality that deserves disdain at every level.

But more to the point, who in the world has other people looking at their iTunes playlist? If someone is looking at my PC and browsing my iTunes library, I suspect that they probably know me well enough to know of my love of 50's car songs (Jan and Dean & The Beach Boys) and penchant for listening to Weird Al's Starwars songs.

I have to ask what type of paranoid thinks that the whole world is trying to ferret out their listening habits...

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (5, Funny)

greg_barton (5551) | about 8 years ago | (#16147056)

If you don't have the self-confidence to like what you like, and the hell with the rest of the world, you are (in my book) suffering the deepest kind of herd mentality that deserves disdain at every level.

So, what you're saying is, "If you don't defy the herd, the herd should enforce herd defiance behavior!"

Welcome to the herd, bubba!

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147058)

First off, people who care that much about what others think about their taste in music (or food, clothes, whatever) are in need of serious psychological help.

Because everyone who goes to the opera does so to enjoy the music! This is just part of natural human behaviour, and has been since the first person said "I know, let's put some fat bird in a dress and make her sing in a language no one understands!"

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (1)

hcob$ (766699) | about 8 years ago | (#16147497)

Because everyone who goes to the opera does so to enjoy the music!
From my experience, women go to the Opera cause they like the music. Men go to get laid... Or they are gay... and sometimes both.

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (1)

Otter (3800) | about 8 years ago | (#16147067)

First off, people who care that much about what others think about their taste in music (or food, clothes, whatever) are in need of serious psychological help.

I think that column is supposed to have a hefty tongue-in-cheek element that's gone over pretty much everyone's Furious Nerd head...

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (1, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | about 8 years ago | (#16147100)

Bullshit

Everyone cares what there friends think, it's just that there is a recent trend to cultivate the image that you don't care what people think - but it is still an image, and you are still trying.

Think about it this way, what are the odds that the emo kid shows up to his friends party wearing abercrombie, or the comp sci geek gets a Ryan Seacrest style suit?

The whole world doesn't care (I know I don't), but your friends might raise an eyebrow if they found Justin Timberlake's entire audio career (or something else uncharacteristic) right next to Jan and Dean.

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#16147233)

Everyone cares what there friends think, it's just that there is a recent trend to cultivate the image that you don't care what people think - but it is still an image, and you are still trying.

I fooled him, Grandma. I alienated all of my friends.

KFG

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147316)

What have you people done to me - I used there instead of their...

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (5, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 8 years ago | (#16147139)

First off, people who care that much about what others think about their taste in music (or food, clothes, whatever) are in need of serious psychological help. If you don't have the self-confidence to like what you like, and the hell with the rest of the world, you are (in my book) suffering the deepest kind of herd mentality that deserves disdain at every level.

Slow down, tiger. To some extent, this sort of behaviour (especially at, say, the high-school-ish age level) is part of a search for belonging, and (some people more so than others) are unfortunate enough to be surrounded by a shallow sort of a society where the price of belonging is to maintain certain superficial things - tastes in music, for instance. Some people, if they were found out to like certain things, would be soundly ridiculed, and possibly alienated. Not everyone has the strength to stand up in the face of social isolation. Some people might already be somewhat ostracized. Do they "deserve disdain at every level" for seeking the approval - or even the begrudging acceptance - of peers? I don't think so. The search for belonging, approval, acceptance... that's a basic human impulse.

I'm not saying that it's spectacularly noble, or healthy, or The Thing To Do, but just... something as vehement as "disdain at every level" is too much.

Now, excuse me Slashdot, pop psychology mode off as I return to listening to Enya...

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (1)

Moofie (22272) | about 8 years ago | (#16147382)

"The search for belonging, approval, acceptance... that's a basic human impulse."

There are people whose approval and acceptance are important to me. Maybe ten or so. I'm marrying one of them next month. The rest of you are welcome to your opinion, because it's irrelevant to me.

I think that people who get their identity from outside affirmation are unhealthy people.

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (1)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | about 8 years ago | (#16147148)

"I have to ask what type of paranoid thinks that the whole world is trying to ferret out their listening habits..."
... Jan and Dean... hmmm, the Beach Boys... um, Weird Al's starwars stuff...

<scribbles>

Eh? What? Oh, nothing...

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (4, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | about 8 years ago | (#16147157)

The respect of others creates real economic and political benefits that can't simply be written off with a sweep of the "if they don't like me, damn them, I'm me!"

The "herd mentality" doesn't arise from simple moral weakness and the desire to be loved, it arises becuase we are social beings in a social world. You can build rapport with people and get better service, a better chance of being hired for the job, a better deal on your new car, a more beautiful wife...

That rapport consists in large part of sharing likes and dislikes or at the very least not radically contradicting the personal prejudices and preferences of those whose favor you hope to gain.

I'm not saying you should kiss ass always and pretend to love everything the boss loves in order to get a raise. Far from it, I'm more the type to speak my mind and suffer for it later, while watching someone else climb the ladder in my place, sometimes with regret, sometimes not. I don't make a value judgment about that or try to wear it like a badge of honor, my point is to say that the construction of personal cool isn't simply a neurosis that happens in a vacuum, it's a deliberate strategy based on the specific network of social relationships and interaction that surrounds a person, and each person would do better to consider it as such rather than to simply take a position in the "Either you're a member of the herd or you're a rebel!" dichotomy and stake it out like dogma, though of course your position on the "herd mentality" is also another such social marker that will endear you to some and not to others as well.

Re:Not just "mildly" insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147185)

First off, people who care that much about what others think about their taste in music (or food, clothes, whatever) are in need of serious psychological help.

Of course, this is completely backwards. Normal human beings seek the approval of others and do so by bonding with like-minded individuals who they can easily please and can be easily pleased by.

I doubt you're any different. The only people who really do eschew the opinions and feelings of others are mentally ill individuals suffering from anti-social disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, etc. Even in the last two cases they still DESIRE such approval, they're just unable to seek it out due to mental problems that prevent proper, healthy interaction.

Such opinions are unfortunately common. I always wondered how it became an accepted idea that we should encourage the utter tripe that other people's opinions aren't important rather than encouraging people to express healthy criticism and support so that social groups could bond easier and meet natural human needs for social interaction.

After all, what sense would it make to encourage healthier communication that people need when you can just pretend that the communication isn't even important, right?

Regarding the music habits, I don't know about "ferreting them out", but I can certainly think of where listeing to the Dixie Chicks or gangsta rap could have bad consequences depending on the type of people who happen to notice what's on your playlist.

Welcome to the real world (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | about 8 years ago | (#16147262)

Actually, read some books on anthropology and you'll discover that it's more common and pervasive than you'd think. It's, in fact, so pervasive, that any poll asking people anything about themselves will basically get a bunch of more socially-acceptable lies, rather than the truth.

Actually, let me rephrase that: it's also not about consciously deciding to tell a lie, or actually being paranoid that someone will rummage through your computer. It's that humans have their own ideal of "what I _should_ be like", and from there use selective confirmation to "filter" the real "I" into fitting that ideal. It's not even as much for the benefit of others, as for one's own benefit. People need to believe that they're, basically, better than they really are.

If you will, it's sorta how every good Christian believes that someone else will go to Hell, but noone believes that he'll personally go there. If someone defines himself as a good Christian, he will distort his perception and memories to see himself actually fitting that ideal. He'll remember the time when he did something good and in line with God's commandments, but conveniently forget the times when he did nasty stuff that goes right against those commandments.

And I'm not just picking on Christians there, as the same applies to everyone and everything else. Good citizen, upstanding pillar of the community, patriot, charitable, top-notch computer expert, l33t h4xxx0r, teen rebel, good parent, whatever. If you define yourself as X, you'll distort your perception and memory to see yourself fitting the X ideal more than you actually do.

And, just for your entertainment or enlightenment (whichever you choose), here are some RL examples picked by anthropologists:

E.g., when asked to define themeselves, most members of a tribal community all claimed to be hunters and warriors. In reality, they had in the meantime turned mostly into peaceful agricultors. (Civilization can creep up on someone like that.) Extremely had actually used a weapon in years, or even owned one any more. But their culture was so biased towards hunters/warriors, that everyone basically kept viewing themselves as one even long past the point where it had become a lie.

E.g., a community defined itself as a shiny-happy model of cooperation where people help each other all the time, even help each other build a house and work together in the fields and everything. And everyone would cheefully tell you that they're still like that, and help each other all the time. The only problem is that the last time anyone helped another build a house was IIRC in the 50's, and they weren't helping each other work the fields any more either. But somehow kept believing that they do.

E.g., during a crisis where meat prices went up, they polled the people in some communities about what will they do. And everyone said basically "screw this, I'm not paying this much. I'll eat less meat until prices come back down to normal." The problem? According to both the sales data _and_ sifting through people's thrash to see what packaging they're throwing away (yes, they actually did that), people were buying _more_ meat than before. Go figure.

It may seem illogical to you (and maybe even is), but that's what humans do and how human society functions. In other words, welcome to the real world.

Clerks 2 (5, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 8 years ago | (#16146893)

I think they put it best in Clerks 2:

"What's the point of having an internet connection if you're not using it to look up weird fucked up pictures of dirty sex you'd never have yourself?"

FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16146894)

Wow and I suppose the gas stations I go to that sell porn, booze, and have poker machines don't enable guilty pleasures. When all else fails, use the internet to make yourself look better WSJ.

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16146929)

You know, it's amazing that more people don't hang out at gas stations. I think I'm gonna go fill up my tank right now...

Anonymity? (5, Funny)

HugePedlar (900427) | about 8 years ago | (#16146897)

'Indulgence is just a click away, and nobody needs to know, except you and some server somewhere.'

Tell that to those AOL users. ;)

Note to CmdrTaco (1)

repruhsent (672799) | about 8 years ago | (#16146909)

You could have indulged in your plumper [sarcasta.net] porn fantasies anonymously by using Cheggit or Thumbzilla (if that still exists). You chose to marry one, so we all know you're into hogging; it's not much of a guilty pleasure if everyone knows you're into it.

There's a bigger discussion to be had here (3, Interesting)

Yocto Yotta (840665) | about 8 years ago | (#16146913)

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the title of this article was pornography, of the general and more dubious types. I was surprised to find no mention in the article. Under the same context as the music references in the article, is there a danger in making stuff like child pornography and beastiality readily available to anyone who knows where to look? Or does that fall into the "they were fucked up to begin with" category that we already apply to subjects such as violence in videogames?

It isn't "Beastiality" (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | about 8 years ago | (#16147071)

The correct spelling is "Bestiality".

I'm not quite sure why, but it might have something to do with the first four letters of the word.

Oh wait - crap - that was supposed to be an 'anonymous guilty pleasure'...

Re:It isn't "Beastiality" (1)

Miniluv (165290) | about 8 years ago | (#16147478)

It's interspecies erotica fucko.

Re:It isn't "Beastiality" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147482)

In light of a previous post quoting clerks 2...you're both wrong. It's "inter-species erotica!"

Re:There's a bigger discussion to be had here (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 8 years ago | (#16147320)

I was surprised as well that they declined to mention those ... baser ... guilty pleasures, which we all know the Internet is just so accomadating of.

As to the "dirty porn" question, my personal feeling is that the cost to society of censoring certain types of content are greater than the questionable benefits of not having it out there. I've never seen any really good analysis showing (with some proof of causation, not just corellation) that the availiability of internet porn has caused more real-world crime; lacking that proof I think that there's no legitimate mandate for censorship of any kind.

Personally, if I was the one in charge of regulating smut, I'd probably start by looking at pornography that promotes or exemplifies unsafe sex practices in terms of STD risk, since I have to believe that the effects of that are probably greater than the small number of individuals who are actually driven to commit crime because of porn (and wouldn't have done something anyway in its absence).

I think deviant individuals will probably always seek out whatever is taboo in their society; if it was one where porn wasn't allowed, they'd be ogling the Sears catalog. I see no reason why limiting access to particular media really changes an individual's tendency towards antisocial behavior.

Re:There's a bigger discussion to be had here (1)

thebdj (768618) | about 8 years ago | (#16147406)

Alas, we cannot really regulate "smut." I mean porn is an art form, or I am sure a great many would argue. I do know it is an instructional video for many a teenagers and college students.

Re:There's a bigger discussion to be had here (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | about 8 years ago | (#16147455)

I think deviant individuals will probably always seek out whatever is taboo in their society


I can tell you from personal experience that this is true. I was deviant way before I saw and pictures, videos, text, etc.; Before I even had access to the Internet.

That said, I can tell you that the Internet has allowed me to find others like myself and come to terms with how I am and accept it. I know that a lot of people would consider me to be an immoral person, and I used to as well until I was able to do research on the Internet - this kind of material certainly isn't available in your local library.

Whether this is 'good' or not I don't know, but I DO know that I feel better and have a much happier life now.

Re:There's a bigger discussion to be had here (3, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | about 8 years ago | (#16147491)

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the title of this article was pornography, of the general and more dubious types.

The biggest effect of the 'Net hasn't been as an enabler of guilty pleasures, but as a means for the rest of us to know just how weird we all are.

There were a number of mid-20th-century artistic movements, like the Dadaists, that claimed to be exposing the absurdity, hypocrisy, and perversity of the bourgois, but none of them came close to the sort of thing you can find apparently ordinary people doing on the 'Net. The imagination of the writers and artists fell far, far short of the reality.

For example, type "* fetish" into Google, where * is any word, and you'll find the most remarkable array of strangeness. Presumably all of this has been going on since time immemorial, but now anyone can find out about it. I just tried it for "slashdot fetish" and got a hit on a site that defined it as "the desire to be publicly flogged for multiple posts of a news item." How guilty a pleasure is that?

pr0n (3, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | about 8 years ago | (#16146928)

pr0n, and flaming people as an Anonymous Coward - chief guilty pleasures of most slashdotters (of course I'd never do the latter). In all seriousness though, I'm not sure what the point of that article is. As the author hints at, the "social" aspects of sites like last.fm actually make it harder to keep your musical tastes secret, and we regularly discuss here how all these "social networking" sites in general make information about people more public.

So actually it seems to me that the opposite is true, the internet makes it harder to keep your guilty pleasures secret. Reductio ad absurdum, before the net, sure the guy in the shop might know you bought a Britney album, but the rest of the world would have no chance of finding out. With the net, however, you have to try to hide it.

Yeah (3, Funny)

dtfinch (661405) | about 8 years ago | (#16146953)

You wouldn't want anyone to know if you're into this [google.com] .

Re:Yeah (1)

phasm42 (588479) | about 8 years ago | (#16147183)

WTF was that!?! My head asplode

Re:Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147487)

I survived 59 seconds of that. My only hope is that you will suffer for an eternity watching this [youtube.com] and this [youtube.com] over and over and over and over again.

The internet is really really rad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16146964)

For Porn!

Re:The internet is really really rad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16146980)

Completely unfunny. Shame on you.

We All Have Our Little Secrets (2, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 8 years ago | (#16146969)

Now excuse me while I wipe my cache of slashdot pages and cookies, don't want my friends finding out...

Easy in Firefox... (1)

Kozz (7764) | about 8 years ago | (#16147315)

Tools > Clear Private Data (Ctrl + Shift + Del)

How in Firefox? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | about 8 years ago | (#16147358)

Does that require that you have some extension installed? Or is it specific to the Linux version?

I'm using FF 1.0.7 on Windows (woe is me) and that option doesn't exist in the Tools menu, nor does that key combination do anything.

Re:How in Firefox? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 8 years ago | (#16147388)

You'll need to upgrade to at least 1.5. In fact I recommend you do so, there are some really nifty features (and there will be more nifty features in 2.0 as well).

Re:How in Firefox? (1)

Keith Russell (4440) | about 8 years ago | (#16147435)

The Clear Private Data menu command was added in FF 1.5.

I know what they mean (3, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | about 8 years ago | (#16146981)

I'm guilty of this myself. Sure, by day I wear an button with Elan and Banjo [giantitp.com] on my ESD lab coat, hang up pictures of my fiance and I dressing up like Pompey and Vaarsuvius (from the same comic) outside my cube, and reading Linux Kernel Device driver books for fun. But by night, when no one is looking, I'm over at sportsdot [sportsdot.com] and playing fantasy football.

*cries*

Except ... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | about 8 years ago | (#16146990)

Except Facebook, of course. Your secret life will be woefully exposed in blow-by-blow detail, there!

sadf (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147019)

MakePageWiderXdfjhoregjosdhijoierhjeohjospokgpofdk bcmkhioepjuiojirghoregjesykhgdndghjrohgjerogjjgioe rsrtushbsfdjgoijrgfiojrgoijrgorvoijopiewfjporhpofj jklsngojreoiptweipotjsoidkgmsklvnxcouijerpoigjkwpo fkspdlgjroipjpsldkpglsdlvxmcgopirj

Ancient guilty pleasures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147024)

Note the quote at the bottom of the page:

People humiliating a salami!

Are we having fun yet?

Quite true (1)

also-rr (980579) | about 8 years ago | (#16147025)

My website contains things like a guide to optimising animations on Linux [revis.co.uk] rather than, say, a guide to breeding monkeys videotaping the results and raking in a fortune on selling the results because if I go for job interviews guess what one of the things they look at is?

Anything on the internet that has your real name on it is probably fair game, and because this is not limited to the internet we all self-censor all the time at home and at work. It's part of being an effective human being - if you always follow every impulse you have then no one would want to be around you. Part of the reason the internet has been so popular is because people *don't* have to put their real name to everything they do and can let out some of their being a jerk with few repercussions.

i have no shame. (1)

joFFeman (574971) | about 8 years ago | (#16147050)

i don't write for the WSJ, but i've always felt that if you like crap, there's no shame in it. why try to conform if you have to compromise what you actually feel? why lie to yourself? on last.fm, young man, there's a place you can go [www.last.fm] .

Re:i have no shame. (1)

CCFreak2K (930973) | about 8 years ago | (#16147499)

Young man,
There's a place you should go, I said
Young man,
There's a place you should see, I said,
Young man
There's a place you should be, just type
Ell, Ay, Ess, Tee, Eff Emm!

Why not be honest? (3, Interesting)

gosand (234100) | about 8 years ago | (#16147051)

Seriously, why not be honest with yourself? You'll be happier. Personally, I like diversity in my music. So what if I like some of Kelly Clarkson's songs? Or Enya? Sometimes I am in the mood for that. But sometimes I need to hear Clutch, Pantera, or Megadeth. And everything in between. Really about the only thing I can't stomach is country, but I can do a little Hank Williams Jr or Johnny Cash every now and again.


Now that doesn't mean that I haven't let a friend of mine live down that he once said he really liked Hanson. :) But I used to listen to lots of crap. So what? Live, learn, and for crying out loud, evolve! Try different things, allow yourself to honestly try to enjoy something for what it is. There are going to be people who listen to one kind of music their entire lives. That's OK I guess, but I just don't get it. I think diversity makes things interesting and builds creativity.

Re:Why not be honest? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 years ago | (#16147179)

I think this is exactly the way people should live their life. Do what you enjoy doing, and don't worry about what other people think about it. I mean, who cares if you think Crossroads [imdb.com] is a good movie. Teenagers care about this kind of thing, but I think that most people get over it, and realize that it's more fun to just do whatever you enjoy, rather than trying to do what people tell you you should enjoy.

Re:Why not be honest? (1)

ahsile (187881) | about 8 years ago | (#16147227)

Enya is a wonderful artist. I thank my great Aunt for introducing me to her music. I listen to many other things as well, and I don't give a crap:

http://last.fm/user/ahsile_ii/ [last.fm]

I made a comment this morning about not liking the dixie chicks, but it's all a farce. Ever since I heard their rendition of landslide, I've been hooked.

I'll say what the net enables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147055)

idiot monkeys with nothing else to do but to sit behind their computer all day in their mom's basement jacking off to porn and the latest star wars novel (how many are there now, 10,000?) Everyone else enjoys the sun and gets laid.

Last.fm comparisons (1)

linzeal (197905) | about 8 years ago | (#16147082)

Mine [www.last.fm]

The internet itself can be a guilty pleasure (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | about 8 years ago | (#16147083)

While people may hide some small, insignificant things online like music tastes, others hide the fact the use the internet as much as they do. I did for years and I know several who still do. I am what I refer to as a "closet geek" in that I am a product/child of the internet age. Being almost 22, I have been connected to the internet for about 10 years now. It started with games of course, and gradually moved into severe geekdom. By 14 I was hooked and I have never looked back, but that is not the point.

While I went home and played StarCraft, messed with and tags, and trolls forums - nobody even knew I used a computer. For 3 or 4 years I did not tell anyone but a few friends whom I had to tell so we could play quake 2 together after school. I kept my social life together and nobody had an idea till my senior year when I started to not care.

At that point I knew I was going to college for Computer Science and I was missing classes for game tournaments. I thought, screw it, why keep this under wraps like an idiot. So after missing some classes for a computer game tournament (War3 and yes, I was nothing great) I just told everyone where I was going. They thought it was awesome, so I ran with it. I let my geek out and it was embraced by everyone without question.

People just did not care. They knew me already so they were well beyond the phase where you judge people. Some were interested while others were indifferent, but all in all, I got few jokes tossed my way, nothing more.

It goes to the point that people worry to much about what others think. While it is nice to be able to control what some people see/know about you, what you are really doing is allowing them to not know the real you. So what, you like Fall Out Boy, I might pull out a "You know how I know you're gay" joke, but it is not like I will "defriend" you or it.

Fear not upright moral citizen!!! (5, Insightful)

Churla (936633) | about 8 years ago | (#16147103)

Our brave US Attorney General is trying to get congress to make ISP's track every website you visit so you can go back to avoiding things you don't want others to know about.

while funny, and insightful... (1)

zaddikim (647701) | about 8 years ago | (#16147109)

TFA is rather amusing, but there's nothing in my *.m3u that shames me at all.

As a musician, I suffer from a form of ADD. It's called "getting bored with listening to the same old crap". It doesn't matter what kind of music it is, as long as there's passion behind the making of it, rather than a "contractual obligation" to make a recording

.

So, if I've got a hankering for David Lindley, or the Kleptones, dammit that's what I'm gonna listen to. Sure, I've got tunes that I might get mocked for, but if you've got a narrow taste in music, I couldn't care less if you don't care for country.

In other news... (4, Insightful)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | about 8 years ago | (#16147115)

Your guilty pleasures are a subpoena [slashdot.org] away from being public knowledge.

Why don't they fix the Windows XP taskbar first? (0, Offtopic)

weiqj (870224) | about 8 years ago | (#16147143)

Occasionally the taskbar on My Windows XP tablet is messed up with duplicated sections. From what I heard it's a common problem. That might explain why Vista got delayed for several years. If they keep screwing up the taskbar there's no way for users to use it.

The internet lets the stupid out (3, Insightful)

rabtech (223758) | about 8 years ago | (#16147146)

The internet also allows people with insane viewpoints to find like-minded nutjobs, with which they can circle jerk about their common opinions all day long and never need to expose themselves to an alternate viewpoint or way of life.

Do you believe we never landed on the moon? Do you think horse-fucking is A-OK? Would you like to find someone to kill (with mutual consent) via erotic asphyxiation?... or worse, do you think sexually abusing little kids is acceptable behavior? No problem! The Internet has a message board or newsgroup just for you, that way you never need to think about your thoughts, actions, or obsessions.

There is no such thing as deviant behavior on the internet!

Re:The internet lets the stupid out (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | about 8 years ago | (#16147173)

The irony of you taking the trouble to provide examples to support your first sentence is delicious.

In a Slashdot post no less!

Alchohol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147152)

Alchohol is the greasest enabler of guilty pleasures. The 'net just lets you do it semi-anonymously. Alchohol let's you do it and just blame the drink, and usually at the time you are doing it, you don't care who knows anyway, and you tend to be a lot less inhibited and willing to try even *more* 'guilty pleasures'

No-So-Divine Intervention (3, Funny)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | about 8 years ago | (#16147168)

The new defense for the evils of all mankind:

"The internet made me do it."

Guess this means the devil can resume his duties as President of the United States now.

Internet, both cause and facilitator of my vice (1)

Too many errors, bai (815931) | about 8 years ago | (#16147191)

As long as I don't let anything slip, no one's ever gonna find out I'm jacking off to furry porn.

Re:Internet, both cause and facilitator of my vice (1)

Too many errors, bai (815931) | about 8 years ago | (#16147208)

(and before anyone gets any ideas, yes that was a joke. you never know how serious people take things on the internet.)

Dumb joke comes to mind... (1)

StressGuy (472374) | about 8 years ago | (#16147219)

Q: What do you call a dedicated internet appliance?

A: A Pornograph!

I'm so glad I'm not cool. (1)

Moofie (22272) | about 8 years ago | (#16147298)

"But who needs things that remind us of who we really are, as opposed to how we want others to see us"

I just don't understand the mindset where those two things are drastically different. Sure, there are things about myself that I keep private, but I've never been overly concerned about others' opinions.

Re:I'm so glad I'm not cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147471)

You don't care what you mom will think when she finds out you like to look at naked migit clowns who have sex with shaved sheep?

Euphemism (2, Funny)

mypalmike (454265) | about 8 years ago | (#16147344)

The article is about how the internet enables "guilty pleasures". I believe the author is using the term "pop music" as a euphemism for porn.

Greased up garbage bag? (1)

FatSean (18753) | about 8 years ago | (#16147372)

Melon with a hole in it, heated in the microwave.

Dustbuster with corner attachment.

I didn't understand the question!

It's not the stuff on my machine that bothers me (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 8 years ago | (#16147401)

It's the stuff in my head. Two weeks ago, I went to the mens room at the movie theater, and the Muzak got a disco-era BeeGees song stuck in my head for four days.

Chilling effects on pleasures innocent and guilty (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16147466)

They say laws make honest people honest. That goes for your public reputation too.

Lack of anonymity is a chilling effect on human behavior - it encourages conformance to social and legal norms.

If you think you can do {insert pleasure here} and get away with it without any of your friends or the law finding out, you may feel free to do it.

Have friends who think alchohol is the drink of the devil? I bet you don't let them see your liquer cabinet. Your boss thinks gambling is a sin? I bet there's no football pool in your office. Live in a country that outlaws child porn and plans to track web usage [slashdot.org] ? Bet you don't surf for it without taking precautions.

Grow some Huevos (2, Interesting)

stealie72 (246899) | about 8 years ago | (#16147502)

Seriously, how much of a wuss are you that you can't fess up to what you listen to, or silly sites you go to? My iTunes top 25 is probably embarassing as hell, but I don't care.

Now, if TFA was focused on ministers that surf hotjapanesetenticlerape.co.jp every night, that would be a different story.

You are who you are (1)

decep (137319) | about 8 years ago | (#16147544)

This is really only a problem if you define your self-image/worth by what others think about you (which we all do to some extent). Unless you hang out with a bunch of 13 year olds, most people will not ostracize you just because you like something that is not a mutual interest. If you are not being yourself, then you are clone; a "poser," if you will.

All of this hinges on the fact that your interest is morally/socially/legally acceptable.
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