This week’s new Dustinland comic is about how so many sites are getting real uppity with the kind of language they use when they try to get you to sign up for whatever crappy list they want you on, or even to opt out of alerts. The comic pretty much says it all, but if you haven’t noticed this yet, I bet you will in the near future.
In other news, I did not post a comic last week because… work. Man, it’s hard to find time to draw comics between having a career and being a parent. It’s rough to miss out, every time I miss a strip I feel a bit empty, a bit unsatisfied, for the rest of the week. But there’s only so much time in the day. I’ll do my best though. 21 years and counting!
Don’t get this week’s new Dustinland comic wrong — I think virtual reality is super cool and I really do want it to work and be awesome. But I tried it twice and both times I felt disoriented for about half an hour afterwards. And that was just after 15-30 minutes of use.
Maybe it treats different people differently, just like sea sickness. Or maybe it’s just something your brain has to get used to. Let’s hope that’s the case. I just worry that essentially fooling your brain may have major negative long term effects. But I guess we’ll find out soon! #progress
I’ve hated the Buzzfeeding of the Internet since before there was a Buzzfeed. I remember working for Cracked.com in the early days when they had first relaunched, and every time I did something for them, they came back to me and said it had to be expanded into the form of a list. This was many years ago. And I argued with them. And guess what—they were right. Lists work. People love them. LOVE them. In this A.D.D. world of infinite content, people want little tidbits of entertainment, fast and simple. And that’s what they get from Buzzfeed, Cracked, Huffpo, etc… Not to say there aren’t some well-thought out pieces of truly entertaining content on these sites. It’s just… well, it depresses me that this sort of psychological trickery is so effective. It makes it seems like humans are robots—easily hacked.
Oh but anyway, this week’s Dustinland comic is inspired by all of that. I could do it forever, honestly. It was hard to stop at 11. Maybe I’ll do a sequel if this one blows up and I get a zillion hits. Whatevs. Internets. I mean, because Internets.
Every day I ride the NYC subway to and from work. And every day I see people using their phones for the stupidest purposes. Mostly mind-numbing games. Really, it’s incredible how many full grown adults spend an hour or two a day matching shapes and colors or running down a track chasing after coins. You’ve got this device in your hand with almost limitless potential. It connects you to boundless knowledge. Fascinating perspectives from around the world. But nope, lets connect shiny squares and circles. And that’s what this week’s Dustinland comic is about.
I’m relatively new to Instagram, so perhaps this week’s Dustinland is a bit late to a subject other people have already touched on. Or maybe it’s totally original. Either way, I actually love Instagram and I’m not trying to poop on it. It’s just fun to find trends and patterns that people seem to obsess over—or really ways people game the system. I feel like everything about the Internet / social / mobile today is about gaming the system. “Best practices.” Tricks to get more followers. Maybe I’m just too cynical but it seems like for so many people, the fun is not in the doing but in the receiving of approval. I’ve touched on this before, and I’ll probably touch on it again, maybe because I feel the pull of vindication just as much as anyone else does. Otherwise I’d be drawing comics in a sketch book instead of posting them online, right?