AOL: the devil of the internet

AOL is without doubt the devil of the internet. I hate it with a passion, a passion the extent of which is rarely surpassed. Nazism is below it, but it’s a close call.

This weekend, I visited my parents. And my dad’s internet experience is so heavily compromised by the AOL scourge. The experience of everything he does online is shit. Email is embedded within dreadful, AOL-branded windows, with no sense of a world outside. The browser is horrendous, using the IE engine (as far as I know), yet coming with all of the horrors of IE and none of its few redeeming features. (CTRL+Enter doesn’t work to auto-complete web addresses with the Ws and the .com, for example.)

And the worst thing about all of this: my dad thinks this is the internet. For his age, I’d say that technology-wise, he’s relatively savvy. But AOL has locked him into a world that is AOL so much so that he knows no better, and never gets the opportunity to explore outside—just because AOL provides his Internet connection.

It’s not like Google. Google does provide you with an internet world, but it’s nowhere near as closed. It links elsewhere, and doesn’t seem to mind if you leave their world, trusting that you’ll come back when you need to.

So next time I’m in Halifax, my mission will be to get him off the heroin that is AOL, the drug equivalent of the internet. Scum that they are.

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