Spoken aloud by a stranger these lines would make us shudder. But online, we just click.
A Tumblr blog called “Screenshots of Despair” showcases the loneliest, most unfulfilled moments online when our computers highlight for us in blunt alerts how poorly we’ve performed at something, how few friends we have, or how little we have going on.
They're "Dear John" letters from the internet, delivered with fortune cookie frankness. Here's just a sampling of the notices from apps, games, social networks and other sites collected on Screenshots of Despair:
We’ve come to ignore moments like these when we’re told by computers how sad and pathetic we are. Screenshots of Despair shines a spotlight on those notices, and in doing so, it's hard not to feel like the Internet has a whole lot of attitude and even a smidgen of contempt for us. The screenshots make me wonder: is my app judging me? These are lines that speak deep into our deepest middle school fears of being told we have no friends, aren't good at anything, and aren't going anywhere. And they're especially blunt coming from the sites and services with which we've shared so many intimate moments and personal information.
The Internet is insulting us, but we keep coming back for more.