Dear Library Free WiFi,
Thank you for sharing the Terms & Conditions of your use. Before I click “Accept,” I want to let you know that I have a few Terms & Conditions of my own. See below.
"Nate Dern Internet Use Terms of Service"
By accepting my personal use of your University Library Free Wi-Fi High Speed Internet Service ("Library Free WiFi"), you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions ("My Personal Internet Use Terms of Service") that I set forth.
Personal Use Only
Although I will later report that I was on my laptop “getting some work done” in the period of time between when I arrived at the library and when I left, the actual internet activity I engage in will be strictly personal.
“Personal” here shall not be defined as benefiting my person. I will read nothing informative nor do anything constructive. My time spent online will leave me a sadder and stupider version of myself. Here “personal” is used as an antonym to “productive.” Examples of personal activity include without limitation:
- numbly scrolling through my Facebook feed + checking friend count and checking and cross-referencing with memory of previous total
- numbly scrolling through my Twitter feed + checking follower count and cross-referencing with memory of previous total
- “liking” posts after only reading their headline without clicking through to view them in their entirety
- numbly looking at the frontpage of Reddit and up or down voting posts without clicking through to view them in their entirety
- becoming vaguely angry when seeing clickbait posts in my Facebook News Feed and then without liking them clicking through and viewing them in their entirety
- closing the tab of my browser in which Facebook is open and then automatically, as if acting from a zombie-like brainstem impulse, hitting the keystroke command to open a new tab and immediately typing in Facebook again as if I hadn’t just closed that tab
- looking up whatever pop-star controversy I heard teenagers on the sidewalk talking about earlier so I can feel like I am “with it” and “in the know” and “not old”
- attempting to also connect to the WiFi on my phone, despite having laptop in front of me, then getting frustrated when doing so is marginally difficult, and when it finally connects just using my phone to look at Instagram
- numbly scrolling through my Instagram feed on my phone and liking any posts with old grizzled pugs, of which I know there will be a lot because I have curated my “following” list mainly for this purpose
- purposefully going to YouTube and conducting a search for “dogs running around on soccer fields while security guards try to catch them”
- and, if I am really at that point, looking around to see if anyone is watching me and then just straight-up typing the following into my URL bar: www.upworthy.com
Changes to Terms of Service & Potential Termination
I may modify or terminate my connection to the University Library Free WiFi, for any reason and without notice. Examples include without limitation:
- I decide to try to take a nap, inexplicably attempting to use my laptop, which cost me (i.e., my parents) over one thousand dollars, as a pillow
- I decide to go “take a break” from “working” and “treat myself” to some fast food at a nearby establishment, breaking my recent half-assed attempt at doing some modified version of the Paleo diet by telling myself, “Come on, I don’t eat McDonald’s that often. And besides, I deserve this”
- I decide to visit the campus bookstore — despite the fact that I am at the library, an unimaginably exhaustive repository of every book that I could ever want for free — to look at the top-selling paperbacks in order to read their book covers and tell myself, “I’m as smart as these people. I could write a best-selling novel no problem. It’s just about following the correct formula. But I have too much integrity.” Note that after the last part about integrity I reserve the right to actually say out loud as I numbly walk over to the McDonald’s on my way back to the library to “finish up” my “work”
- I decide to go to the bathroom, although if I sit on a stall I will try to once again reconnect to the WiFi via my smartphone, although honestly just my regular cellular connection is plenty strong for the “personal” internet activity I’ll engage in while seated on a toilet
- Through the window I see Gordon starting up a hacky-sack circle and I decide I just got to get my hack on
Disclaimers / Limitation of Liability
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL I, NATE DERN, BE LIABLE FOR INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, INDIRECT, OR SPECIAL DAMAGES OF ANY NATURE TO OTHERS IN MY VICINITY IF I AM TO (i) ACCIDENTALLY START PLAYING A VIDEO WITH THE VOLUME UP BEFORE PLUGGING MY HEADPHONES IN, (ii) STREAM A POPULAR TV SHOW THEREBY POTENTIALLY SPOILING PLOT OUTCOMES TO NEARBY ONLOOKERS WHO ARE NOT CAUGHT UP, OR (iii) OPENING MY LAPTOP TO THE SUDDEN HORROR OF SEEING PORNOGRAPHIC IMAGES IN A BROWSER WINDOW FROM A PREVIOUS “PERSONAL” INTERNET SESSION WHERE I FORGOT TO CLOSE ALL WINDOWS, POSSIBLY ROBBING A NEARBY CHILD OF ANY REMAINING INNOCENCE.
Even though it’s free, I reserve the right to post a snarky post to one or more social media platforms complaining about how slow the connection speed is.
University Library Free WiFi, do you accept?
If so, I look forward to spending the next twenty minutes ungratefully using this service you have graciously provided.