What is a CyberCasualty?


cy-ber-cas-u-al-ty  (ˈsī-bər-ˈka-zhəl-tē)  n., pl. -ties  [ < Gr. kybernan, to steer]     

 An individual who spends as much or more time online as he or she does in the physical world, marked by distinctive traits such as:      

  • A perpetual blue glow on the face due to compulsive use of technological devices.
  • An astute command of text message abbreviations and emoticons—coupled with inarticulate speech, an unresponsive demeanor, and/or  juvenile emotional outbursts in actual social settings.
  • A noticeable absence of non-virtual relationships, which are replaced by chat buddies, email correspondences, blogs, celebrity fixations, faceless gurus with hypnotic keyboards, hyperlinked love connections, and so many recipes that you are never gonna cook, but hell, you just like to drool over the pictures from time to time.
  • Gradually diminishing health and hygiene habits—ie. stank arm, funk butt, dripping facial oil, finger of the unknown goo, fast foods, fake foods, no food, teeth fuzz, shlumpy posture, unconscious substance consumption, loss of physical coordination, and unchecked fart production. 
  • That vacant fucking stare.

2  An average shmoe who suddenly finds his or her life in shambles because of a fateful click of the button.  Extreme circumstances include:    

  • The accidental emailer—now unemployed, unloved, or in jail.
  • The promiscuous social networker who forgot to set his or her ‘Friends’ list to PRIVATE, then finds out the hard way that secrets spread faster than genital germs.
  • The loser of any one-sided fistfight uploaded to YouTube.
  • The chick in the sex tape who didn’t get paid (and I mean a lot of fucking money, man), or the guy who didn’t make it look convincing.
  • The chump who faithfully typed in his credit card, social security number, home address, or PIN, thinking “Gee whiz, people are too paranoid these days,” only to find out that some tech-savvy Nigerian pimp has been running an endangered species sex cult on his tab.
  • The target of a sufficiently popular rumor.
  • The hacker savant who will accidentally start the nuclear holocaust.
  • Anyone who adds World of Warcraft to their cart.

 3  An Internet user who loses all self-control in the Self-Selecting Vortex.

Most common types include:

  • Lobotomized Web-Surfers
  • Human news-tickers
  • Novelty junkies
  • File-horders
  • List composers
  • Fetish-stricken prisoners of the porno variety show
  • Perpetual political spectators/armchair commentators
  • eShoppers with a shiny new credit card
  • Blog readers
  • Hit counters
  • FaceSpacester’s new Mr. Popular
  • Cartoon-watchers who’ve blown their funny-filters
  • Esoteric conspiracy miners
  • Pretty much any kid born after 1984

Symptoms include:

  • dry red eyes
  • slack jaw
  • moist palms
  • chafed organs
  • pale skin
  • uncontrollable sores and blemishes
  • booger-strewn keyboards
  • runaway clocks
  • incorporeal hunger for that which is only screen deep
  • irregular breathing
  • random words
  • endless images, now meaningful
  • now sensibly nonsensical
  • now scraped off the
  • scrolling page and funneled into your brain
  • poisoned with incomplete
  • what was i thinking
  • cant find the link
  • click the
  • button my shorts somebodys coming
  • home page is where the
  • heart is not even beating with human blood anymore…click…click…somehow it seems more real onscreen…click…click…the whole world is coming to an end before our eyes, the date is set to click…click…new revelations, opening your mind, now free to click…click…ad says young dumb and wants your click…click…you’re getting older, your face is falling, just look at this sagging, drooping flesh—Is this you?—think about it—we can put you back together, just click…click…here is the world at your fingertips and you are only vaguely aware that you will never in your life—from now until the day you die—be able to touch it so you just click…here…now the Sun’s coming up and you have to step away from the screen, step away from the screen, off to that forgotten realm where you used to click…click…to the secret gnosis the mainstream media is afraid to tell you about, step into a world of mysteries revealed, where every Secret is just one click…click…your way to a new click…click…now try it with the bullets…click…click…bang… 

[Disambiguation:  Term not to be confused with the common practice of Mac computers (and the occasional PC) to quietly enjoy a cup of chai in the afternoon.]

© 2010 Joseph Allen


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