The End of the Internet: A Folk Response to the Provision of Infinite Choice

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Folklore and the Internet


Utah State University Press

Publication Date



I was working in the kitchen with my husband one night preparing a dish of deviled eggs to bring to a dinner party, when I was first struck by just how much influence digital culture has over our daily lives. Asa household we are, of course, as wired - in as many people are these days - we communicate via e-mail and text message on a daily basis, and we use the Internet to plan our trips, buy gifts, and arrange our schedules - but this was something more, something deeper. My husband was carrying a plate of boiled eggs from one counter to another when he lost his balance. He saved himself from a fall, but the eggs weren't so lucky; as I watched, they slid to the edgeof the plate, teetered on the lip, and finally fell, bouncing away across he kitchen floor.In his moment of frustration, grabbing hopelessly at the falling eggs, my husband exclaimed, "Control Z!" I looked at him in surprise. Still holding the plate, he bemusedly explained,"Undo - it's the undo command. I wanted to undo it." He said he could picture himself instinctively reaching for the keyboard - ring finger on the CTRL button middle finger on the Z -the minute he realized the eggs were falling. It was his first immediate reaction to a mistake. CTRL-Z Undo.

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