As I click through the wilderness of the Internet, I occasionally stumble upon the sinister number 404. Just look at it. It has two fours, and the number four is considered unlucky in some parts of the world. If 404 isn’t bad news, I don’t know what is.
Error 404 occurs when a web address leads to a website, but fails to find a specific page. For example, if you search for a nonexistent page on this blog, you get a generic Page Not Found message. I tried to rewrite it, but TMTF won’t let me. (I blame my typewriter monkeys.) Hey, at least we don’t shout “404’d!” and insult you, unlike some websites. We may not have the page you want, but at least we try to be nice about it.
The 404 error is a minor nuisance, but its philosophical implications are thoroughly depressing. Why is the page not found? Did the web link mislead me? I feel betrayed. Why would the link misdirect me to a dead end? It has made a fool of me. Am I so naive? What does this say about me as a person? Maybe the link isn’t to blame—perhaps I typed in the wrong web address. Am I blaming someone else for my own mistakes? What the heck is wrong with me?!
What if 404 Page Not Found is an Internet microcosm of real-life problems? Doesn’t every bad decision yield a 404 of its own? 404 Happiness Not Found. 404 Progress Not Made. 404 Life Not Lived. Never mind the Internet. Error 404 haunts us all. It is the voice that speaks in the stillness of our hearts: “You have made a wrong turn, and now you are in the wrong place. You have failed.”
As long as we’re on the cheerful subject of failure: How did Error 404 receive its number? What are the 403 preceding Internet errors? I don’t know, but I’m guessing they include losing money to scams, releasing sensitive personal information online, and buying the e-book edition of Fifty Shades of Grey.
I don’t know how many Internet errors you’ve committed, but at least you avoided a 404 by finding this blog post. That counts for something, right?
Do you want to do something awesome? Please take a moment to check out Operation Yuletide—it’s not an Internet error, I swear! We’re raising money to help people this Christmas. There are even rewards and stuff! Check it out here!