A disease is sweeping the Internet. It preys on the fat, the moody, the anti-social, the lazy, and those very people that once formed the core of Internet users. It can strike at any moment, but is ironically most likely to infect those that have been warned about the disease. This illness is rarely diagnosed willingly by medical professionals, but is so commonly self-diagnosed as to approach an epidemic.

I am referring to Asperger's Syndrome, the plague of the 21st century, but you can call it Internet Disease. Let's turn to Merriam-Webster for the definition of the disease.

According to Wikipedia (which I suggest you avoid for fear of contracting the disease) symptoms of Asperger's include:

  • Impaired social interaction.
  • Inability to read expressions or make eye-contact.
  • Lack of empathy.
  • No sense of humor.
  • Inability to cope with criticism.
  • Hyperfocus on tasks and rituals.
  • Logical patterns of thought.
  • Clumsiness.
  • Really good at videogames.
  • Furry artwork.

The symptoms make a person with Asperger's Syndrome sound like Vulcan's biggest asshole, but the reality is much more depressing. Victims of Asperger's are socially-crippled and crabby, often obese or horrifyingly skinny, through absolutely 100% no fault of their own. They are not responsible for their actions or behavior.

To provide insight into the plight of Asperger's sufferers I would like to transport you to the world of a 19 year old female suffering from Asperger's. Her name is Zeph Mercurial. She explained her condition on our forums, so I will allow her to speak in her own words.

This is a real picture of Zeph Mercurial. Not life size.Here's your scenario.

I'm 19 years old and graduated from high school in 2006.

I'm heading down a great academic path, on my way to college.

Still living with my parents, but I plan on moving out when I'm socially and financially independent.

I sound pretty normal right?

There's only one problem here.

I've got Asperger Syndrome.

One of the problems I've got to deal with with this disorder is the fact that I'm an involuntary social hermit crab.

I tend to be brutally honest, stubborn as a mule, rigid in my thinking, horribly impatient and a total bitch in general.

Trust me, I do try to talk to people, but most of what I say comes out wrong and people get their panties in a bunch over something I didn't mean any offense about. Either people are too fucking sensitive nowadays, or I'm being a bitch and I don't even know it.

I'm going insane from not being able to talk to people where they can understand what I'm saying.

My question to you, A+T goons:

How the hell can I socially interact without pissing people off, looking like a jackass, etc.

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