The songwriters Chris DuBois and Kelley Lovelace wrote this song with Paisley, who told Entertainment Weekly in 2013: "I remember thinking, 'Well, the internet is sort of new, and people are getting away with complete false identities everywhere you look... It isn't going to be this way forever; but this'll be fun to put out right now. Boy, was I wrong. I think it's way more relevant today."
This satire of the online world won for Video of the Year at the 2008 ACM awards. The video's director, Jason Alexander, plays a geek whilst William Shatner and Estelle Harris are his parents.
The bit of dialog where Estelle Harris tells The Shat that he can't sing is a rib at Der Shatmeister's often-mocked singing career. Incidentally, did you know that William Shatner actually launched that singing career with the album The Transformed Man, in 1968, before the original Star Trek was even canceled?
Jason Alexander, Estelle Harris, and Patrick Warburton are also alumni from Seinfeld, naturally.
One might think of this as less of a satire and more of a mockery... Country Universe reviewer Kevin J. Coyne called it sport rather than comedy and a form of bullying, while other reviewers consider that it has a saving grace in wit, particularly by the marching band at the end. And here we are reading about it online - isn't it ironic? Nevertheless, even the most devoted pursuer of digital content would have to grudgingly admit that some of us had it coming.
Speaking of irony, "Online" also became the first-ever country music video to reach #1 on the iTunes video sales charts.
For the spiritual opposite of this song, see Weezer's "Pork and Beans