Main      Site Guide    
Message Forum
The Internet Is Dead
Posted By: Liface, on host
Date: Sunday, January 5, 2020, at 01:50:47

I'm curious how far the content and discourse on mainstream internet platforms will have to decline this decade before I opt out of the internet altogether (apart from essential functions like work, chat, research and finance).

In my estimation, the English-speaking internet peaked in 2011, which is non-coincidentally the same year the US smartphone share increased by 30 million users, the biggest jump before or since (I contend that Internet browsing on mobile devices is truly the worst thing to happen to content in the history of humanity.) It has been on a decline ever since, but this decline has disturbingly accelerated in recent years.

In the early 2000s, it was common to find long-form, insightful, user-generated (and hosted) content in the mainstream. Nothing was optimized for clicks or impressions, people just contributed to contribute.

I'm 32.

At 14, I cut my teeth on Rinkworks and then, a couple years after, the Something Awful Forums. Rinkworks slowed to a crawl and Something Awful became toxic. I moved to Reddit. This is what the frontpage looked like in 2009: Now, it vaguely resembles FWD: emails your grandparents might have sent you 20 years ago. For my college friends, Facebook used to be about getting inebriated and editing our walls to [USE YOUR IMAGINATION HERE]. Now I have to step on tacks among my friends' befuddled boomer relatives.

Every single one of the dominant content creation platforms has been corrupted by clickbait, toxoplasma, and mediocrity.

"Just block the mainstream and only follow your subculture," you say. Every single niche community I can find, no matter how small, has had its discourse completely corrupted by the new, ad-driven internet.

It used to be that as soon as Eternal September started, you could move to the next new underground thing. No longer. No amount of blocking or filtering prevents distasteful encounters with mainstream platforms.

By the end of the 20s, I predict that I will have found a way to mostly opt-out of the internet, and instead look for intellectual stimulation from in-person interactions.

Except I won't be able to, because everyone will be staring at their [EXPLETIVE] phones.

Anyway, hi. Nice to see you all again. If you'd like to follow what I'm up to since my time as a rambunctious teenager, I'll throw a link up to my personal site/blog.


Replies To This Message

Post a Reply

RinkChat Username:
Email: (optional)
Link URL: (optional)
Link Title: (optional)

Make sure you read our message forum policy before posting.