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(I'm sorry this is messy, I'm having problems articulating my thoughts.)

I don't know how to deal with this change.

Growing up, the internet was a fun place. Gaiaonline, Neopets, computer games. At the beginning of the last 10 years, around 2010, you could still go online and find people to talk to, and genderwoo wokeness hadn't taken over.

That's gone now. Reddit is the only low barrier to entry place to just talk with other people.. but it's heavily censored. There are online games, but everyone speaks privately in voice chat. There is discord, but servers are dead feeling or too over filled to have any sense of community. This is how it feels, to me. Try googling forums, and they're dead, if you can even find them now, thanks to Google's restrictive search changes.

Having The Internet there was always a comfort when I had nobody in real life who understood me, that I could just talk to and have fun with.

It used to be that people were genuinely curious about interacting with others and saw users as real people somewhere out there in the world. These days, people send their opinions into the void. If they're/we're argued with, a pointless argument results. That's what the internet is, now. No one sees it as an opportunity to meet somebody you would never have gotten to meet, irl. To meet people in a capacity where you aren't judged by your appearance or job title, but by what you say and how you say it.

I feel like I've been left behind. Everyone else decided something wasn't cool anymore, but I still like it.

Covid is hard for everyone. Spending all this time on my computer due to work, I keep looking for the way things used to be, because there's nothing else irl.

(I'm sorry this is messy, I'm having problems articulating my thoughts.) I don't know how to deal with this change. Growing up, the internet was a fun place. Gaiaonline, Neopets, computer games. At the beginning of the last 10 years, around 2010, you could still go online and find people to talk to, and genderwoo wokeness hadn't taken over. That's gone now. Reddit is the only low barrier to entry place to just talk with other people.. but it's heavily censored. There are online games, but everyone speaks privately in voice chat. There is discord, but servers are dead feeling or too over filled to have any sense of community. This is how it feels, to me. Try googling forums, and they're dead, if you can even find them now, thanks to Google's restrictive search changes. Having The Internet there was always a comfort when I had nobody in real life who understood me, that I could just talk to and have fun with. It used to be that people were genuinely curious about interacting with others and saw users as real people somewhere out there in the world. These days, people send their opinions into the void. If they're/we're argued with, a pointless argument results. That's what the internet is, now. No one sees it as an opportunity to meet somebody you would never have gotten to meet, irl. To meet people in a capacity where you aren't judged by your appearance or job title, but by what you say and how you say it. I feel like I've been left behind. Everyone else decided something wasn't cool anymore, but I still like it. Covid is hard for everyone. Spending all this time on my computer due to work, I keep looking for the way things used to be, because there's nothing else irl.

7 comments

I'm glad to see someone else put this feeling into words. The internet really isn't the same. All the good, small places I used to visit are gone (I say small, but really they were just centered around 1 to 1 conversations or games and chats in small groups). I met a lot of people that I actually talked to with the aim to get to know them... Not just to share an opinion and then move on. It's how I met my husband and two of my closest friends. I think I like Ovarit because it reminds me a bit of that. People seem genuinly interested when interacting and no one is just writing insults or threatening. Twitter and Facebook seem so pointless. At this point I only have Facebook because that's where my friends write on Messenger. Twitter was to follow news, but turned out quite different. It's depressing... I used to have fun and share silly things with friends online, but now it just seems like either political "debate" or people sharing aimlessly.

I also miss the old internet.
I agree with you that the thing I hate most about the new internet is how it's not about talking to people or making friends anymore. Now it's all centered around getting as many likes and followers as possible.

I'm with you! I grew up on the 'old internet', and I've never truly enjoyed the morally judgemental/social justice atmosphere of social media. Forums and messageboards were my thing! My first internet forums were fandom related, and I still miss the way fandoms were engaged with back then. It was niche and anonymous, and much more decentralised. I greatly prefer it. Like you, I often feel that the world has left me behind. :(

That being said, there are still some forums out there, if you know where to look. While fandom mostly happens on social media like tumblr these days, there are still some hobby-related forums that are hanging on. I am a member of a forum for one of my artistic hobbies (where people go to give and recieve advice and to share images of finished works) and while it's not perfect, it has a much more relaxed pace and vibe than most social media.

I talk about this with my partner all the time, we met on the 'old' internet. I really miss going online and just having fun with people. I was constantly exploring and finding interesting places and websites, but now if I ever search for something, I just get shitty blogs with top 10 lists for optimal SEO. There were so many cool small places, but now it's just a handful of main, big, news or social media websites that everyone visits. I really miss talking on forums about my interests and meeting people and becoming close friends. Now people hang out on social media and it's just not personal. For example, you never get familiar with a poster on reddit and become friends...

I can appreciate Ovarit, but I also dislike that it's so quick. I have to reply in a topic within one or two days, or it's down at the bottom already, the discussion is over and barely anyone will see my reply and talk back. I really liked that threads went on for months on forums in the past. I got to know everyone on a forum and we became a community. Now I'm surprised when I recognize anyone's name on Ovarit because I happen to look at it twice in a row on the same day or something, haha.

I definitely miss old style message boards. Reddit is a poor substitute, but the closest to it with this new generation of social media. I hate Twitter so much. I remember when Twitter came out I thought it sounded SO dumb and would never catch on, because "who would want to talk with a 180 character limit?"

I miss personal webpages. People with whatever niche hobby learning HTML and making something on Angelfire or Geocities or maybe even paying for their own domain.

I miss the pseudo-anonymity. There was no pressure to attach real names to things, but you could get to know people by their user names and avatars. Maybe they'd have a funny quote in their signature.

Web 2.0 sucks. It feels too crowded, impersonal, and homogenized. Get off my lawn, darn kids!

I've found that small to medium sized forums that let you have avatars which are also displayed in a reasonable enough size to actually be able to see and recognise them still have that old school community feel to it.

One of those things about reddit for me was that you hardly ever really even bother to look at who it is you're talking to. The avatars are new and barely visible, the names are so easy to ignore. Most of the time you won't even recognise the people you talked to outside of the 1 conversation you had with them.

Those forums are definitely not as plentiful as they once were but if you have very specific hobbies you just might be able to find 1 or 2 catering to it.

Same feeling sis. It feels like everyone has moved on and i got stuck..