12 Apr 2020
I heart the internet. We grew up together at the same time.
For my generation who were born in the 1980’s, computers have been a big part of our lives. Even if we don’t identify with ‘being a nerd’ or ‘liking computers’, we certaintly know our way around using them. Whilst television was also a big part of our growing up, we probably spent more total time in front of computers and video games than watching television.
We were the children of the internet.
We hung out on IRC chat rooms, or “MSN messenger”. Used Napster and Limewire to find and download movies and music.
We built personalised profiles on Myspace. Which allowed your to mess with the html code on your page to do silly things like have a wall of gifs as your background. Like this.
(For mega nostalgia, check out this site and find kewl retro gifs by searching for them here.)
Back then, most of all, we just surfed the net’ and browsed around.
There was no F*ceb**k, and if G**gle existed, it was simply a goofy but efficient search engine that was there to help you find the next site you actually wanted to spend time on.
There was hope in the internet and pride about it being a free, freaky, and open global library for everyone. Impossible to suppress different ideas and freedom in. Censoring the internet was said to be like “trying to nail jello to a wall”.
I suppose a lot of what makes me sad about how things are now is mostly nostalgia. But at the same time it’s clear that a big shift has taken place, slowly (like all big shifts), whereby we now no longer know anything different than the current internet world we inhabit.
With only a couple of big websites dominating the internet, information is now mostly centralised. Huge industries have developed under the tech-umbrella (not itself a bad thing). But this means that the internet giants now have a responsibility to keep their people in work and their shareholders happy. This means that they no longer really have the power to self-adjust.
So I think a step back was needed.
A small place on the internet for myself that isn’t part of the “tech-advertising industrial complex”. Except if you get here by a search engine that isn’t DuckDuckGo…