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  1. #1
    Aniki is my King 'Silas's Avatar
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    Some random thoughts on the decline of forums online.

    Prompted by a top-page post on reddit, which asked what people missed from the older days of the internet (paraphrased), I've thought a bit about how my use of forums have changed concurrently with how I approach the internet in general.

    When I first joined Animeb, the forum where I've been the most active... well it's still the forum where I'm the most active haha I remember thinking of the internet as this arena where I could create a persona and meet with the other "few" who were out there venturing through this new land. Meeting other people online was part of the adventure of exploring the internet in general.

    Today, the internet has become omnipresent and heavily monetized. It seems to me that the question we were all trying to find an answer to: "What will the internet become?", has been answered. Social media, online shopping, computer games, cloud computing (and probably other things I'm forgetting), dominate the internet today, and has brought about many great changes. However, it has also fundamentally changed how we use the internet, and as it always is with progress, it has moved the internet away from the early era. And with that, we have been robbed the feeling of pioneers, adventurers, and today, us being active online socially, just makes us like absolutely everyone else. If not, just plain ordinary, no longer part of the cutting edge. The new cool, as I see it, is taking a step back from social media. Something I'm keen on.

    Also being anonymous, or at least purposefully vague, online, used to be the norm. Today, it mostly seen as weird and enigmatic, and since we're no longer our personas online, our someone-else, but ourselves, it has just changed how we think of the internet completely. I loved making signatures, profile pictures, posts, forum games etc., in part because it was a side of me that was hidden from people who knew me IRL. Today, I just don't feel like I be that anymore online. It's not that I think people who know me IRL will suddenly find Animeb, or that I will care if they do. It's how I engage with the internet in general, how I see myself online. And with that, everything has just changed.

    I'm still gonna be present online, and enjoy it for what it is now, but I don't think the old days will ever return, because they were enabled by factors that are no longer in play. And for better or worse, that's just simply how it is.

  2. #2
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    Do you think a Discord channel would work better at the moment?

  3. #3
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    Well written, Silas. I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Honestly, the Internet also felt so much smaller earlier on for that very same reason and I don't know if this makes any sense but with that sense of adventure it felt like I would run into people on this forum in another forum somehow... although it rarely happened, things just felt more like a community and lifestyle.

  4. #4
    Aniki is my King 'Silas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asazel View Post
    Well written, Silas. I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Honestly, the Internet also felt so much smaller earlier on for that very same reason and I don't know if this makes any sense but with that sense of adventure it felt like I would run into people on this forum in another forum somehow... although it rarely happened, things just felt more like a community and lifestyle.
    Yes very true about it feeling much smaller. To me it definitely felt like being part of a subculture that very few people I knew irl had any interest in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mcgowen View Post
    Do you think a Discord channel would work better at the moment?
    I don't know how much of a difference it would make honestly, I think a lot of the members who were active when I was are just at a different place in life now. I check in a couple of times a month maybe for nostalgia's sake, and I doubt a discord would be more active.
    Last edited by 'Silas; 11 Apr 2020 at 2:27 pm.

  5. #5
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    Very true. The stuff about decline of anonymity and how that affects the face of the internet is insightful, especially as most outlets both on and offline still talk more about the anonymising effect of sitting behind a computer on our interpersonal behaviour online. I happen to agree more with you, that we’re being held more to account now than ever before with the proliferation of easily-accessed videos and media. And yet in the past, even though it was a frontier, the internet felt fundamentally kinder than it is today. Despite it being a haven for us to play make-believe with our own personalities, it still somehow felt more genuine than it every would now.

    Even then though, I always felt a little out of place even here, but that a few of us were in that same boat together. The people who were in that boat in my mind are the ones whose names and handles I still remember and think of today. I couldn’t tell you a single username from Reddit. I guess we’re just more impressionable as teenagers.

  6. #6
    Aniki is my King 'Silas's Avatar
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    Despite it being a haven for us to play make-believe with our own personalities, it still somehow felt more genuine than it every would now.
    This really resonates with me. I'm gonna let this one simmer for a while.

    Speaking of feeling out of place, what happened to the Kingdom here on animeb? Were all the threads deleted?

    edit: Well, there it is: https://www.animeb.com/empire/

 

 

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