I don’t like what the internet is right now.
Last week, My most favorite time-waster app, Apollo, announced that it will shut down. Because reddit decided to basically killed API (at a reasonable price) access.
It made me realized I don’t even know how to use internet anymore.
Here’s what my internet usage in the last couple of years was like, waking up, blearily opening Apollo, checking if the world was on fire or not. Then reading about people with relationship problems that had nothing to do with me at all, jumping around checking for cute dogs/cats photo, checking if there’s any new games coming out. All on reddit. Hell, even when I’m not on phone, I just absentmindedly type ‘red’ into search bar and it just loaded up reddit. I didn’t even know most of the time why I did that, and then I just glanced at it, left the tab opened, then opened the new one all over again, by the time I realized, I have 20 tabs of the same reddit shit open and I didn’t even know why.
How the hell did I, or anyone else, use internet before this reddit
When I was a teenager (decades ago lol) and just started using internet, it was at the tail end of web 1.0 and the early start of web 2.0. I felt like the internet for ‘normal consumers’ had just started. Back then, everything was still fresh. Nothing fancy. Google had literally only one search bar. There was Yahoo front page that was a ‘directory’ full of links that felt like it was manually curated to some level, can you imagine that? Big websites manually made content? now it’s all AI and algorithm and shit. There were no ‘social media’ sites. If you wanted to have presence on the internet. You have to have at least some knowledge of server, html, ftp and stuff like that, resulting in people with internet presence back then were at least somewhat the same kind of people, someone who at least had some drive to create something.
Everything is different now, and I felt out of place.
About 5 years ago, I stopped maintaining my own personal websites and migrated my stuff to Artstation. Because I felt like I couldn’t maintain everything all at once, at the peak. I had like 5 websites, blogs, webcomics, galleries, etc, and various social medias and forums that I tried to be active on to some degree. Tried is the keyword here. It felt too much, for little to no benefit. I’m not the most outspoken person. I have nothing to offer, and my art wasn’t that interesting or groundbreaking. Everything felt useless. So I quit.
I regret it ever since.
I didn’t realize how much having a website fueled my creativity. Even if no one visited, it was MINE and it made me wanted to CREATE and FILL it with things. Social media felt like renting and all you can do was maybe hanging picture frames and if the landlord doesn’t like it you have to remove it. I posted stuff on social media because I felt like I had to, because I had to be found, I had to hustle, because it was a thing to do because everyone else did it. But it felt bad every time I did because it told me in real time how shit I was and that it’s like farting in space, nobody’s gonna smell or hear it.
It’s not that I’m proclaiming I quit social media. I don’t have to, I just never really used it much to begin with. I just kinda want old internet back. Maybe just a little bit of it. I want to see small but active forums with like-minded people shooting shit about, everyone with 2 pages long signatures (ok, maybe not that) Websites with just 400x160px ads banner if any at all. Teenager LJ with 8 pt font nobody can read, but it’s aeSthEtic. Psychedelic myspace page with sparkling marquee and autoplay music. Webcomics that actually on their own websites. A webring, and ‘under construction’ gif.
I can’t do anything about it. The ship had sailed, the internet will go on and evolved and left me behind, maybe in 5 or 10 years it’ll all be web 3.0 bullshit and everybody will sit in the couch with VR headset scrolling through notifications with content curated to you by algorithm god. And I will be here in my own backyard in the middle of nowhere of the internet, larping web 1.0.