• Donate and support Agora Road's Macintosh Cafe to keep the forum alive and make any necessary upgrades to have a more pleasant experience! Update: I configured the site with Brave Browser, so you can send tips to the site with BAT.

    - Upgrade now for supporter only awards! In Three Tiers

    -- Agora Gold

    -- Agora Silver

    -- Agora Bronze

    Upgrades like "moods" username customization, profile customization, custom backgrounds, banners and much more!

    It will be under Account Upgrades

    Submissions for Tales of Agora Road Issue #4 is OPEN! MAKE AGORA CHAN ART BY CLICKING HERE

How much do you use the mainstream web?

  • Thread starter Obake
  • Start date
  • This thread has been viewed 1124 times.

Obake

Traveler
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
118
Awards
22
I'm sure we're all in agreement on the state of the mainstream web today. Bots, paid troll farms, fake-news from mainstream publications that's written to induce rage and generate clicks, and algorithms all affect what gets seen and what topics are discussed. The simple fact that everyone has a smartphone in their pocket means that quite literally everyone is chronically online because in the modern world it's more difficult to get offline than it is to get online. The result is that the majority of real human posters are simply "useful idiots" who easily fall for the propaganda and contribute to the political polarization in modern society. These people are unable to have rational discussions about differing views or beliefs and get irrationally angry as they've been taught to do. If you really don't know what I'm talking about, go post on Facebook or >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk or somewhere and express a view that goes against the hivemind. For example, post about why you think abortion is wrong or why kids can't consent. You're not going to find much nuance in the replies you receive. Many responses may even be hostile if you don't subscribe to a specific belief or ideology. And unfortunately we have even seen this pop up on the indie web, as members of a certain community were too influenced by the mainstream and it ultimately led to the death of their community. Don't even get me started on data harvesting.

But I'll stop my schizo ramblings there...

My question for you is how much do you actually use the mainstream web today? Maybe you have a Facebook account or you scroll Instagram from the toilet. Maybe you're addicted to content stimulation and always have YouTube on. Maybe you're secretly a >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk mod or a 4chan janny working for free and deleting posts that go against your political ideology. Maybe you scroll through mainstream news every day and rage over what [political party] is doing this week and then post all about it on Facebook/Twitter/>redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk like they want you to do.

We all know what's happening. We all clearly see these things. But do you still interact with it, or did you make a clean break?

--

Personally, I actively use YouTube. It can be frustrating though as the algorithm often tries to fill my feed with that rage bait garbage and I have to clear my watch history. In the past I've been active on >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk and 4chan but the bot situation on those sites is laughably bad (and isn't exactly a secret or anything as it's been widely reported on). I have a Facebook account for keeping up with family abroad but I don't scroll, and I have a Twitter account because much of the problems that exist on English Twitter simply aren't a thing in my language group and it's easy to not see the stuff I don't want to see. I don't use Instagram or Snapchat. I have used TikTok in the past but it just feels like a waste of time. I'm unaware of any other mainstream social media services.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards
Joined
Aug 29, 2021
Messages
2,983
Reaction score
24,661
Awards
352
I use youtube all the time, and discord and instagram to communicate with my friends irl.

Besides that i don't use much mainstream web is not really like i care if i'm using mainstream or not everything seems nothing but a mere triviality, i'm not a pretentious snob, i simply go with the flow and do what i like and do not do what i don't like, that's all.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

Digital Cheese

Venith.NET
Joined
Jun 6, 2023
Messages
163
Reaction score
1,025
Awards
82
Website
digitalcheese.xyz
> YouTube
Honestly I use this the most, and even then I'm slowly not using it. Its mostly because I've been too lazy to download my music as MP3 because if I just want to upload, I can use Odysee or Rumble which are better (especially Odysee). If I don't use either of them, I can just put it on my own website now in 360p or use Guilded to embed it (500MB files for free) so yay.

> Twitter
Considering deactivating my main account soon, but other than maybe 3DSPaint its my biggest platform and its not entirely dead. Plus, using Twitter on private after unfollowing most of the accounts I followed before now is nice (went from like nearly 250 ppl I followed to less than 100). However, I don't plan on unprivating my account ever and mostly use it to talk to a few ppl online frens who arent active on much else.

> Discord
I quit Discord, I hate discord fuck discord. Forums are better for large communities, IRC is better for chats to me now, and email is better for one-on-one communication (not to mention until earlier this year, email usually had a larger file-size allowed bc of it being 25MB instead of 8MB free LOL, also some services allow more than that for free).

>redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk
I would deactivate my account if I didn't for some reason make it with Google, its more so the admins that I hate about reddit. If admins didn't censor everything, it wouldn't be a big deal because I could just use my own subreddits and moderate it however i want (and Old >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk is kinda like a forum site).

> GitHub
Ok this one is actually pretty cool. Yes Codeberg and GitLab exist, but GitHub for now is still far easier from what I can tell. Tho Microsoft is shady

> Tumblr, Snapchat, and Threads
Never used them, never will. Tumblr is gay, Threads is gay(er) fediverse. Snapchat is the most useless shit ever if you don't like to use it for interacting with middle and high-schoolers who still probably believe Snapchat is at all secure because stories disappear after a small amount of time (or filters but still).

> Facebook
Old people website XD. Seriously though, I don't have a Facebook account and never will.

> Instagram
I'm making a seperate one for this one instead of lumping it with Facebook because I geniunely believe most of the people who actively use this app become fucking retarded. YouTube is fun sometimes at least, Twitter is good for trolling (and so is >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk), Discord at least makes sense for friends to conveniently talk, and Snapchat is good if you like to piss off middle-schoolers. Why Instagram tho? Seems like the most useless one on this list other than Threads.

> Tik Fucking Tok
This fucking goddamn website. Seriously, this is probably the worst app on the list because its designed to be even more addictive than the other websites. And it being used more than Google now isn't good so we're gonna be stuck with it for a while to say the least. Sad, TikTok is gay
 
Virtual Cafe Awards
I don't hang out too much on there except mostly for reading/watching. I had many >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk accounts over the years 2016 to 2022, but the more time passed and the less they lasted, except for my last one because I was posting on a trauma related subreddit in the first months I was trying to disentangle my own messes, that I have since deleted. Now I don't feel any desire to reopen one. I have two Google accounts, but hardly use both of them. One for my phone cuz Android, and the other for the email address because certain sites don't like Russian email addresses. I just don't use them other than for these purposes, and my phone account has the name of a (male) character of mine lol.

For YouTube I watch it via Invidious. It's perfect, no bloated website (because I literally feel the weight of OG YouTube, it's like a morbidly obese person trying to climb up stairs), and no distractions. I'd say the only ones I use are Discord and Tumblr, but Tumblr was just for posting my sims stories and I'm even getting disinterested in that. If you say one thing that displeases the über-woke community, even if you don't mean any harm, you get dogpiled on. I don't know when and if I'll be back on Tumblr. I guess when the sims bug bites me again...

But I'd say yeah, the most I interact with the mainstream web is from reading. I've always had this thing of typing a question or something I'm thinking about and looking up what the search results are, looking for answers, and that's what most of my web surfing is about. Often they're on Medium (which I hate especially when you have to make an account to read a story... no, I'll pass), Quora, or Plebbit, or things like thoughtcatalog and the like. Not something I can really take seriously. And I tried to research some things that are against the doxa of today, like "are baby boomers this awful?" and would get no results at all. Like by this absence of results, it sends you the message "no one thinks like you, you're all alone, now submit to us and adopt our opinions!". No it's just suspicious honestly.

For the other sites, I closed my mainstream social media a long time ago, and I had it (FB, Insta) mostly because I was then a teenager and everyone else had them. I had reopened an Instagram account for a while earlier, but closed it because I just wasn't using it and I didn't feel free to draw what I wanted. Whenever I post content on Tumblr or Instagram I become a kind of person I don't really like, also. The kind to look at notifications all the time and wait for the dopamine hit. Scares me honestly. But that's what the sites are designed for. To hook you like this and turn you into a validation addict.

And I'm never, ever getting on TikTok. You won't have my info and attention, Winnie the Pooh!
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

gyarugoroth

Internet Refugee
Joined
Sep 12, 2023
Messages
3
Reaction score
7
Awards
2
My work is on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Threads and >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk so I use a couple of those every day and most of them weekly.
Luckily due to the nature of my work I never really see news or ~current events~ on any of these sites so it's not annoying to be there.
For my personal use I use Discord to talk to friends, YouTube for video essays mostly and 4chan for doomscrolling. Also Soundcloud and Bandcamp for music.
 

imnotdeadyet

Pseudoanonymized internet husk
Joined
Jul 22, 2023
Messages
209
Reaction score
607
Awards
73
Website
downbytheseaside.neocities.org
Not much, I'm known in social groups as "the one that doesn't have Instagram".
Of the mainstream web I only pretty much use Youtube, Facebook (for relatives i hate keeping this one the most) and discord since zoomers can't use anything else. Oh yeah i also have a twitter but i don't use it and should probably delete it. I do browse on occasion some parts of the mainstream web but I don't engage with them.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

brentw

Well-Known Traveler
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
664
Reaction score
1,655
Awards
181
I've largely checked out of the mainstream web. I don't use any social media. I don't follow any of the bullshit news sites.
But there's still more separation needed.

I still use fucking gmail. I also use youtube regularly. I have an android phone. I use maps.
They're constantly getting more annoying. I desperately need to bite the bullet and degoogle.

I'll also search random information, like about plants, or for recipes. Search engines are getting infuriatingly bad.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

imnotdeadyet

Pseudoanonymized internet husk
Joined
Jul 22, 2023
Messages
209
Reaction score
607
Awards
73
Website
downbytheseaside.neocities.org
Search engines are getting infuriatingly bad.
This is the most infuriating part of the modern web. I hate that the widespread accepted solution is "just add >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk to your search query lol"
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

brentw

Well-Known Traveler
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
664
Reaction score
1,655
Awards
181
This is the most infuriating part of the modern web. I hate that the widespread accepted solution is "just add >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk to your search query lol"
Oh god, yes. As much as I hate it, at least if you search for >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk results you might actually find someone talking about the thing your searching for. Whereas basic search results won't get anywhere close.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

imnotdeadyet

Pseudoanonymized internet husk
Joined
Jul 22, 2023
Messages
209
Reaction score
607
Awards
73
Website
downbytheseaside.neocities.org
Oh god, yes. As much as I hate it, at least if you search for >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk results you might actually find someone talking about the thing your searching for. Whereas basic search results won't get anywhere close.
Yeah >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk at least gets you people talking about the thing you're searching for, regular results are overrun with SEO optimized AI generated trite like:

"How to solve x? In this article we'll be talking about solving x we have a team of experts that have worked over 2 decades on our shitty wordpress blog dedicated to fixing problems regarding x. Now on to solving x..."

and in the end it's the most basic info that it's either common sense or completely useless. Not to mention those spam sites filled with keywords that just redirect you to some internet aids.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

stonehead

Active Traveler
Joined
Oct 23, 2022
Messages
167
Reaction score
606
Awards
68
Website
argusarts.com
Does the "Mainstream Web" mean the same thing as social media? I use Stack Overflow all the time for my job, same thing with Gmail and sometimes Wikipedia. Online shopping seems pretty main stream to me too. I listen to a lot of podcasts too, and some of them get millions of downloads, which seems fairly mainstream. Same thing with manga readers.

If we're just talking about social media, I use Youtube pretty often. The algorithm sucks, but it does make it a lot easier to find music you like. For everything else, I can just only check my subscription box. I know some people consider Youtube to be social media, but it seems a lot more like Netflix or Hulu to me. The "content" doesn't come from regular users like Twitter and the like, it comes from a small handful of very successful creators. I also use Discord, but I don't use servers with internet strangers. It's just a more convenient group chat for my irl friends.

That's pretty much it. I used >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk a bit several years ago, and very briefly used Twitter to try (and fail) to shill my game. That's pretty much it though, I haven't used regular social media in several years.
 

mydadiscar

Webcomics! Banzai!
Joined
Jan 20, 2022
Messages
1,482
Reaction score
5,329
Awards
260
I use Youtube, Twitter and 4chan. Twitter I mainly just use to vent (don't want to dump all my problems on here) and 4chan I mainly use for /jp/ and torrents nowadays, I mainly use altchans for actual discussion.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

Outer Heaven

Stranger in a strange land
Bronze
Joined
Oct 25, 2021
Messages
781
Reaction score
5,613
Awards
230
I use Youtube the most, >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk for university and MMA highlights, Instagram solely for group chats with my friends or posting memes to my story and slack for work. Im not sure if Telegram is mainstream but I use that for memes and news. Every other mainstream site isnt work the time. Hell, I wouldnt use instagram if it wasnt basically a social necessity at my university.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

I-330

certified loon
Gold
Joined
Dec 20, 2022
Messages
120
Reaction score
674
Awards
77
Website
i330.dev
I definitely use the "mainstream web" more than I would like, but I definitely use it less than I used to.
That said, I'm not entirely unhappy with my web usage either. I do spend a solid amount of time on youtube (I don't have the app), but the vast majority of that time is spent listening to music. As much as I hate to admit it, I do still scroll >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk though :‎(‎(. It's like a cancer that I can't rid myself of. I don't spend as much time on it as I used to, but it's still a personal point of issue and I would ideally like to only ever visit that site for tech support and piracy. I don't have a twitter, I do have a dead insta acct, and I don't have a snap anymore. I do have a discord acct that I'm semi-active on, but considering 98% of my interactions on that platform are DM's, I'm not particularly concerned about it. All in all, I'm not fearful of the "mainstream web", but I also don't see much of it as very beneficial to the life I want to live (this applies to parts of the niche web too). idkman, the internet is neat ig
 
Virtual Cafe Awards

CopiumDen

Internet Refugee
Joined
Aug 10, 2023
Messages
19
Reaction score
19
Awards
5
I've mostly checked out of the "mainstream web". Whatever use remains is brought down to a minimum and whenever possible, is used through alternative means (such as invidious for YT, Odysee etc). Hell, I've even managed to degoogle, but still haven't been able to get rid of Discord which I use to contact and organize stuff with my friends at times. Eventually I'll get there.
Haven't had a social media presence in ages.

Search engines becoming worse by the day definitely cuts my online time. Finding stuff you're interested or invested in is becoming more and more of a struggle, especially with the numerous walled gardens crapping up the results. Even guides and tutorials outside of those places feel like they're only made to maximize clicks, rather than actually getting to the heart of the matter. In the end, nothing replaces a good book if you want to delve into a subject.

Oh, and 4chan... It's pretty much a bad habit at this point, seems nearly impossible to kick. Guess I'll be there forever.
 

Obake

Traveler
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
118
Awards
22
I forgot about Discord. I use Discord to keep in touch with a handful of people, but I'm not particularly active in any large servers since I don't feel like dealing with the teenage/college age equivalent of >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk mods/4chan jannies.

I definitely use the "mainstream web" more than I would like, but I definitely use it less than I used to.
That said, I'm not entirely unhappy with my web usage either. I do spend a solid amount of time on youtube (I don't have the app), but the vast majority of that time is spent listening to music. As much as I hate to admit it, I do still scroll >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk though :‎(‎(. It's like a cancer that I can't rid myself of. I don't spend as much time on it as I used to, but it's still a personal point of issue and I would ideally like to only ever visit that site for tech support and piracy. I don't have a twitter, I do have a dead insta acct, and I don't have a snap anymore. I do have a discord acct that I'm semi-active on, but considering 98% of my interactions on that platform are DM's, I'm not particularly concerned about it. All in all, I'm not fearful of the "mainstream web", but I also don't see much of it as very beneficial to the life I want to live (this applies to parts of the niche web too). idkman, the internet is neat ig
I think your comment sums up pretty well how most of us probably feel. It's not that we're hipsters who want to hate on these mainstream sites because it's cool to do so, but rather the sites have changed from what they used to be and are no longer very beneficial to the lives we want to live. And while we would probably like to make a clean break from them all, we are all using them in some capacity whether we like it or not. Not a single person in this thread has managed to break away from the entirety of the mainstream, and many of us probably even found Agora Road through those channels (I came here after I saw an ad for the site on /vr/).

I relate pretty well with what you said about reddit. I used to be very active on >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk many years ago, and would often stay up late reading through interesting threads (much like I did on forums years earlier), but the site largely changed during the lead-up to the 2016 election, and the company itself implemented many changes also which - combined with the bot/troll problems - will prevent the site from ever returning to how good it once was. For a while during the pandemic I was caught up in a cycle of always checking >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk (even though I hated it at the time) simply because scrolling through the app was addictive and it was easy to get outraged at all of the fake news.

4chan as well. I don't check >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk anymore unless I'm searching for answers on Google (As @brentw and @imnotdeadyet mentioned), but I'm a little active on 4chan and it can be hard to quit. These days I'm basically only active on /vr/ though, and the board is so slow that I think it actually makes it much better than any of the other boards.

I'm also active on 5ch (Japanese) which I find to be much more tolerable.

Does the "Mainstream Web" mean the same thing as social media? I use Stack Overflow all the time for my job, same thing with Gmail and sometimes Wikipedia. Online shopping seems pretty main stream to me too. I listen to a lot of podcasts too, and some of them get millions of downloads, which seems fairly mainstream. Same thing with manga readers.

If we're just talking about social media, I use Youtube pretty often. The algorithm sucks, but it does make it a lot easier to find music you like. For everything else, I can just only check my subscription box. I know some people consider Youtube to be social media, but it seems a lot more like Netflix or Hulu to me. The "content" doesn't come from regular users like Twitter and the like, it comes from a small handful of very successful creators. I also use Discord, but I don't use servers with internet strangers. It's just a more convenient group chat for my irl friends.

That's pretty much it. I used >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk a bit several years ago, and very briefly used Twitter to try (and fail) to shill my game. That's pretty much it though, I haven't used regular social media in several years.
Basically social media plus a handful of others. Anything where a large portion of the userbase is going to be bots or foreign troll farms. I'm calling it the mainstream web because for many people around the world today, "The Internet" is basically just Facebook/YouTube/Instagram/etc.

I wouldn't count something like Stack Overflow or GitHub since those are largely used for work (or individual projects) and you're not going to be interacting with a bot unless you've integrated something into Slack yourself.

YouTube I think is manageable because you can reset the algorithm but there's a lot of AI generated content these days and the algorithm is awful if you want to find what is actually popular because it's manipulated. But if you can find something you like, the algorithm does offer pretty good personalized recommendations. Comments still get a lot of spam though.
 
Virtual Cafe Awards