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Thoughts on the current state of the internet?

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Fig

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What do you guys think about the general state of the internet. What changes are you happy to see and what changes do you hate?
 

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Jade

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It feels to me like how the real world feels - there's a hundred different time bombs ticking down, but the clocks are all hidden and nobody knows which of the bombs is gonna explode first and set off the others. The internet is so centralized now that nearly all the traffic goes to just a handful of sites, and so relevant to the way people live their lives that many people spend the majority of their day on their computers/phones, and yet it keeps becoming more centralized and more essential. The point of no return as far as long-term stability goes was passed long ago. Many big tech companies are self-imploding under the weight of corruption and bloat, just look at the million scandals Twitch is going through right now. I think the internet is gonna look very different 10-20 years from now, with many sites that are massive today completely gone.
 
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I am happy that internet speeds are becoming faster. As someone who had a 4.23 Mbps downloadsing speed (1 gb = 1 hour to download) until earlier this year, this is an objective improvement to my internet experience.

As for the bad stuff, I think most social media platform are bad for reasons that have been stated a million times. Still, I cannot deny that having most of the internet population in a few places is incredibily convenient - I just wish they were more ethical.

Another thing I dislike is how everything is "in the cloud". Everything nowadays is streaming-based. Thankfully, there are plenty of way to negate this issue (i.e downloading the stuff you like). A lot of people are going to be mad if something if they lose acess to their content.
 

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There's a lot to like, and there's a lot to dislike. As a bilingual person, using the internet in each of my language groups is a very different experience.

I basically hate using the internet in English anymore. It feels like a digital representation of mental illness. From my outside perspective, it looks as if American society is collapsing and I believe that a lot of the problems which currently exist on the English side of the web are an extension of that.

As for the Japanese side of the web, it's very different. Japan's internet culture has always been different than the West and I really appreciate that Japanese netizens have rejected a lot of the garbage that's circulating around in English speaking communities right now.
 
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bnuungus

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I'm actually fairly new to messing around with the internet. I never had unfiltered access to it growing up (which I am very thankful for) and I didn't have any social media at all except a youtube account until midway through 2020 when I made a r*ddit account to keep up with what was going on at my uni and look at the top-tier level shitposts that only made sense if you were a student there. I also got a discord account during that time to stay in touch with my very close friends from my previous uni. I didn't even have a smartphone until march of this year when I had to go on a business trip and I figured I should have a reliable GPS while driving around a city alone that I had never been in before. Other than those two accounts the only other social media I have is a twitter account that I use for a very specific brand of shitposting but I recently created a neocities so I might move all that over there and delete the twitter account. Sorry for the backstory but I felt it was somewhat necessary to have some sort of info on just how relatively new I am to the internet to get an accurate view of my mindset.

I have a much less of a doomer outlook on the internet and society in general probably due to the fact that I haven't been on here for years and haven't had to experience the last decade of internet shittiness. We can all see that something will happen at some point in there near-ish future but I'm joining the internet at a much later time so my mindset is fresher and I'm less weary at the state of social media and the centralized net (still pissed, mind you, but not weary). Instead, I'm actually looking forward to the future. The internet is so ingrained into society now that a societal collapse and an internet collapse are not separate events anymore. Thankfully I'm societally under the radar yet still making a comfortable living that if a collapse happens I know I'll be okay. I'm content to view things from the sidelines right now because I know that any feasible outcome of any of this won't be extreme enough in my lifetime to really impact me in a heavy way. So I grab some popcorn and watch as things unfold. Honestly, I'm excited for what's next. It's gonna be a fun ride to watch
 
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guy who is so high

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One thing I dislike about the Internet is just how fucking heartless it's become. Personal websites were ditched for social media profiles, the big tech companies only care about the TOS whenever it suits them and their pockets, advertisements everywhere and they aren't even visually appealing. It doesn't help that social media culture is devoid of nuance for the most part, Twitter dumbasses are especially guilty of this as they expect you to either completely veer one side or the other...

Really, one of the few things I do like about the current Internet is people being increasingly more aware about how bad it actually is: the more people who ditch social media and build their sites on Neocities or even just joining Mastodon (say what you will about Masto, at least each instance's admins care about the rules), the better. I'm so tired of algorithms, man.
 

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As for the Japanese side of the web, it's very different. Japan's internet culture has always been different than the West and I really appreciate that Japanese netizens have rejected a lot of the garbage that's circulating around in English speaking communities right now.
Can you elaborate on this? I am curious to know how the Japanese internet differs.
 

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wot

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Nostalgic as I am for the 00s internet, I do appreciate how there's more learning resources out there now. I know Libgen goes back to 08, but it didn't seem like something that was widely popular until well into the 10s. There've also been plenty of guides written on subjects I could only dream of studying as a teenager. ...Or maybe there's always been good resources and I just didn't get enough time online back then to find them. I don't know.
 
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Brontes

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It feels to me like how the real world feels - there's a hundred different time bombs ticking down, but the clocks are all hidden and nobody knows which of the bombs is gonna explode first and set off the others. The internet is so centralized now that nearly all the traffic goes to just a handful of sites, and so relevant to the way people live their lives that many people spend the majority of their day on their computers/phones, and yet it keeps becoming more centralized and more essential. The point of no return as far as long-term stability goes was passed long ago. Many big tech companies are self-imploding under the weight of corruption and bloat, just look at the million scandals Twitch is going through right now. I think the internet is gonna look very different 10-20 years from now, with many sites that are massive today completely gone.
Fully agreed on the statement that current internet conglomerates will be mostly gone (aside from maybe a very small handful) in 10-20 years time. But I have a feeling they would be replaced by equally bad if not possibly worse companies that push worse agendas and promote dumber trends than even tiktok these days. This sort of thing has been exponentially growing over the years and personally I don't see the momentum of it slowing down even due to the fall of platforms, because that fall would by no means be instant and the shift of power wouldn't happen right away like in the case of (please forgive the cheesy analogy) probably the Roman Empire. The change of status quo with things like even more internet censorship would probably be very quietly implemented over a long course of time, so just like they're doing it now but with increasing severity with every case.
 

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Can you elaborate on this? I am curious to know how the Japanese internet differs.
First and foremost, the culture is different. This affects interactions at a base level.

Secondly, it's not as centralized as the English side of the web is. It is centralized, but differently and not to the same extent. Japanese netizens aren't all using social media like Westerners. Of course there are some people using social media (Twitter is the biggest), but a lot of the interaction that's happening is on anonymous message boards (similar to 4chan). The thing is, there isn't one central message board where people gather. I guess you could argue that 5ch is the central one, but throughout their history there have been multiple events that caused a mass exodus of users, and the result of that is message boards didn't become extremely centralized. There are a ton of different options for anonymous message boards in Japan, each catering to slightly different audiences. It's really quite interesting.

And if you compare that to the Western equivalent, forums used to be popular and plentiful and they mostly died out and were replaced by reddit.

5ch is definitely still a popular site, but alternatives like open 2ch, girls channel, bakusai etc all get plenty of traffic.
 
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The internet today is mostly garbage. Content that is meant to suck you in for hours so that large corporations can push ads and agendas. A very select few can see where this is going and I appreciate that. More people should be educated about operating a computer or smartphone through communities like this one. I'm not sure if using VPNs, the Tor network, and ethical hosting will ever catch on...
 
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Secondly, it's not as centralized as the English side of the web is. It is centralized, but differently and not to the same extent. Japanese netizens aren't all using social media like Westerners. Of course there are some people using social media (Twitter is the biggest), but a lot of the interaction that's happening is on anonymous message boards (similar to 4chan). The thing is, there isn't one central message board where people gather. I guess you could argue that 5ch is the central one, but throughout their history there have been multiple events that caused a mass exodus of users, and the result of that is message boards didn't become extremely centralized. There are a ton of different options for anonymous message boards in Japan, each catering to slightly different audiences. It's really quite interesting.
I see. Aside for the Twitter usage, their internet sounds a lot more healthier than what the west has.

Having most form of social media not bound by algorithms must be a blessing.
 

Obake

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I see. Aside for the Twitter usage, their internet sounds a lot more healthier than what the west has.

Having most form of social media not bound by algorithms must be a blessing.
It really is. It has a major impact on the way that information spreads. Currently bullshit and propaganda spread so easily on the English side of the web.

And when it comes to users who use the Western social media platforms, the way that they use it is very different. For example, my Twitter account is solely for following Japanese accounts. Retro gaming is probably my biggest hobby, so most of the accounts I follow are focused on they topic. Those users post solely about retro games, and they never discuss politics or recent events, and they rarely discuss their personal lives (and when they do, they don't go much into detail). It's very different from the English side of the site. A while back I purchased a device called the RetroTink for upscaling my old game consoles on a modern display. In order to buy it I had to follow the creator on Twitter and wait for him to post about when the next batch was available for purchasing (there was a high demand and a shortage of parts at the time). Following him told Twitter's algorithm that I speak English, and the algorithm started filling my feed with "recommended" English accounts focusing on retro gaming. But whenever their posts popped up in my feed they were never even posting about games, they almost always were discussing other matters like abortion or Trump or whatever.

I really like Japanese Twitter because people tend to keep their accounts focused on a particular interest (or a few) and they rarely go out of that scope. If I don't want to hear about whatever bullshit is currently circulating in the news, I don't have to.

This led to a problem for me some time ago. I didn't understand what was happening at the time, but in retrospect I think it was part of the acculturation process. Basically what happened is whenever I engaged in the Japanese side of the web things felt normal, but when I engaged with the English side it caused me a lot of anxiety and stress. It was weird to go through. Thankfully that has mostly subsided but I still find the Japanese side to be much more pleasant.
 
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guy who is so high

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It really is. It has a major impact on the way that information spreads. Currently bullshit and propaganda spread so easily on the English side of the web.

And when it comes to users who use the Western social media platforms, the way that they use it is very different. For example, my Twitter account is solely for following Japanese accounts. Retro gaming is probably my biggest hobby, so most of the accounts I follow are focused on they topic. Those users post solely about retro games, and they never discuss politics or recent events, and they rarely discuss their personal lives (and when they do, they don't go much into detail). It's very different from the English side of the site. A while back I purchased a device called the RetroTink for upscaling my old game consoles on a modern display. In order to buy it I had to follow the creator on Twitter and wait for him to post about when the next batch was available for purchasing (there was a high demand and a shortage of parts at the time). Following him told Twitter's algorithm that I speak English, and the algorithm started filling my feed with "recommended" English accounts focusing on retro gaming. But whenever their posts popped up in my feed they were never even posting about games, they almost always were discussing other matters like abortion or Trump or whatever.

I really like Japanese Twitter because people tend to keep their accounts focused on a particular interest (or a few) and they rarely go out of that scope. If I don't want to hear about whatever bullshit is currently circulating in the news, I don't have to.

This led to a problem for me some time ago. I didn't understand what was happening at the time, but in retrospect I think it was part of the acculturation process. Basically what happened is whenever I engaged in the Japanese side of the web things felt normal, but when I engaged with the English side it caused me a lot of anxiety and stress. It was weird to go through. Thankfully that has mostly subsided but I still find the Japanese side to be much more pleasant.
This is actually really interesting to me, because even though I'm not a native English speaker the only difference I've seen between the English side of Twitter and the side that speaks my language (specifically from my country) is that most people from my country are a lot funnier when being vocal about their displeasure with, well, anything. I guess we also make more colonization jokes than most, so in that sense we're a bit edgier than the English side.

All that to say that while I knew all cultures have a different approach to social media and the Internet in general, I wasn't expecting Japanese Twitter to have it so much better than us westerners. Japan isn't perfect, of course, but when it comes to not being annoying online they seem to have it covered.
 

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This is actually really interesting to me, because even though I'm not a native English speaker the only difference I've seen between the English side of Twitter and the side that speaks my language (specifically from my country) is that most people from my country are a lot funnier when being vocal about their displeasure with, well, anything. I guess we also make more colonization jokes than most, so in that sense we're a bit edgier than the English side.

All that to say that while I knew all cultures have a different approach to social media and the Internet in general, I wasn't expecting Japanese Twitter to have it so much better than us westerners. Japan isn't perfect, of course, but when it comes to not being annoying online they seem to have it covered.
If you want to find garbage accounts you can find those too, it's just that they're easy to tune out. I think the way that Japanese people engage with social media is a bit different. A lot of people here don't even put a picture of their face on their Facebook profile (And many more don't even have Facebook, although that has changed in recent years because of Instagram growing in popularity.)
 
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Fig

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Nostalgic as I am for the 00s internet, I do appreciate how there's more learning resources out there now. I know Libgen goes back to 08, but it didn't seem like something that was widely popular until well into the 10s. There've also been plenty of guides written on subjects I could only dream of studying as a teenager. ...Or maybe there's always been good resources and I just didn't get enough time online back then to find them. I don't know.
That's an excellent point. It really is astounding how you can manage to teach yourself pretty much anything through just a few searches. It honestly makes me happy that there are people out there who are teaching a skill for free simply because they love it and want to see other people love it!
 

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It really is. It has a major impact on the way that information spreads. Currently bullshit and propaganda spread so easily on the English side of the web.

And when it comes to users who use the Western social media platforms, the way that they use it is very different. For example, my Twitter account is solely for following Japanese accounts. Retro gaming is probably my biggest hobby, so most of the accounts I follow are focused on they topic. Those users post solely about retro games, and they never discuss politics or recent events, and they rarely discuss their personal lives (and when they do, they don't go much into detail). It's very different from the English side of the site. A while back I purchased a device called the RetroTink for upscaling my old game consoles on a modern display. In order to buy it I had to follow the creator on Twitter and wait for him to post about when the next batch was available for purchasing (there was a high demand and a shortage of parts at the time). Following him told Twitter's algorithm that I speak English, and the algorithm started filling my feed with "recommended" English accounts focusing on retro gaming. But whenever their posts popped up in my feed they were never even posting about games, they almost always were discussing other matters like abortion or Trump or whatever.

I really like Japanese Twitter because people tend to keep their accounts focused on a particular interest (or a few) and they rarely go out of that scope. If I don't want to hear about whatever bullshit is currently circulating in the news, I don't have to.

This led to a problem for me some time ago. I didn't understand what was happening at the time, but in retrospect I think it was part of the acculturation process. Basically what happened is whenever I engaged in the Japanese side of the web things felt normal, but when I engaged with the English side it caused me a lot of anxiety and stress. It was weird to go through. Thankfully that has mostly subsided but I still find the Japanese side to be much more pleasant.
I need to learn Japanese
1664432191850.png

Nostalgic as I am for the 00s internet, I do appreciate how there's more learning resources out there now. I know Libgen goes back to 08, but it didn't seem like something that was widely popular until well into the 10s. There've also been plenty of guides written on subjects I could only dream of studying as a teenager. ...Or maybe there's always been good resources and I just didn't get enough time online back then to find them. I don't know.
I really love how many resources are on the internet, I became so much more interested in tech thanks to resources online and I might even end up getting a job in it later on
But I also remember how many of these resources are paywalled and it pisses me off
 
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Obake

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I need to learn Japanese
View attachment 38963

I really love how many resources are on the internet, I became so much more interested in tech thanks to resources online and I might even end up getting a job in it later on
But I also remember how many of these resources are paywalled and it pisses me off
I'm working on a guide for that lol (It's more of a general guide for assimilating in Japan, but language is a topic I'm covering because it's an important part of that). There's a link in my signature if you're interested.
 
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