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11-15-18 05:58:42 AM

Jul - General Chat - Internet interconnectivity and relationships New poll - New thread - New reply
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does the internet feel more or less lonely now than in the past?
more lonely
60.0%, 12 votes
about the same
25.0%, 5 votes
less lonely
15.0%, 3 votes
Multi-voting is disabled. 20 users have voted.


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Posted on 04-24-16 05:47:36 PM Link | Quote
The poll question was shamelessly stolen from's irc channel, but it raised an interesting question. Compared to the past, the internet is more connected now than ever before; services like Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc. have all tried to "connect" us to others, building a huge interconnected network of "friends"... but have they made us more connected, or made us more distant to everyone?

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Posted on 04-24-16 05:51:43 PM Link | Quote
I don't really feel more connected with people over social media sites like facebook. That being said, I do have plenty of friends over the internet only or mostly and it's as good, if not better, these days. I sit with people on discord most days in voice chat and going crap or just shit talking/shit posting.
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Posted on 04-24-16 05:52:36 PM Link | Quote
I voted for about the same, because that is the closest to how I feel.

I feel like the way we connect has changed, instead of joining communities to talk with "strangers" and then regularly chat close friends, we instead join big social media sites to stay slightly connected to a lot of acquaintances.

In a way it is more lonely than ever, and in another way it is less lonely.

Unsure if I like the development or not, I do have a bit of nostalgia to the old days.
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Posted on 04-24-16 05:52:57 PM (last edited by StapleButter at 04-24-16 05:55:13 PM) Link | Quote
my answer doesn't really answer the poll, but here you go anyway

I think it mostly changed the way people see the internet and the way they use it: consuming content and sometimes trying to get attention

this comic describes it well imo

although admittedly social networks also give you the possibility to talk to friends, but it's more a private chat and not comparable to the old messageboards

Edit- yeah, as Girlydragon said, too. Quantity over quality. You get to brag about having 500 friends, but how many of them actually give a shit about you?
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Posted on 04-24-16 05:53:48 PM Link | Quote
I miss a sense of community which these services don't offer very well. Message boards made me feel like I wasn't alone and that people cared about each other.

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Posted on 04-24-16 05:54:11 PM Link | Quote
I feel like a lot of the "new social media" sites (Twitter in particular) create this odd distance; it seems very dificult to build a friendship off of solely following someone on twitter, even if you follow mutually and comment occasionally. At least for me... (And Facebook I mostly use for people I already knew IRL)

Of course, it's not like the "old social internet" has gone anywhere. I even still use AIM practically every day. :p
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Posted on 04-24-16 06:03:11 PM Link | Quote
I'm certainly a lot more aware of a lot more people and what's going on in their lives, but I feel more like an observer than a friend most of the time. It seems most interactions are about giving other people a certain perception of you and your life (although not necessarily in an egotistical way) and less about truly connecting with anyone.

I spend a lot less time actively engaging people online than I used to, but that could just be a consequence of Real Life™ taking up what was once limitless free time.

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Posted on 04-24-16 06:05:10 PM Link | Quote
it's true that the "old" networks haven't gone away*, but they certainly aren't really open. Consider; how many people are signing up for new AIM accounts? Probably not many.

Twitter and Facebook make it difficult to build a sense of community, I think. A room full of people might make a good analogy; with a message board like this, everyone is generally talking as a group. Everyone is in the same "topic", and as long as people keep talking about it, that topic will stay relevant. With new "social media", the topic is splintered; either you have Twitter where a conversation cannot really exist in a meaningful way (due to the nature of tweets), or you have Facebook or Tumblr where conversations eventually fall away and die no matter how active they might be, just because nobody can see them under all of the newer content.

With Twitter, while there might be a main "topic" of discussion, within the first few replies, the discussion will splinter into fragments, with people talking amongst themselves in smaller groups instead of as one larger discussion... not to mention that the simple act of removing someone's handle from a conversation can end their participation.
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Posted on 04-24-16 06:07:29 PM Link | Quote
It's kinda like you said in one of your posts in that website. It's kinda reliving the era of the internet were there few people online. Nowadays, even though there's more technology, there's also way more communities, peoples, opinions, etc. etc. etc. on the internet, we kinda lose value of the whole thing. It's like economy, when you have too much of something, the prices tend to go down. When you have so many people on the internet, we kinda forget the fact that we're talking to another human being on the other side of the screen just like anyone else you know from school, work, family, etc. We forget the value of people...and yes it's something that can happen.

I don't really know, using social networks like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, you'd feel more alone because discussion isn't valued in these places. There's no need for you to know the other person, like in real life. I think this is one of the reasons why people are so mean and rude online. In those places, what is valued is the new interesting stuff: the news, the events. I dunno.

Relevant quote:
Originally posted by Eleanor Roosevelt (not on Jul)
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

It's this that bothers me. While social media focuses on the events and even more so the people, the ideas and discussion, the immersion of getting to talk to someone and actually feel like you're talking to a human being goes away.

That's what I think. Why social media makes people feel more lonely. Either that or they become complete attention-whores.

But I guess I don't feel as lonely becuase I found somewhere to be on the internet. This neighbourhood, TCRF, SMWCentral, Jul, and also the LP community that surrounds a group of people known as TheRunawayGuys. I found somewhere to be on the internet, where it actually feels less lonely and more human.

Maybe I'm just weird, but I enjoy being here and getting to talk about whatever much more than most other places on the internet. I don't want to turn this into a sad story, but I didn't really have a place to be in anywhere else. Even though I got along with my family, I got disconnected quickly due to a difference in interests (me being more introverted and more towards gaming, yeah) and I kinda got disconnected from real-life for a while. I'm glad to have found the communities that I did, and for that reason alone, I think I feel less disconnected now and less lonely. Much less than before.

I don't even know at this point, I don't really think I know what I'm writing anymore. I'm sorry. Feel free to ignore this's weird.
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Posted on 04-24-16 06:16:22 PM Link | Quote
to be honest... the internet in general isn't really fulfilling to me, or atleast not as much as before

I'm in several communities, including the staff room of one and a small private group of people I get along well with and I know I can trust

but truthfully, there's not a whole lot of things happening

I also don't form strong connections to people over the internet

I'll just spend more effort making IRL friends, which will be easier once I move out of this crapo town I live in
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Posted on 04-24-16 06:18:43 PM Link | Quote
As I am very late on the web train, I have barely any previous experience with this matter. To give an idea, I first got a working internet connection in 2008, but I never did anything "social" until I got here in 2013. So that's a thing.

For what I've seen of the past (archives, plus other stuff), and what I think of current social websites (only Twitter as of now, which I mostly use as a small log of stuff I do and some thoughts), I have this idea that back then everything seemed a lot more "closer" and connected in a certain way I can't explain well. As I do not have any personal experience with this, this idea I have is more or less what I can think of this.

In the end, part of me kinda wishes I could have experienced the old era myself, but heh. Can't have everything.
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Posted on 04-24-16 06:27:22 PM Link | Quote
I have the same feeling, yeah.

for a while I tried to incite the same kind of posting at my board, but in the end I mostly turned it into my personal rant space
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Posted on 04-24-16 06:43:18 PM Link | Quote
Very, very much more so.

I guess it's partly attributable to life changes - I'm a Real Adult now, so a lot of those blocks of time I'd actually talk to people or do things in are now spent at work or asleep, and the remainder is just... seemingly dead time.

It's also people splintering off into their own little things, partly aided by social media. I guess it's one reason I cling so tightly to IRC: despite people's claims that it's dead/dying, it really isn't. (granted, I seem to have found other communities these days, but I still try to peek in everywhere at least sometimes)

Twitter once felt a lot more tight-knit than it is now, even. Probably partly due to fewer users? Major networks just seem a lot more hostile than they used to anymore.

(good god believe me I'd love to see the board make a comeback)

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Posted on 04-24-16 07:57:37 PM Link | Quote
The internet makes it much easier to connect with anybody anywhere in the world. Information travels faster now than it ever did and to so many people.

However, don't confuse connections on the internet with actual relationships. Just because someone friends you on Facebook doesn't mean they care about you. There is a difference between friends and Facebook friends here and that context extends to other social media outlets.

I will say, social media has made it a hell of a lot easier to look like an idiot in front of potentially millions of people. Social media also ends up being a great place to start shitstorming on other people. Both have to do with the fact that people don't think before they post and respond emotionally. Combine that with the fact that nearly everyone has smartphones on them or a nearby internet connection and you have quite a recipe.

It's a double edged sword

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Posted on 04-24-16 09:33:20 PM Link | Quote
It does allow for expanded reach and awareness, which is actually good since it does allow for meeting and forming an abstract sense of "diffuse circle" that has in a way less dependency and more focus on self-image... in theory. (In practice it's held together by corporations literally everyone trying to use it hates and a clusterfuck of etiquette directly as a result of atrocious web design, and said websites being intentionally designed to "produce content and traffic" with all that leads to)
But at the same time everything feels closed off. You can't really connect with people you like nor readily actually communicate on its own. Most people I've seen making groups of friends and more solid communities actually talk to each other in other places.

... But what I think is a far more important factor is that we're all living in Real Life Hell and too crushed to actually enjoy anything. And things like Twitter are focused on real life to begin with.

Honestly though, I think they fill different kinds of uses... yet being incomplete in one way or another. I guess in part that makes sense, you use may ways to talk to people... Though it still feels like everything has shifted to prescinding entirely of forms that people try to use on things that don't quite work.
Which ultimately it's obstrusive for less vocal people.

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Posted on 04-24-16 09:48:20 PM Link | Quote
As the "social net" has grown I have further locked myself away to fewer and fewer places. The concept of social connections online has devolved so far that it feels less like you're linked to someone as friends and more like you're just a number to boost an ego.
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Posted on 04-24-16 09:54:57 PM Link | Quote
social media can also be seen as one of the tools corporations have to keep people under control, so they stay good little consuming sheep

whenever I check Facebook, most of the shit isn't even from people I know, it's from sites like "" providing content for you

typically those same sites that needlessly spread their content over 50 pages or so (to try getting more clicks?)
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Posted on 04-24-16 10:07:57 PM Link | Quote
I feel like I'd never be able to develop friendships as strong as the ones I have in reality. This might be a case of a self-fulfilling prophecy, but no amount of people I'm talking to on IRC gets rid of any feeling of loneliness. I need actual people for that.

On the flipside, talking to a bunch of people on IRC is nowhere near as draining as talking to a bunch of IRL people.

As for social media, it doesn't really affect me. My Facebook feed is just full of absolute shit posted by family and friends, so I stopped using it, and my Twitter feed serves as more of a way to aggregate a bunch of information I'm interested in, instead of actually talking to people.

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Posted on 04-24-16 10:10:21 PM Link | Quote
i'm not going to pretend i read the rest of this thread, but i don't really like social media*. i think it tends to commodify the users, reducing them to "brands". plus, algorithms generally exist to re-enforce status quos. i like forums b/c they don't necessarily do that & it's possible for communities to create their own.

plus, i like supporting local communities + businesses. FB is neither.

*corporatized social media

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Posted on 04-24-16 10:11:40 PM Link | Quote
over the past decade, it seems to me like it's shifted from finding communities and gaining a few close friends, to these big social networks where it's all about gathering large amounts of acquaintances....
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Jul - General Chat - Internet interconnectivity and relationships New poll - New thread - New reply

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