A Nostalgic Decentralization
June 1, 2019
The 90s kids were kindof lucky. For those of us that were old enough to be lucid but young enough to have endless hours to sink into mindless obsessions, the rapid expansion of personal computers and networking was magical. I went from failing to control the whims of a character resembling a blurry cross stitch to controlling the same man, now rendered in 3D, as he flew through the skies on a winged hat.
And I can remember slowly logging on to The Internet so that I could read what amounted to a live electronic magazine before years later being able to instant message my classmates, browse forums, and steal low-quality music files to burn for my cousins.
I’m recalling all this because I believe there was a sweet spot, and that in our age of social media dominence we’re well past that peak. Beyond the novelty, I didn’t much enjoy the dialup days, but I do miss the 2000s, when Facebook had actual competition and low bandwidth meant that the web’s earliest celebrities were writers. I miss a web that was nearly impossible to monetize, which meant most people didn’t even try. And I miss having to search for my entertainment on a crowded sea of sites, most of which were crap, but all of which maintained a sense of ownership.
So I’m going to quit complaining and at least try to participate in what I think the web could be. I’m going to write some thoughts, maybe post some tiny projects, and keep my content to myself. Maybe some people will see this and think, “Oh yeah, not everything is on Twitter.”