Gathering online like it's 1999

There's an interesting piece in MIT Technology Review about how the COVID-19 virus and social isolation have re-enlivened the Web in ways that ...
Gathering online like it's 1999

There's an interesting in MIT Technology Review about how the COVID-19 virus and social isolation have re-enlivened the Web in ways that hearken back to its earlier, more human and optimistic days.

It’s like turning the clock back to a more earnest time on the web, when the novelty of having a voice or being able to connect with anyone still filled us with a sense of boundless opportunity and optimism. It harkens back to the late 1990s and early 2000s—before social media, before smartphones—when going online was still a valuable use of time to seek community.

You see it in the renewed willingness of people to form virtual relationships. Before social media soured us and made us aloof and dismissive, we used to take the internet’s promise of serendipitous connection more seriously. Now casually hanging out with randos (virtually, of course) is cool again. People are joining video calls with people they’ve never met for everything from happy hours to book clubs to late-night flirting. They’re sharing in collective moments of creativity on Google Sheets, looking for new pandemic pen pals, and sending softer, less pointed emails.

I'm not so sure of some of its assertions, but I do love the thought of reclaiming some of that early optimism and genuine sense of (virtual) community. And it does beg the question of how the pandemic might change the character of the web in its aftermath.

Hey, when life hands you virii, make cosplay. Zoidberg cosplay.

A Reuters calculation published today shows that more than 150,000 have died of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the illness it causes.

The novel coronavirus is infecting and killing Black, Latinx, and Native American people in the U.S. at rates shockingly higher than whites, according to state public health data. Mother Jones has a deep data dive into the racial disparities of COVID-19, which examines the many factors that have led to the outbreak hitting Americans of […]

Trying to relieve your own muscle aches without medication is usually an exercise coupling maddening frustration with the contortionism of a Jim Carrey routine. Trying to reach ailing muscle groups in your back, shoulders or legs on your own is often just futility, never getting the right angle, pressure or motion to make any headway […]

Look, there’s a reason no one uses public restrooms outside of a serious emergency. That’s because they’re usually pretty disgusting. I mean, we don’t expect a fast-food restaurant or retail store to have a bathroom you would want to spend any real length of time in, but a general level of basic sanitation would be […]

These lockdowns are brutal on everybody. While many “essential” workers and locations remain in limited operation during this crisis, there are a few other places that many would argue should definitely be deemed essential. Like the gym. Or your favorite yoga studio. Sure, they might seem like luxuries, but considering the amount of tranquility and […]

Read the rules you agree to by using this website in our .

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Boing Boing uses cookies and analytics trackers, and is supported by advertising, merchandise sales and affiliate links. Read about what we do with the data we gather in our .

Who will be eaten first? Our forum rules are detailed in the .

Boing Boing is published under except where otherwise noted.


Post a Comment