the_abcs_of_justice: (Merlin's pants!)
[personal profile] the_abcs_of_justice
I was just thinking about random stuff today and suddenly realized that I've been on the internet for 17 years now.

O____O

Seventeen years. From 1995 to 2012. That's almost half my life so far. I just... wow... it's hard to believe it's been that long....

Has it been worth it? I honestly don't know. It's absolutely amazing how much things have changed since I first discovered that the library computers at my university were connected to the internet. There was no Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, YouTube, Tumblr. LiveJournal, Wikipedia, TvTropes, or whatever the hell else is popular nowadays. Ebay was only just getting started. Amazon wouldn't exist for another year. People mainly talked to each other on message boards or newsgroups. Websites were also really kind of horrible ugly compared to what they can look like today.

But has it been worth it?

There's a lot of great information on the internet. I've learned about things I never would have known otherwise here. Reading fanfic and discussions about fandoms I love has been fun and interesting for the most part. I do have a lot of fond memories from over the years. But I've seen a hell of a lot of ugliness here too. Anonymity brings out the absolute worst in people, without a doubt. People will fight over the absolute stupidest things at the drop of a hat, cursing and foaming at the mouth all the way. I've seen egos the size of galaxies, slurs thrown every which way, depravities of every kind. People seem to think that because it's the internet that means it doesn't matter how they behave. Because the person on the other side of the screen that they're screaming at apparently isn't real and doesn't have real feelings. Or something. I know there are probably plenty of people who act this way in their daily lives as well, but it just seems like this kind of behavior is so much more prevalent and magnified on the internet because it brings together so many people from so many different places.

There are good people here too, of course. The people who band together and start charity drives to help disaster victims, the people who are kind and respectful of others in debates, who show sympathy to the problems and tragedies of others. Too often though they seem to be drowned out by the bad and the jackasses, and it's sometimes so easy to forget that they even exist at all. I know I'm sometimes guilty of that, and then I'll see or read something to remind me that there are a lot of decent people still.

So no, overall I'm still not sure whether my experiences of the past decade+ have really been worth it or not. Maybe all the countless hours I've spent in front of the computer could have been put to better use. Maybe not. I guess I'll never really know for sure.
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May 2012

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