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Absentmind
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« on: June 08, 2023 @428.44 »

As the title says!

I would say I was, I spent a lot of my teenage years hanging out in chatrooms and virtual worlds, Been heavily invested in internet cultures and sub cultures such as gaming groups, memes and so on. I have been around for a lot of the events that have happened on forums and stuff. But not so much these days!

As I rapidly approach 30, I am curious to know if you consider yourself "raised by the internet", How do you think it's shaped your world view? What places have you hung out in, in the past? Who have you met? Tell me your story! I'd love to hear it.  :unite:
« Last Edit: April 28, 2024 @522.78 by Absentmind » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2023 @477.01 »

I'd probably say mostly no. The Internet was definitely A part of my life, sure, but I didn't have a PC till I was in the second grade and then for years I wasn't really using it for more than an hour or two a day (and often I would spend those playing games, not on the net). So while it was definitely a big and interesting thing, it didn't 'raise me' any more than books, TV or walking outside did.

I do appreciate, however, that it taught me about genders and sexual orientations at the ripe age of nineteen, 'cause no one else was going to, that's for sure.

(do not appreciate accidentally learning about the physicalities of birds and the bees through VERY 18+ videos before my parents could give me the talk back in my tender childhood tho.)
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2023 @486.42 »

I'd say yes. I think for many people with overly controlling or even abusive parents, or that live in a town without much other kids or very secluded and would rely on their parents to drive them anywhere, the internet quickly became almost a necessity to have any social contact at all aside from school. And also, if you don't get along with people at school, the internet is many times the easiest or only way to find likeminded people and find support. If neither your school nor your family is supportive, the internet is the only outlet. I think it helped me survive until I could move out; it was helpful to see that I was not alone, and I found many others throughout my teenage years online that experienced the same stuff in their homes and we could get eachother through it and give survival tips. Keeping eachother sane was super helpful when otherwise, you are gaslit into believing stuff never happened or that the stuff is "normal" and "happens in all families" and you're just "ungrateful". Without the internet to help me keep details of things and be validated by others that things were not okay, I thankfully internalized much less bad things than I could have.
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2023 @497.97 »

definitely- i couldn’t have been older than four when i first started using computers!

as a young’un most of my internet time was spent on transformice, club penguin, and animal jam. i played my share of school of dragons and roblox too though.

for better or for worse i definitely think i came out differently than i might’ve without as much internet access but ultimately i think it kind of made me who i am, and being an autistic twice-immigrant kid, there was basically no chance me making lasting offline relationships until i was about ten anyway. and i met most of my best friends on the web!

i think i’m lucky though that my parents are both big computer/internet people, so i was taught well how to be safe on the internet and stuff. as well i’ve never been huge on phones and started using actual social media (ie not just transformice chat rooms lol) comparatively late to my peers so i’ve skipped out on a lot of the tiktok and social media toxicit and stuff that a lot of ppl my age deal with.
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2023 @557.89 »

I would say so. During my teens, I would spend way too much time on forums.

Quote
What places have you hung out in, in the past?
Various game communities and forums. I would stay up all night looking around for more communities to lurk.

Quote
Who have you met?
The good people I met while I was a teen might be identifiable if I talked about them. Besides that; vapid, irony poisoned college students, that would always complain about the minors around them. I barely remember outside of the drama they got involved in.

Quote
How do you think it's shaped your world view?
I used to be absorbed in cringe culture. It took me awhile to stop being judgemental and... unlearn? Become apathetic towards anything "cringe"? I'm not sure how to word it. I've come to appreciate passion in general. The people I've met that don't care about being cringe are genuine, and are miles more pleasant to be around.

The major good thing, as slow as it was, was dealing with internalised 'phobias. Over 15 years ago, I would have never guessed the internet would get this progressive. While it's far from perfect these days, gay marriage was a major taboo online back then. The forums I were on had debate threads if it should have been legal or not. Seeing people being openly LGBTQ and pushing back against the vitriol was something I didn't see offline. This alone makes me think I would have been a lot worse off without the internet.

I don't believe it specifically had a bad impact on me, since the culture offline was worse. In a way I'm glad I got to learn more about the world that I otherwise would not have, even if things should have been better.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2023 @573.14 by arcus » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2023 @558.82 »

Unfortunately, yes. My parents were pretty neglectful and I've been online since I was 9. I've been fascinated with computers and the Internet for a long time, even before I started using it everyday, but I can't say that being a kid in the 2000s-early 2010s Web was very healthy.

Despite all of that, I love the Internet! Also, I don't hold a grudge against my parents because they were both incredibly sick at the time, so please don't speak ill of them.
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Absentmind
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2023 @591.57 »

I'd say yes. I think for many people with overly controlling or even abusive parents, or that live in a town without much other kids or very secluded and would rely on their parents to drive them anywhere, the internet quickly became almost a necessity to have any social contact at all aside from school. And also, if you don't get along with people at school, the internet is many times the easiest or only way to find likeminded people and find support. If neither your school nor your family is supportive, the internet is the only outlet. I think it helped me survive until I could move out; it was helpful to see that I was not alone, and I found many others throughout my teenage years online that experienced the same stuff in their homes and we could get eachother through it and give survival tips. Keeping eachother sane was super helpful when otherwise, you are gaslit into believing stuff never happened or that the stuff is "normal" and "happens in all families" and you're just "ungrateful". Without the internet to help me keep details of things and be validated by others that things were not okay, I thankfully internalized much less bad things than I could have.

hmm sounds like we had similar teen years. The online was definitely my safe space too, Preferred it to pretty much everything else and I have met some amazing people on the way that definitely helped me. I hope you're doing better now  :smile:


i think i’m lucky though that my parents are both big computer/internet people, so i was taught well how to be safe on the internet and stuff. as well i’ve never been huge on phones and started using actual social media (ie not just transformice chat rooms lol) comparatively late to my peers so i’ve skipped out on a lot of the tiktok and social media toxicit and stuff that a lot of ppl my age deal with.


That's nice unfortunately toxicity was indeed a huge part and still is today!


I would say so. During my teens, I would spend way too much time on forums.
Various game communities and forums. I would stay up all night looking around for more communities to lurk.
The good people I met while I was a teen might be identifiable if I talked about them. Besides that; vapid, irony poisoned college students, that would always complain about the minors around them. I barely remember outside of the drama they got involved in.
I used to be absorbed in cringe culture. It took me awhile to stop being judgemental and... unlearn? Become apathetic towards anything "cringe"? I'm not sure how to word it. I've come to appreciate passion in general. The people I've met that don't care about being cringe are genuine, and are miles more pleasant to be around.

The major good thing, as slow as it was, was dealing with internalised 'phobias. Over 15 years ago, I would have never guessed the internet would get this progressive. While it's far from perfect these days, gay marriage was a major taboo online back then. The forums I were on had debate threads if it should have been legal or not. Seeing people being openly LGBTQ and pushing back against the vitriol was something I didn't see offline. This alone makes me think I would have been a lot worse off without the internet.

I don't believe it specifically had a bad impact on me, since the culture offline was worse. In a way I'm glad I got to learn more about the world that I otherwise would not have, even if things should have been better.

Yeah I feel you with this one, I used to be very cynical and apathetic too. Once I started reading philosophy (stoicism, wabi sabi zen etc), psychology (things like toxic online inhibition etc) and having friends that were actually good for me. Luckily it kinda created the perfect storm for me to break out of it. I too never thought LGBTQ+ would be such a big thing but here I am with friends who represent those groups and I am very supportive and happy for them. It's funny I never really thought empathy could be a "learned" thing. I suppose its just applying it in a different light.


Thanks for the replies guys. It's very heartening to see people with similar experiences as me! Seeing peoples strength to overcome the negatives is great and I hope you're all doing well! :ozwomp:

Keep the stories coming!  :unite:
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Absentmind
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2023 @593.69 »

Unfortunately, yes. My parents were pretty neglectful and I've been online since I was 9. I've been fascinated with computers and the Internet for a long time, even before I started using it everyday, but I can't say that being a kid in the 2000s-early 2010s Web was very healthy.

Despite all of that, I love the Internet! Also, I don't hold a grudge against my parents because they were both incredibly sick at the time, so please don't speak ill of them.

I'm sorry to hear that! Yeah exposure to a lot of content, particularly adult content was certainly a lot for a lot of people. I would agree with you that its not healthy at all, but I like to think I came out better for it in the end.
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2023 @621.34 »

oh 100%. I've been using computers for as long as I can remember, and I've had unrestricted access to the internet for about a decade now. I do not recommend getting a fanfiction.net account at the ripe old age of 10, it has fundamentally altered my brain chemistry for the worse. :ohdear: I have very vivid memories of 2010's YouTube, mostly of early TDM Minecraft Let's Plays and the sheer grip indie horror had on let's players back in 2016/2017. Also my parents love telling me the story about how little preschool y/o me would help my dad with tech issues by having him go to barbie.com and then to the website he wanted to go to. It was very important that he specifically went to barbie.com. I think that was just little me's way to refresh the page back then. :happy:
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2023 @623.38 »

Yes in the same way that someone who's been super into football since childhood could say they were raised by football.

I've always spend a lot of time online from a young age. I'd put off meeting those annoying Mean Girls TM from school to browse the internet more. It's always been so significant for me. But I wasn't neglected by my parents. I get along with them just fine. Even though I hated that their go to punishment for me when I was younger was telling me I'm not allowed to use the computer. My mom doesn't believe in grounding, and why would she. I was always sitting in the computer room anyways.
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2023 @760.67 »

I wouldn't personally. The earliest I can recall having Internet access at home was in 2012, and it was almost exclusively playing Flash games. It wasn't until 2015 I started to play on some Minecraft severs, but only like 3-5. By 2018 it was just a single server and by mid 2020 I stopped playing Minecraft. Although between those last few years I did spend almost all of my free time on that server. Despite all that I would say no since my parents kept making sure I spent most of my time doing things in the real world. Also given what the Internet turned in to over the last several years, I'm glad I was a kid when I was.
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2023 @678.07 »

Raised by the computer, yes, even more so raised by the TV. However in my childhood, the internet is only secondary to those.

My family got rather late on the internet with me being around 12 then. So the idea, that a computer is a massively powerful tool even without a web connection, is with me forever. The web is just a bonus for that machine.

My condolences go to all of you, who had so many neglecting "offline" experiences, that it had to be the virtual world helping you out. All I can wish is that you can get out of school one day and other miserable conditions to start setting up your own life, where you're in control of who is with you. The internet misses on true spoken words, true interaction, so I can't glorify it for social interaction.

Especially politically and morally, the web changed my view on things. The variation of opinions in all the other media types is too slim to gather how the world really works. An ongoing process, so in terms of gathering ideas and knowledge, I'm still raised by the internet.
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2023 @997.50 »

I think for many people with overly controlling or even abusive parents, or that live in a town without much other kids or very secluded and would rely on their parents to drive them anywhere, the internet quickly became almost a necessity to have any social contact at all aside from school. And also, if you don't get along with people at school, the internet is many times the easiest or only way to find likeminded people and find support.

Hey, I was that kid!

We first got internet installed in the house when I was 5, and I was mostly left alone to browse after that. Having controlling parents and seeing what they did with my younger sibling, they must've looked at my history after I left the pc, but they never said anything. The first site I vividly remember finding was a digital pet cemetery, I remember a woman who had lost her chihuahua made two posts per day telling him what she was doing.

And believe it or not it DID get better from there! From very young I was able to curate an online experience that was almost entirely appropriate for my age (thanks to the army of teenagers and adults that looked at an 8 year old and went PROTECC instead of some other bad stuff), knew to get away from sites that made me feel uneasy, and in the end I had lots of fun in the internet! I learnt lots of things, from pokemon trivia to basic surviving life tips that my parents weren't teaching me. Then I was allowed to go out more and eventually moved out, but my social muscles are weak and I always go back to the internet when looking for a safe space haha

One major alarm bell for how raised by the internet I am is how CRONICALLY, TERMINALLY, HOPELESSLY ONLINE my sense of humor is. People have told me this before and sometimes they can even tell what social media/site I was frecuenting and when. This is the only downside lol

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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2023 @863.59 »

honestly, yes. i've been on a computer since i was in kindergarten and, at 32, i admit the internet did a better job at raising me than my parents could have ever dreamed. without getting into it, my home life was volatile and violent growing up, and being on the internet gave me solace and community when i needed it most. i had floated in and out of online chatrooms and communities but felt very out of place as a child. it wasn't until i stumbled upon other kids online making their own websites in the late 90s that i began socializing seriously from there. it was serendipitous, and forging those connections helped me realize that not everyone in the world makes bad decisions. starting to "know" the world through the internet bettered my perspective as a global citizen rather than keeping myself small and going down a dangerous or cyclical path as a poverty statistic, which i inevitably would've, considering my neighborhood, my peers, my background, and socioeconomic status when i was young.

this whole idea of the internet raising me especially became evident to me when i realized in my early 20s after getting my bachelor's degree that i was depending on google to answer a lot of questions for me that i think other people would've asked their parents. i would often turn to the internet for answering questions about social interactions, networking, and what was normal in relationships (especially since i just received my ADHD diagnosis a couple of years ago, i didn't understand why i didn't just get why people did things). instead of asking my parents about the birds and the bees as a kid, i just googled it. i searched job interview tips, resume tutorials, how to cook, anything about my car when it was having problems—i depended less and less on my parents from a young age because i realized very quickly not only did they not know how the world worked outside of their worldview, they didn't have enough life experience to understand how to operate in any other way than what they did. and my parents weren't very good teachers anyway.

i'm grateful i didn't fall into some extremist side of the internet and have since being an adult balanced my online life with offline, but i think figuring out what my core values were, and knowing what kind of person i wanted to be, early on helped a lot.
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2023 @679.00 »

...I am curious to know if you consider yourself "raised by the internet"
absolutely yes. i was the shy bookworm nerdy kid growing up in a small town. so i didn't have anybody i could really talk about that stuff with. plus, whenever i'd visit my dad he'd just ignore me most of the time so my best friends quickly became his blue compaq presario, windows xp, solitaire, elf bowling, space cadet pinball, compuserv, and ask jeeves.

i'm a younger millennial so even thought i was taught some things about how to stay safe online, i didn't have my internet activity monitored. i was on sooo many sites at too young of an age. hell, i made my first website before i turned 10 years old.
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...How do you think it's shaped your world view?
i think it ruined me. it made me very distrusting and paranoid, although i'm trying to work through that (hence me finally posting on this forum today!) :ozwomp: my introversion got worse and worse. i do think heavy exposure to the internet was a contributing factor for some of my mental stuff and having pretty severe [auto redacted]phobia.
Quote
What places have you hung out in, in the past?
i actually found an old journal with my old logins so i can give you a pretty exhaustive list: my favorites were quizilla/myspace/vampirefreaks/tumblr, but i also lurked around gurl, the n forums, starlightmks, myyearbook, darkstarlings, livejournal, blingee, freewebs (my first host), every instant messaging platform ever, tons of sims 2 sites like modthesims and digitalperversion, xanga, createblog, cafe astrology, deviantart, gaming forums, friend project when it first launched, stickam, friends or enemies, lol basically anywhere that an emo teen would have hung out. i also never played neopets as a kid, but i did play some games like on barbie, disney, cartoon network, nick, poptropica, things like that.
Quote
Who have you met?

i'm still online friends with someone from my myspace days and one of my early tumblr buddies, but we barely talk nowadays. i still remanence about a couple women from back when i was a participant on social media instead of a lurker. i looked up to them and wanted to be friends with them so badly, but i was a minor and they were so much older than me. but as a little baby bat, they were like the coolest women on the planet. thinking back on it now, i definitely had crushes that i didn't realize i had at the time.

sorry for the long ramble! hope it was somewhat entertaining at least.  :blush:
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