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Author Topic: I miss the old internet-but I never experienced it.  (Read 2188 times)
syx (dead)
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« on: June 28, 2022 @174.39 »

I know that this has probably been said so many times in these small communities of old-web lovers, but, I'm here to agree with them on the opinion of how they miss the old Internet. I really only remember the pre-Google YouTube. 4-year-old me would go on my Grandma's Windows Vista and binge-watch My Little Pony YTPs and Slideshow Edits, along with going on PBS Kids and NickJr. I never got to experience Geocities or MSN or AOL. I'm the first generation who has grown up with Technology but I never experienced the Internet, and what you could have done with it. Having your own corner of the Web, see who you are. I feel left out. I feel like a Black Sheep. Now I'm scrounging for revival sites trying to fill that void in me who wanted to experience that beautiful web you all talk about through memories and stories. :sad: :sad:
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AloeVega
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2022 @264.09 »

I definitely feel you on some of this. My advice, as someone in basically the same scenario, is this: don't dwell on how much "better" things were in the past.

In the past, the Internet was the wild west, and that came with a lot of good things: everything was personal and almost nothing was for-profit, there was little advertising, most sites felt unique, etc. Don't get me wrong here - if I didn't appreciate and value those aspects of the old web, I probably wouldn't be on this forum, or even Neocities in general.

But with that being said, the old west had a lot of gunfights too. On the old Internet, it was very easy to be totally anonymous (which was a good thing in a lot of ways!), and there was very little connection from the Internet to real life in most cases. That, combined with just changing culture in general, meant that you could get a lot of pretty nasty insults and terms being thrown around casually. Of course, that depended on where exactly you went, and that's still the case now, but I think in general a lot of parts of the Internet are less tolerant of a lot of stuff that you don't particularly wanna see when you're browsing than they used to be.

It's also undeniable that the technology has advanced since then (though maybe not as much as it could have if designs weren't so standardized). Lots of the stuff that creative new websites do would be impossible on the older web - some of MelonKing's stuff in particular stands out as an example!

While yes, the general culture of the old Internet was better in a lot of ways than the modern Internet, the facts are we live in the modern day, and there's no way to turn back time. While most of the Internet is more corporatized and more standardized than before, the web-revival movement exists and is pretty active, Neocities exists, and there's still a ton of cool stuff out there, some of which couldn't even exist before; you just have to look.

It's best not to dwell on the past, and rather to embrace all the good things about living in the present - and focus on how we can build a better future.
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2022 @598.02 »

AloeVega is totally right! Its about finding the best in the past and creating something new! You are here at the best possible moment!

Id add I never experienced Geocities, the first time I heard about it was when Yahoo deleted it in 2009 :ohdear: I did see the web in the 90s, but I was 5.. so the mood I chase now is really just a half-memory of something I almost knew. We didn't get regular internet at home until 2006.

More importantly though.. the version of the early web I remember and that others remember is not more important or better than the version you remember. You're memories of 2007 (Im guessing because of Vista) are different from mine, you saw things that were good and you liked; I hope you revive those things too!

In my mind web revival is not about bringing back one particular vision of the web from the 90s, its about bringing together the best bits of all eras from all different kinds of people and the things that are special to them :ozwomp:
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2022 @619.47 »

I read a topic elsewhere where someone asked if you can be nostalgic for a time period you didn't live through. They gave the example of Civil War reenactors in the U. S. and pointed out we wouldn't say they are being nostalgic. I agree with that but I think the emotion behind it must at least be similar. And you're not as far removed from the old web days as those reenactors. The internet of the '00s wasn't really that different from the '90s in my memory. It was a transitional period, similar to how the late '80s and early '90s blended into each other.

I didn't live through much of the '80s and probably don't remember any of it, but I still wish I was gen X instead of Y so I could have better appreciated the pop culture that I either only got the tail end of or got into later. I was only able to experience arcades for a short time as they were being phased out, for example.

Maybe it's all fueled by the desire to go back to a simpler time, especially as we get older and have more responsibilities. But AloeVega is definitely right when they say the old web had its problems. Flame wars were everywhere and the common refrain was that if you couldn't handle the insults you should get off the internet, as if that was the desired normal of online life. Obviously that's a crappy way to be, but it was common. The elitism was palpable.
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2022 @815.58 »

I feel something similar, since those days were so shitty back then in my personal life and by the time my situation got so much better and I was mature enough to understand and enjoy the world around me, much of the experience I wanted to have were gone and I feel I missed out on them, like they were taken away from me. I also have a lot of spite and bitterness towards my age since I grew up in an environment where it was constantly shoved in my face how young I was and that I couldn't be "one of the adults" (hopefully that's not your case though). Even now when I think about it all the pain cuts like a knife.

Flame wars were everywhere and the common refrain was that if you couldn't handle the insults you should get off the internet, as if that was the desired normal of online life. Obviously that's a crappy way to be, but it was common. The elitism was palpable.

Honestly I don't think the bit with flame wars has changed, they're as everywhere as ever these days!
I also agree that what you said it's a crappy way to be, however I would argue that I think sometimes it is the healthier option just to "get off the internet" then to waste your time arguing with random ignorant strangers online. Maybe it's just me being pessimistic but I feel many people are losing their grip on the reality that some people are just crappy and don't change, which just leads to more pointless drama.
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NacreousDreams
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2022 @907.23 »

I absolutely relate to this. I really got into the internet during the late 2000s to early 2010s, so I was more into online games and forums and the like rather than creating my own website. But in hindsight, I have a definite interest in older aesthetics, and wished I could've been around for the likes of Windows 98 and earlier. It's a big part of why I love Hypnospace Outlaw so much- not just because it was accurate to the times, but because it was very convincing and had me forget I was playing a game while surfing the fictional web.

I also agree that what you said it's a crappy way to be, however I would argue that I think sometimes it is the healthier option just to "get off the internet" then to waste your time arguing with random ignorant strangers online. Maybe it's just me being pessimistic but I feel many people are losing their grip on the reality that some people are just crappy and don't change, which just leads to more pointless drama.

I completely understand this feeling. YouTube comments typically get me bummed out, especially on more controversial videos. Even if it's not someone being blatantly malicious, it's often just someone writing on a template like "Can we just stop and appreciate how [blank]". They mean well, but it gets so dry after a while... I've started limiting how much I read the comment section, and if I leave a comment, I try to only reply to the video's creator in a vacuum.
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2022 @922.82 »

I completely understand this feeling. YouTube comments typically get me bummed out, especially on more controversial videos. Even if it's not someone being blatantly malicious, it's often just someone writing on a template like "Can we just stop and appreciate how [blank]". They mean well, but it gets so dry after a while... I've started limiting how much I read the comment section, and if I leave a comment, I try to only reply to the video's creator in a vacuum.

Oh man I can't stand comment memes/templates. It just makes it feel like I'm reading some kind of AI-generated algorithm rather than the words of actual people.
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2022 @857.34 »

I actually think that my generation is the youngest generation to have somewhat-experienced some significant parts of the old internet themselves.

I'm 21 now, born in 2001, and I was raised on scouring bulletin boards/forums, sliding phones and MP3 players, webchats, early YouTube, the pre-Facebook internet, child-targeted search engines with tons of gifs and educational articles, flash games, mailing lists, Skype and Teamspeak, just to mention a few.

I am aware that this is a far cry away from the likes of Geocities, newsgroups and what many in the retro web revival movement are trying to emulate, but there is a huge difference regardless between what I experienced and what people who are just a bit younger than me did experience.

I have tutored fresh face college kids who are just like two years younger than me, who grew up on YouTube prank channels, streaming services, smartphones, do not know what a forum is, and for whom even concepts like a file or a folder are totally alien (because they no longer use computers :pc: , but instead tablets, phones and chromebooks).

That said, I will echo the sentiment expressed in this thread so far. Not everything was better during those days. In fact, you can only really appreciate the cultural difference that progressive movements have made in the past decades when looking at posts in your favorite communities that lie just ten, twelve years back. Slurs were absolutely commonplace, the kinds of bigoted and mean spirited jokes we would make at each other and at others would be shocking nowadays. It was a generally accepted opinion that neurodiverse and queer people were "attention seeking lunatics", nerds were either supreme human beings or worthless losers depending on who you asked, there was homophobia and racism everywhere, and there would be no counter-current whatsoever to these comments at all. Even the affected communities themselves that nowadays thrive in self acceptance, used to be self-deprecating and underdeveloped. It would be common for a young trans woman in 1999 to misgender and constantly belittle herself, bemoaning that she's always going to be a guy with a taboo hobby, having a blog drenched in sexist stereotypes because she had never learned it a different way. Had a Livejournal where you wrote down your deepest thoughts? Wake up to a mail spambot, a mocking blog of your face crossed out in MS Paint and people laughing at your feelings, and people doxxing you on (precursors of) [auto redacted].

The old internet was more creative, more playful, more unique, less commercialized, more content-focused than metric-focused, but it was also a space for people to gather who sometimes were outcast from real life activities for a good reason. Now, the internet is mainstream, and people like you and me can be here. Back then, you needed to be a hobbyist to even get that far.

All we can do is make a BETTER web that combines the good parts of the olden days with the good parts of the modern days. Postmodern irony, or something. :ha:
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2022 @805.71 »

Thanks to websites like this, you get to experience the old internet through them! :melon:
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manpaint
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2022 @602.52 »

I am kinda in a similar boat. I first experienced the web in 2007. I never witnessed sites like Geocities or Myspace.

That being said, I certainly came across some site that had the old internet vibe - so perphaps that's where my nostalgia comes from.

After all, it's not like every website on the web became "modern" in one day. It was a slow progression.

As other have said, it is better to remake our favorite aspects in the past rather than dwell on it. I think everyone here agree that dial up speed should remains in the past.
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2022 @842.41 »

i definitely feel you!!! i was quite late to the internet (around 2014... embarrassing :drat:smile: yet i still feel a strange nostalgia to 2000s-2010s media, mainly because i was watching nightcore videos, pokemon and mlp amvs, and old flash animations from quite a few years ago when i first started on the internet. im also currently on the look for social media alternatives (and also chrome extensions and such that just make certain websites look like how they used to) just because i dont like how the internet is now just, like, 3 websites... maybe the 2020s can be an old internet revival of sorts! :omg:k:
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2022 @584.66 »

Not everything was better during those days. In fact, you can only really appreciate the cultural difference that progressive movements have made in the past decades when looking at posts in your favorite communities that lie just ten, twelve years back.
This - so much, this. The thing I'm loving about the neocities/tildeverse indipendent web regrowth is the possibility of having all the good and creative things that made the 90s/2000s internet unique, without having to deal with the EXTREME bigotry and ignorance that permeated the online culture in those days.
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2022 @745.86 »

Honestly it is VERY easy to look at past experiences (and even ones you didn't live through) with rose-tinted glasses. Things were never perfect despite seeming that way. I think being on websites like these definitely encapsulate the feeling that old forum sites of the day would've had.

I was born in 2003, so I was able to experience early YouTube and other aspects of the internet. Flash games and animations were all the rage when I went online. YTPs were also very funny. I am very nostalgic for older versions of iOS because I used to watch YT on my first-gen iPad all the time, which I still use for web browsing and YT from time to time.

I also have nostalgia for things I've never lived through. For example, I love older windows OSes like 98, ME, and XP. Although I have encountered XP a little bit from my childhood, I never lived to experience 98 and ME until the modern day where I was able to buy the hardware myself.

You may be confusing nostalgia with a different feeling, at least that's how I think I feel. When I'd boot up my W98 machine and see all the icons load in with the Windows startup noise and the hard drive spinning, it gave me a sense of comfort, and that's all it really is. It's a feeling of "I am safe here". I feel welcomed and at home when using older computers. Nothing is trying to distract me and I could see myself having a good time with it. I am being treated to an open sandbox to explore a time period that I have never experienced before. It's such a mystical feeling, and is why I am so enamored with retro tech.
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manpaint
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2022 @645.95 »

Honestly it is VERY easy to look at past experiences (and even ones you didn't live through) with rose-tinted glasses. Things were never perfect despite seeming that way. I think being on websites like these definitely encapsulate the feeling that old forum sites of the day would've had.

I was born in 2003, so I was able to experience early YouTube and other aspects of the internet. Flash games and animations were all the rage when I went online. YTPs were also very funny. I am very nostalgic for older versions of iOS because I used to watch YT on my first-gen iPad all the time, which I still use for web browsing and YT from time to time.

I also have nostalgia for things I've never lived through. For example, I love older windows OSes like 98, ME, and XP. Although I have encountered XP a little bit from my childhood, I never lived to experience 98 and ME until the modern day where I was able to buy the hardware myself.

You may be confusing nostalgia with a different feeling, at least that's how I think I feel. When I'd boot up my W98 machine and see all the icons load in with the Windows startup noise and the hard drive spinning, it gave me a sense of comfort, and that's all it really is. It's a feeling of "I am safe here". I feel welcomed and at home when using older computers. Nothing is trying to distract me and I could see myself having a good time with it. I am being treated to an open sandbox to explore a time period that I have never experienced before. It's such a mystical feeling, and is why I am so enamored with retro tech.

I think a lot of people simply love to explore the past. As someone who was born in 2000, early computer stuff definitevely has some kind of mystique to it.

It's also nice to see different things than what you are used to from time to time.
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