Tags: Internet World
Is There Really Anybody on the Internet?
Internet communities are curious; they're not traditional, there's no physical interaction. For those who lack the ability to feel closeness with others, online communities can be the key to understanding feelings of friendship and community.
In some sense, these virtual spaces can be likened to the real world; popular imageboards may be the bustling plaza in the middle of a city; less well-known sites may be the shotgun-shack restaurants or basement-floor venues; political and consumerist adverts may be the billboards of our city.
It is natural to draw a one-to-one comparison between the Internet and the real world when we consider it like this; let's not be so hasty in our conclusions.
Our actions on the Internet are recorded forever. Even sites which attempt to kill this notion of permanence, imageboards being an example which comes to mind, are crawled by archivers and greedy, scheming little men who think such things should be preserved forever. These archives are publicly indexed and browsable; such an imageboard is no longer spontaneous, but rather its history is recorded and un-erasable.
Words evaporate in the physical world; when they leave your mouth, they rise with your breath and disperse into nothing. But when you say something in the virtual world, such things do not disappear so easily. Only a server reset could erase you.
The permanence of our Internet presence is wonderful. You can discover the wealth of 1000 lives of experience on a single page... you just need to look farther than the top 1000 sites! Indeed, there is a lot of culture on the Internet. A wanderer need only to develop a sense for good and bad culture; your taste (arising from such sense) comes in due time.
Is there really anybody on the Internet? That depends: are you reading us like a library book?
Can't you say? Some times, some people.