15 votes

Being born in the 80s is the only thing that makes me realize how life with no constant connection existed and is possible

14 comments

  1. [6]
    Akir
    Link
    The "Before Times" are vastly overrated. Looking inward and discovering who you are is not something you do because your boredom forces you to; living life is what makes you do these things. It...

    The "Before Times" are vastly overrated.

    Looking inward and discovering who you are is not something you do because your boredom forces you to; living life is what makes you do these things. It doesn't matter if it's online or in person.

    Likewise, being bored is not what causes you to have creative ideas; those ideas come from the things you experience. Sitting and thinking about them is what allows them to come into fruition, but that doesn't mean you have to be bored - you just have to think about them.

    Likewise, children of today are not robbed of self-expression or individualism because they live with the internet. You are rarely, if ever, forced to be online socially.

    When I was growing up, real life was incredibly unfair to me. Everyone else was living their perfect lives with loving and caring parents and enough spendable money that they could keep up with pop culture. If I didn't have the internet during some of those most vital years, I can guarantee you that I would have committed suicide. I can't count the number of times I'd been made fun of just for the type of music I listened to; I got picked on so often that it took years to come out of the closet to myself, let alone to the world I lived in.

    Completely unlike the author's thoughts, I would not have been able to find myself if it were not for the internet. On the internet I could be myself and not worry about what other people had to say - I could belong to a group that was full of people like me. While the offline world provides you with whatever your local community has available, the online world offers you the entire wealth of possibilities.

    13 votes
    1. salis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I actually think you also have a point. I'm a gay man who grew up a 10 minutes walk from the Vatican—which vastly influences national politics and social values for families and society. Online...

      I actually think you also have a point. I'm a gay man who grew up a 10 minutes walk from the Vatican—which vastly influences national politics and social values for families and society. Online communities are what complemented and even replaced real life support and relationships. I am grateful and I owe a lot to that: I believe constant connectedness and the value of online communities/convenience of tech are complementary topics, not mutually exclusive.
      Boredom can be for some (me) one source of creative formulation and output: constant connectedness and algorithmic services hinder that for me. The source of creation is, of course, your experience. And that has value regardless of offline/online contexts.

      6 votes
    2. [2]
      Turtle
      Link Parent
      All of this is speculation since I've used computers and web forums for practically my whole life, but could it be, that, had you grown up before the internet, because (IMO) the urge to find a...

      All of this is speculation since I've used computers and web forums for practically my whole life, but could it be, that, had you grown up before the internet, because (IMO) the urge to find a tribe/social acceptance outweighs the urge to remain true to your sense of self, from a young age you would have learned to adapt to the norms of your local community by suppressing the aspects of your self that were viewed as most unacceptable and or taboo, perhaps to the point that you wouldn't even identify with them, and thus rejection/isolation wouldn't necessarily have been as problematic as you might think? Maybe your problem with not fitting in is a side effect of the individualistic behavior the internet encourages by allowing you to evade the social pressure to conform to the standards of the local community by enabling you to choose another one? A problem both created and solved by the internet?

      3 votes
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        Thank you for your perspective. I certainly think there's merit to it even if I don't think it's a perfect fit for my story. The thing that really doesn't fit in is your supposition that I was not...

        Thank you for your perspective. I certainly think there's merit to it even if I don't think it's a perfect fit for my story.

        The thing that really doesn't fit in is your supposition that I was not adapting to the norms of my local community. I got along wonderously with adults; I was practically never talked down to and many of the adults I talked to actually had things to say about my interests. It's the kids that I didn't get along with. I grew up in a poor and broken household, so I had to grow up faster than they did. And by the time Senior year came along, I was actually friends with most of my peers.

        I swear that children today seem to be 100x more mature than when I was a kid. A big reason why I was never into modern social media websites was because my introduction to it was MySpace, which was mostly being used by my peers to share videos of street fights.

        It should also be mentioned that my childhood was in Las Vegas; it wasn't exactly a bastion of conservatism, and there wasn't much that was taboo. I'm young enough that when I came out of the closet, there was enough public knowledge about LGBT people that few of my peers actually cared. In fact, people actually treated me better after I came out of the closet - though I attribute that to my new-found self-confidence.

        I should also mention that I grew up when the internet as we know it was fairly young. The school district only got internet access when I was in the 4th or 5th grade, and most of the computers were still running Netscape because that was the best browser at the time. And because this was a time when people were actually cautious about the effects of the Internet on children, I was not really allowed on chat rooms and the like until much later.

        4 votes
    3. [2]
      SkewedSideburn
      Link Parent
      That seems false to me. You even outline some of the reasons why in the following paragraph. If you want to "fit in", you need to be online

      You are rarely, if ever, forced to be online socially.

      That seems false to me. You even outline some of the reasons why in the following paragraph. If you want to "fit in", you need to be online

      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        You are reading something I didn't write then. That was even a period of time when I had a number of terribly embarrassing "online boyfriends" and even then neither of us expected each other to be...

        You are reading something I didn't write then. That was even a period of time when I had a number of terribly embarrassing "online boyfriends" and even then neither of us expected each other to be constantly connected.

        1 vote
  2. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. salis
      Link Parent
      I agree. And I really hope your username comes from Tetsuya Mizuguchi's game, which is my favorite game ever.

      I agree. And I really hope your username comes from Tetsuya Mizuguchi's game, which is my favorite game ever.

      1 vote
  3. [6]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    Uhh, shouldn't this have a 'user made' tag? You wrote this, right? But in general, as someone born in late 2005 (or in simpler terms 14) I agree with with the post, I have used the Internet for...

    Uhh, shouldn't this have a 'user made' tag? You wrote this, right?

    But in general, as someone born in late 2005 (or in simpler terms 14) I agree with with the post, I have used the Internet for stuff I probably couldn't get my parents to help me with or care about and I talk to and empathize with the people in this site far longer than my own parents or anyone actually physically around me. I can also go weeks if not months without talking to the people around me just with social media in comfort.

    With the Internet, loneliness can be comfortable instead of grueling.

    I can spend most of my time in this site working my ""intellectual speech"" (how to think and convert it into words people can read and react to with more of that) and ignore any form of social speech and only be reminded of what I'm missing by the NSFW sites I go to normally (speaking of which, the Internet means porn can't be controlled anymore, you can't stop me, unlike you, who couldn't access porn unless you somehow stole a book or got one handed to you).

    (PS; that point about loneliness isn't necessarily a bad thing. With it you can avoid the world if it's not being good for you as noted by Akir.)

    2 votes
    1. [5]
      salis
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      You're right, I overlooked that, though I'm having a hard time finding the right documentation on how to label/tag this—I only found a lengthy discussion from Feb 2020 about it. I added the tag...

      You're right, I overlooked that, though I'm having a hard time finding the right documentation on how to label/tag this—I only found a lengthy discussion from Feb 2020 about it. I added the tag user created since nothing shows up with auto suggestions.

      Also, have you ever tried to be fully disconnected for any period of time (say, over a week)?

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        No. I think there have been a few times where the WiFi in my house has been disconnected for more than a day, but the idea terrifies me because I spend practically my entire day outside sleep and...

        Also, have you ever tried to be fully disconnected for any period of time (say, over a week)?

        No. I think there have been a few times where the WiFi in my house has been disconnected for more than a day, but the idea terrifies me because I spend practically my entire day outside sleep and school on this site, reddit and YouTube (and have so for the majority of my life) and without those I'm basically left with myself, my parents, my uncle next door, my grandparents who probably wouldn't mind a visit, a few games I have already beaten years ago, a few other things my parents/grandparents bought like a toy flute and a glass chessboard (with a few broken pieces, somewhat unsurprisingly). It's just not that much. One of the things that would change the most about me if the Internet never existed is that my entire world and everything would ever know would be limited to my family, immediate neighborhood, school and whatever mass-media tells me the world is like. My neighborhood and parents are pretty average but that sounds like purgatory.

        As for myself, there are definitely some things I'd be more pressed to do with my parents if SOL for WiFi, like asking them for shaving help.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          Omnicrola
          Link Parent
          It's a perspective thing. I was discussing with someone the other day about AC and how people in the 1800s didn't find summer "unbearable" because they had no possibility of AC, it just didn't...

          My neighborhood and parents are pretty average but that sounds like purgatory.

          It's a perspective thing. I was discussing with someone the other day about AC and how people in the 1800s didn't find summer "unbearable" because they had no possibility of AC, it just didn't even exist. You just accepted it and went about your life, and tried to find some shade now and then.

          Now I would be miserable if my AC broke (and I'm in a northern state), because I'd be tormented by knowing that I could be cooler.

          For the internet it's slightly different. Having been born in the early 80's I can clearly remember life without it, and I do enjoy unplugging now and then. Overall though, it's a ubiquitous part of my life and I wouldn't want to live without it. I do however think there is value in having the capacity to unplug from it. The internet is a powerful mental tool, but like any tool it can be misused (often by accident). I've had to make deliberate efforts to unplug during the pandemic, lest the deluge of doom overwhelm my mental health.

          6 votes
          1. mftrhu
            Link Parent
            There's also the fact that the world back then was much cooler than nowadays. Hell, the weather used to be very different not even two decades ago: I know that we never used to experience...

            I was discussing with someone the other day about AC and how people in the 1800s didn't find summer "unbearable" because they had no possibility of AC, it just didn't even exist.

            There's also the fact that the world back then was much cooler than nowadays. Hell, the weather used to be very different not even two decades ago: I know that we never used to experience droughts, but summers became more and more dry within the last couple of years, with rain being much more brief, and intense to the point of causing damage.

            It's not just people that changed, it's the world as a whole.

            2 votes
          2. Kuromantis
            Link Parent
            I mean, he did say tried, implying this would be a conscious effort from me now, rather than something that happened by chance long ago. Fair enough, I became genuinely depressed for a week or 2...

            It's a perspective thing. I was discussing with someone the other day about AC and how people in the 1800s didn't find summer "unbearable" because they had no possibility of AC, it just didn't even exist. You just accepted it and went about your life, and tried to find some shade now and then.

            Now I would be miserable if my AC broke (and I'm in a northern state), because I'd be tormented by knowing that I could be cooler.

            I mean, he did say tried, implying this would be a conscious effort from me now, rather than something that happened by chance long ago.

            I do however think there is value in having the capacity to unplug from it. The internet is a powerful mental tool, but like any tool it can be misused (often by accident). I've had to make deliberate efforts to unplug during the pandemic, lest the deluge of doom overwhelm my mental health.

            Fair enough, I became genuinely depressed for a week or 2 by and in my case it was by only one depressive comment. But then again, that doesn't require unplugging. It's not like you can't avoid the news (or at least avoid reading it) if it depresses you too much.

  4. rish
    Link
    Being born in 90s I can relate.

    Being born in 90s I can relate.

    1 vote