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Internet habits die hard
  • I have been realising lately that my leisure use of the internet revolves largely around reading websites and community forums focused on competitive fighting video games, despite the fact that I haven’t played a fighting game seriously since the new Street Fighter game was released in February and the old one (which I loved dearly) was unceremoniously dumped by the tournament scene. Every couple of days I do a sweep through all the new stuff people are saying about this new game I don’t play and these recent tournaments I don’t enter or even watch, just because that’s been what I do when I have time to kill on the internet for the last couple of years.

    What weird internet habits do you have which are relics from previous lives? I suppose this place almost counts, though I always felt this community was more centred on its ragtag bunch of members than on a particular focal point any more specific that “most of us quite like listening to music”.

    I also still read a blog by someone who used to write thoughtful music reviews - often about belle and sebastian records - but who for the last decade or so has mostly been writing about data and similarity algorithms. I suppose there’s a vague link in that stuff to my day job but not to the extent that I’d go out of my way to read some dude’s blog about it in my downtime, if it wasn’t just part of my habitual grazing lands.

  • You reminded me of a blog post I read where some guy was talking about how good he was at Street Fighter, and he kept using some derogatory term for people who weren’t good at Street Fighter, but I can’t for the life of me remember what that word was. I think he was some notable Street Fighter guy. You wouldn’t happen to know what I’m talking about, would you?

    I do check this place almost daily out of habit :(

  • Ha! That’s it. I was thinking chode, but that’s freddyknuckles of course.

  • I follow and communicate on a weekly basis with a bloke on Twitter who I first encountered in the comments section of Momus’ livejournal blog nearly 20 years ago.

  • I just Facebook these days, and come here occasionally (more often if there’s a conversation I’m having). On fb I interact with fellow passengers from the plane, and other internet imaginary friends, but the places I met them are long gone. I was actually trying to track down one of my oldest imaginary friends a few months ago, to no avail, after I bumped into another one. They’re people I met in alt.tv.muppets which was a fun place to hang out 20 years ago…

  • A lot of my internet roots go back to a site called TMO (Throwing Muses Online) which was the first forum I ever joined when I turned up in Korea in 1998. It’s a diaspora now though, flung to the far corners of Socialmediasia

  • I suppose the thing that interests me is that I’ve stuck with sites where such friendships can be made and maintained. There might be disagreements, but they’re respectful arguments. I actually started online in 1994 with a group of Intervarsity Choristers, most of whom I knew at least a bit IRL.. We pretty much nutted out all the arguments you might want to have - politics; sexuality; gender; economics… which is why I’ve often been reluctant to enter those discussions on the plane - I feel like I’ve had them all, and I know I can’t change anyone’s mind :-)

  • Yeah, all the battles have been fought. Around 2000ish I had a site with a guy who was (at the time) a hardcore Ayn Rand Libertarian (he’s posted at LPTJ in the past), a guy who was an anarchist (posts here as a matter of fact!) and a guy who was more of a democratic socialist (myself, actually) in addition to a cavalcade of other profane weirdos. The internet is (more) boring now—although I hope the battle rages on, somewhere out there.

  • What’s funny is that the hardcore Ayn Rand Libertarian (who once threatened to take me into the woods and shoot me btw, idk if you remember that Justin) has rejected basically all of his former politics (the especially repugnant parts anyway) and is a pretty far left anarchist now. And it seems like the main thing that has pushed him leftward is having a kid, so that’s interesting to me, since I feel like often having children makes people more conservative. Not always, but a lot of the time.

    I’m the anarchist, and I’m still an anarchist, though I’ve probably cooled on some of my more extremely anti-statist tendencies and embrace reform at least to some extent.

    I don’t know if I have any internet habits that are holdovers from an older time. tbh I mostly only use Facebook now, and reddit a little bit (mostly to read about Dungeons and Dragons), and tumblr occasionally. I got big into tumblr for a little bit bc there were some good people that I could only interact with there, but I’m fairly Over It now. Sometimes browse it out of boredom but don’t really engage with much.

    I still have lots of arguments on the internet, mostly on Facebook. It’s a fun pastime, though I’ve kind of whittled my list down to people who I know will argue respectfully, and there’s a lot less diversity of viewpoints than there once was. That’s both a good and bad thing, but it helps keep me sane when it’s hard to not feel like we live on a doomed garbage planet full of awful garbage people.

  • My father in law just retired and is now a full time Facebook troll. So there’s always that to look forward to.

  • I sort of wish I had the initiative to spend time outside of social media supermarkets, but I mostly just stay on Facebook, and whenever I delete it for whatever reason migrate over to Twitter and lurk and fav things. I miss having LPTJ as an alternative but see half of you on FB anyway, and at this point in my life am sort of trying to avoid meeting too many new people since I have a hard enough time paying proper attention to all the nice ones I have.

    I think the problem with internet echo chambers is less with people having the same viewpoints, and more with people thinking about the same things in the same way.Cos obvs one wants baselines like “women are people”, but my feed is full of 20-35 yr old liberal to radical queer feminist types and at times I’m like fuck can we stop talking about oppression for half a second and can you show me more pictures of your breakfast or whatever. Unfortunately most of what people seem to write about at length on there involves Political Opinions…idk maybe I could befriend more annoying poets

  • We’re getting older and eating more boring breakfasts now, Anne. The boringest of breakfasts.

  • We must be getting old if I’m saying “pix or it didn’t happen” about breakfast rather than adf’s latest public sex adventure :c

  • I would accept pics of either

  • I was honestly pretty bummed when this place disappeared a few weeks ago. It’s reassuring to see it back, even if it feels like a bit of a ghost-town.

  • Hi alex! Sorry about the outage, all my fault :(

  • Yeah even though (or maybe because?) it’s possibly the slowest messageboard on the internet, I love having it around. Hi guys!

  • hi guys just yesterday I was thinking about how I miss having y’all as a forum of people to rant to about things I come across irl

    (in this case it was about someone thinking me objecting to her being the Other Woman for someone was ‘slut-shaming’, save me from people who think being Becky with the good hair is an #empowered sexuality lmao)

  • I kind of hate the internet. I’ve turned off the data connection on my phone and am now down to using my work computer to read the news headlines at lunch and my home computer to write fiction and play videogames with my friend some evenings. Then once every few days I’ll spend an evening (or a morning, as it happens today) just wasting a bit of time reading stuff on the internet that’s almost always less interesting than actual books, and that’s enough for me. It’s been a bit like when we tried to eat less sugar: at first it was weird, then it quite quickly became normal, and now I actively want to not be eating sugary things most of the time (not all the time, but certainly most). And as a side effect I feel like the rest of my taste buds are waking up again, which is nice. So maybe the rest of my brain will wake up again soon now my internet use is falling off.

    I’m going to start a new thread to try and catch up with you guys a bit, anyway, now we’re not all arguing all day long on LPTJ.

  • Our phone/internet connection is getting cut off tomorrow. We decided we would rather have the money and the time, than spend so much of both on this…thing.

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

  • That seems radical. How is it going for you so far?

  • It’s going pretty well! I have been using my phone to check emails and order groceries, but I’ve done very little other internetting. I used to have a nightly routine after putting my daughter to bed where I would read some sites before maybe doing a bit of writing, and browse intermittently in the day, and now I either sit at the computer to write or I don’t sit at the computer at all. Not a huge change to my activities, I suppose.

    I’ve found that it’s affected me mentally much more than I expected, though. It’s hard to explain but in the week or so after we got cut off I felt like my brain was changing - and quite profoundly. The best I can do to explain it is that I felt more “present”, with my whole self conscious of my surroundings rather than half my mind being away off somewhere else. I think the awareness of the connection must have been almost constant and now it’s obviously not. And I’ve stopped carrying my phone around so much. It’s like I’d spent half a decade carrying a hammer around and part of my brain was constantly looking for nails, and now it’s not.

  • I did pretty well on this, but I fell off the wagon this summer. Bedtime routine changed and I started relying on the phone screen to keep me awake while I waited for my daughter to be properly asleep, and then I had a couple of bits of email business which meant (because I’d turned off automatic send/receive) I was frequently refreshing my email manually in case another important message came in, which was enough to trigger the habit of reading websites in hope of diversion. All those mental patterns just reasserted themselves and before I knew it I was regularly checking websites dedicated to videogames I don’t play any more, for example.

    On the one hand at least I’m aware and can get back on with reasserting my good habits, but on the other it sucks to have slipped.

    On the third hand (that’s right), it’s interesting to confirm that thing I wrote above about feeling “present”. I’ve definitely noticed again that I’m almost continually aware of [ the internet ] lately even when I’m not using it. I don’t know if this is just something to do with how my mind works or if all heavy internet users are doing the same thing and maybe just not noticing it. It’s very troubling to me and a large part of why I’m going to try again now to srparate myself from it — to re-place the internet as a computing tool I use occasionally, and not a whole world/community in which my mind had a place. Because I certainly didn’t intentionally adopt the latter attitude. It just takes over.