Post-internet lament

Originally published at:

The world hasn’t yet invented the right word for my deep new disenchantment with the Post-Internet. It has elements of a broken romance, a burn-out, a nervous breakdown, depression and physical anxiety. It’s a state of exile from a cyberspace where things became unfriendly, where words harm rather than help. A frontier that defined itself as futurity becomes a dead shopping mall behind rags and barbed-wire.


I’m living a lie!



One of the better posts here in recent memory, Ms. Tesanovic.
I suppose that not being able to @ this to you is a feature not a bug, given the nature of the writing.


It seems ironic that a site built around technology and the internet doesn’t seem to do much anymore except complain about both, constantly.

“Get off my lawn!” for the pioneers of the digital age, I suppose.


We had a good run, but the MBAs are in charge of the net now.


I think it’s less “Get off my lawn!”, and more " I wanted a lawn, but you put concrete over it and turned it into a car park. What!? No, I do not want to let random unsupervised people look around my house!"



Articles like this are the product of too many writers with not enough things to write about. Embarrassingly self indulgent and dumb.

Oh no! Are you…disappointed…in Boing Boing?


I guess some people can’t spell war without AR. I’m off to play World of Ar’craft now…wait, that’s not me. I hope.


check out where the rest of your fingers are pointing!

exactly how i feel about automobiles…the toy is so over


There are threads you see in the sentiments of early internet pioneers, etc. these days. I remember reading some recent stuff by Jaron Lanier and then this article on The New York Times Magazine and there is a realization from those who were most excited about the prospects of the Internet that it has somehow become something else and it is bad. However, I’d like to think that we can grow past this, as many visionaries have expressed as well.

So sure, we can look at it fatalistically and from the micro/personal level and see ourselves and our addictions to the problematic sides of modern internet, but we can also look macro and see ways out that don’t just rely on going off the grid completely.

One thing, I started doing the RSS thing hard again. It still works, I can enjoy what I like, and I can silence Facebook and Twitter. That is a step.

I think we will see strategies moving forward. We have been collectively duped, sure. But there is something redeemable. We can’t throw all books and printing presses on the fire because it has been used to print propaganda, but we can learn, think critically, and adapt.

I think the early “cyberpunks” of the late 80s through the 90s had a kid in a candy store optimism of the whole thing, belying the presence of the dark warnings in the literature which they took their name from. We are now living in a cyberpunk dystopia. We can weather this and carve out or own paths.

Just my thoughts, and perhaps my optimism, but worth a try.


Fantastic expression of important ideas.

The wonderful, long-running UK website/newsletter b3ta (which, to be fair, is 99% about impish LOLs), runs under the slogan “We’re saving the web… together”, which I always took to allude to this same generalised ethic/resistance (I could be wrong).
That slogan’s from at LEAST 2002; things have long been awry.

(Incidentally, the b3ta newsletter is seeking support, in case anyone’s interested).

I’m reminded also of probably my all-time favourite newsletter, the mighty Need to Know, which was probably what first boingboing to my attention. Could such a brilliant thing exist today?


I identify fully with the thoughts and feelings expressed and the way they are expressed in this essay.
I don’t believe there is any fundamental difference between Online life as described here and Offline life as I experience it daily, that is yes the internet is not what it once was but then again neither is the world.
The internet is no longer the untamed frontier it once was. I’m fine with that.
The idea of a post-internet is interesting and actually looks useful.

I don’t know how to connect all these ideas logically, some overlap, some contradict.

Where has that cherished feeling gone? I won’t find it by tossing my phone aside and going to live in the woods, like Henry David Thoreau. Nor do I want to start bitterly raging that I’m lost in a world I never made, like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. What was it that I wanted in the first place, and how did I mistake the technical means for the moral end?

This is something that needs addressing, we can continue as we were, putting our hopes in technology or we can move and put our hopes in the specific actions we take, this is where we as a generation that grew up on the promise of cyberspace as a marvel of the modern world and a thing worth pursuing will either continue the lament or think fondly on it, wistfully, as one more folly of our youth. I distinguish this generation from the one that views the internet as infrastructure only because of the danger of a disillusioned romanticism taking hold over us.


Told you so.

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It was easy to be optimistic, because things were the opposite of the warnings in the books. In the early days, the cyberpunks were in control of the 'net, building it the way they wanted it. The corporations, media, and politicians didn’t even know it existed or if they did, had no idea what it was. Should’ve known they’d catch on and take over eventually.


And yet, here you are, posting your opinion on it instead of ignoring it… I mean…



I think two key turning points were when social networks (mainly Facebook) started eroding online forums, and microblogging platforms (mainly Twitter) vampirized blogging.


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