The comfy feeling of the early 2000s internet

And why I miss the decentralized era of the internet

Wow, my first post, finally!

And what a better way to start it than talking about what inspired me to learn HTML/CSS

and make this website to begin with, and in general, helped me shape the person I am

today? (I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing, but whatever.)

Internet in the early 2000's, an era where the internet was still seen as a novelty

rather than a game changer, something we'd NEED in our lifes on a daily basis, where instead of

relying on big companies or websites for everything, you'd go into some random forum where some guy

called "DickMaster445" on the "MegaDoom XL Forums" would explain you how to add a WAD file to your game

Or alternatively, when a kid that just so happens to know what he's doing makes a video in 144p with

Unregistered Hypercam 2 to record his notepad while "Trance - 009 Sound System Dreamscape" is blasting

on the background, yet somehow, most of the time, that would be enough to solve whatever

problem you were having, or to teach you something you didn't knew before

Or you'd just watch it because you had nothing better to do, and it was just fun to do so.

Those were the great times.

It was a time for discovery and fun, where nobody really gave a shit about their image (except for

a few losers) and all people were focused on was having a good time with people online

either they be friends or strangers, the possibilities and potential were endless

But that's in the past, those were different times.

Times that will never come back, unfortunately.

Why though? Is it because nobody wants it back anymore? What we have nowadays is better?

The answer is a little bit more complicated the more you try to think about it.

And it's mostly connected on how the internet evolved, and how the people who use it devolved.

And what do I mean by that?

Buckle up, buddy.

We're going down the memory lane.

As I've pointed out in the beginning of this post, when the first home computers were

introduced to the world, they were seem as nothing more than a simple novelty

mostly made for office jobs, like excels, docs, emails

and things among those lines, and I think this was specially true with things like emails.

Nowadays, things like instant messages, having calls or even sending emails is

something incredibly superficial anybody can learn how to do these things in about a minute

and with increased internet speeds, these types of tasks aren't really a problem anymore

since sending and receiving files takes about the same time you'd take reading

a single paragraph of this post, if not faster

But that's the thing, "Nowadays", but back then, not only internet connections were way slower

but that was a new technology being introduced to the world it was revolutionary.

Distance didn't seem like a problem anymore, and barriers were quickly being broken

as people started to explore the possibilities with these new tools, a new world was opened

not only for those seeking to be professionals, but for those who were eager to explore

and find new things, new cultures, new people, new everything.

first era of the internet was a golden age of curiosity and discovery, and once people started

to hear about the things the internet could do and offer you, everyone was eager to be a part of it

People started to use internet and their home computers for more than just work

they started to use it for their own entertainment, and suddenly, the internet started to develop

it's identity, a place where you could do anything, create anything, post anything, share anything

it was like the wild west, what you were going to do with it and who you were going to be

on the internet was all up to you.

The internet started to gain a personal touch that's pretty much lost nowadays

and that was mostly prominent on sites like GeoCities, where users would make their own web pages

They would either be like a personal page, or something completely random

at times being a incoherent mess filled with gifs and vivid colors

And man, was it cool.

And now you're probably asking; "Uhm, are you sure? Are you sure you're not blinded by nostalgia

and it's making you have a poor judgement over something that probably wasn't

even that good to begin with?"

And to that, I say "No".

These old webpages were absolutely awesome, and they were a huge part on

why surfing the web was so fun

Most of the might have been pretty amateur-ish, and even a mess, but every page had

it's own distinct feeling, no page was the same, they all had a personal touch to them, even if

they shared the same ideas or focuses, something would always make them memorable and unique

among the crowd, either because of how the pages were built, the content they had, or just

because of how the person that created them wrote and did things in it

And this personal touch allowed people to create all sorts of sites, either to post and

talk about things they liked, or things they didn't, or just because they could, and with that

people would be inspired to create and share things themselves, and that got us a lot of fun

and creative stuff, like videogame websites, tutorial websites, fun and random websites, and

even sites centered around user creations, with some of them still being a thing even nowadays

like Newgrounds, although Newgrounds didn't allow users to share content when it first came out

although that would quickly change, with it being one of the main participants on the

culture of creating and sharing your creations on the internet.

And I cannot overstate how amazing this was back in the day

Out of nowhere, a lot of people that simply didn't fit well anywhere, either because the things

they enjoyed, the way they acted or the things they created were heavily judged and ostracized

from most if not all circles, but not anymore.

Now everyone could have their own little spaces, their own groups, and for once, feel like

they belong to somewhere.

And things didn't slow down there, since forums and online chats would quickly rise into popularity

not only allowing for more freedom on what and where to share, but to interact with people in

real time either by text communication, or even voice and video calls, and there was plenty of choices

to choose from, either it was IRC, Mumble, MSN, Skype, Xat, Forums, it was all up to you.

It was an amazing time to interact and make friendships, or just meet all sorts of weirdos

and one of the things I really miss from that era, is that people weren't trying to appeal to anybody

they were just being themselves and having fun, without a care in the world if people were happy

about it or not, and instead of being constantly worried about filtering everything they said or

moderating theirselves 24/7 so they wouldn't piss some random loser on social media that didn't

know what an opinion is, they would just do their thing, and let people do theirs.

Every personality was pretty much distinct from each other, you'd meet all sorts of people

either they were bad or not, and most if not all of these encounters would stick with you

and you'd be able to remember them just because of how much impact they left when you had

the chance to meet them, and I think this era of the internet was defined by one word


From the people, to the sites, the music, the way internet was shaped and how people shaped it

it all felt really "personal", and everywhere you'd go, sites and the things you'd see in them

would stick to you, even years after you've first visited them, and I think one of the biggest

examples of this happening with me was with this site called "The Mystical Forest Zone"

It was a site where you'd download Sonic sprites, and you'd even have comic sections, and I'd

visit it daily, not only because I just loved looking at the sprites, or because I'd always

download them so I could make my shitty Sonic comics on MSPaint, but because the site looked

and felt amazing, it was a weird feeling of comfort and wonder I cannot describe correctly

and even going back to it nowadays wakes something up in me, and that goes for basicly

everything made at that period in time

People would make things for themselves before anything or anyone else

Sharing with others was just a part of the fun, but not the whole point or the whole fun itself

And that allowed things to feel more unique from each other, with everyone having something

distinct about them and their works, and yes, of course people copied each other from time

but you'd still be able to tell what or who they were copying just because of how memorable

some of these personalities were, and I think there is a certain beauty to that, to know

that the things you did or just you being yourself, was enough to make you special in

else's eyes, even if you're just another stranger on the internet, or the fact you've never

met this person in your life, and probably never will either

and I think that turned specially true when YouTube got into the scene and it started growing

in popularity, becoming one of the most beloved sites in the world.

Broadcast yourself, because you were the star

YouTube was something else back in the day.

Since YouTube was a small site at that time, anyone would get a chance to be at the spotlight

and you'd never run out of fun things to see, because instead of only giving the spotlight to very

few creators like how you see nowadays, you'd see new faces daily, and the videos you'd find where

incredibly interesting, not only because of how chaotic and random some of them were, but because

of the wild ideas some of these videos had

And I think that was specially the sprite videos with videogame characters, most specifically

Sonic characters living normal lifes with wacky shenanigans happening in each episode, with

real life photographs as backgrounds, all of them made in movie maker, essentially as a

slideshow and using that old Windows XP voice to voice every character in the video

And man, I loved those.

You'd see some truly crazy videos like "Sonic & Shadow's Halloween", "Amy and the cloning machine"

"Silver falls in love with black yoshi", and things among those lines

and the best part out of all of that is that, all of these videos, no matter how ridiculous or

poorly made they were, they were legitimately some of the most fun you could had in the site

not only because they were legitimately funny due to how ridiculous they were, but because you

could tell just by watching the video that the person that made them was really enjoying making

enjoyed making those videos, and sharing was just another part of the fun

The fact most of the videos were all amateurish gave them a very unique feeling that's so hard

to recapture nowadays, specially since YouTube is a completely different beast nowadays

a beast that kills any chance of you having any semblance of success unless you force yourself

to do and create the things everyone else is doing

And this change on focus to "everyone else" before "yourself" in my opinion, would essentially kill

one of the things that made the internet so fun to access to begin with.

We've talked about the rise

Now we're going to talk about the fall.

I've been mostly talking about how everything felt incredibly unique and "personal", how even the

the most boring of sites or aspects of the internet were still pretty memorable just because of how

wild everything was, and because of that "personal" touch everything had on old user pages and even

on the content people used to create and share, and with the rise of social media with the likes of

Twitter and Facebook around 2012-2014, social media would destroy most of the things internet and

the people using it from the beginning cultivated from the very beginning.

I'm just going to say this to set the tone; I HATE Social Media with a burning passion.

It's not only one of the biggest wastes of time, a breeding ground for some of the

most vile and disgusting human beings the planet had the displeasure of having, and the main culprit

for creating a horrible and depressing mentality, but it also destroyed and distorted a lot of the

things that made the internet such a fun time.

But before I get into the real meat, let's talk about "the corporization of the internet".

Take a look at these three pictures

They're from two different periods, two of them being from 2006-2009, and one of them being from

2013 to 2022

Can you tell me what's wrong with one of these pictures?

Can you tell me why we went from something full of customization and personality, to a bland

sterile, boring, corporate piece of shit style, instead of evolving, we devolved?

That's the effect of the internet being corporized to death, which was something that became

a huge problem around 2013, and the problem still persists to this day

In fact, it has gotten worse in some areas, specially when it comes to stylization and web design.

Again, can you see what I'm trying to say with the examples above?

How being lifeless, bland and sucking the soul and fun of everything has become the standard?

And now you're probably going

"M-maybe they do that so it makes the site easier to navigate and understand?

The answer is no, they don't.

I'd be less irritated if that was the case, but the fact is; they only do that because it allows

them to be lazy, and because everyone else is doing it too, so it means it must be good!

Roblox site back in the day might have not been the best thing in the world, but not only it

looked very inviting, but navigating it was pretty good too, specially since you'd have game

categories which would allow you to quickly find games in the style you wanted to

If you want wild west, click the the Wild West category, if Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi category, and so on

But for some fucking reason, they removed the categories, and made their site not only one of

most dull looking things I've had the displeasure of seeing, but they also made it harder to

navigate for no good reason, but why? because they want to be lazy, and they don't give a shit

if their site or their game is barely functional, they don't want to spend the time and effort

on making something truly good, because that would take effort, and nowadays, effort is

something that rarely rewards you, no matter how good you might be at your job.

Now that we've talked about the death of personality on websites

Let's instead talk about the deadly mentality of social medias and modern age internet.

Buckle up, this one is a fucking doozey.

You might have noticed how the tone of this post shifted quite a lot as it went on

from optimism and positivity, looking to praise things, instead of shitting on them

to going completely off the wall and being as negative and hopeless as I could get

And that's intentional.

Because that's exactly what happened with the internet and how people use it

From something you'd go in when you needed a break, when you wanted to have fun

do the things you liked doing, talking to people you actually want to be around

A way to relieve yourself from the stress of the real world

Now, it's the complete opposite.

You log in your computer, and you see people screaming at each other over nothing

People are turning their backs on their own friends over them saying stupid things and

having fun in private, like everyone does, but people don't care about friends anymore

they want to feel morally superior above anything else.

People that don't want to be criticized or have any discussions that challenge them or

or their views, blocking you or sending their brainless armies against you the moment

you decide to have an opinion that's not on par with "the standards"

A desperation for attention and to fit in, constantly shifting their opinions and

the person they are on a daily basis because they're desperate to catter towards everyone

instead of just being themselves and being happy about it

You get into social media hoping to see something that brings you up, something fun

but it's just a reminder that the world is gone to shit, and everyone else has a better

life than you'll ever have, and the worst part, they didn't even had to try to begin with.

Don't know what and who to trust, and people just go along with whatever they see or hear

Not caring if that's going to hurt someone over things they didn't do or even themselves.

Sharing and being online was a thing that I absolutely adored back in the day, but that's

also because most people knew how to differentiate "opinions" from "facts"

Of course, there was always that one guy that would hate you because your opinion was

different from his, but that's just one guy, a guy that probably nobody likes or gives

a shit about due to how insufferable being around him is

But besides that, back in the day, you'd disagree, challenge people with whatever was

in your mind, and people would just move on with their days even if someone got angry

with you yesterday, on the next day, they'd hit you on Skype or IRC so you could play

SRB2 or Doom with them, like friends would, you'd disagree and even fight, but things

would be okay either in the next day, or the next week, and it all felt pretty genuine.

but the concept of friendship, specially online ones, has been distorted to death

People nowadays won't hesitate on leaving you behind or pretend they never had anything

to do with you just because you might have said something stupid, or even offensive once

Some guy will look into your web history from a decade ago, and out of nowhere

everyone and the world is against you, because privacy is not a thing anymore.

and some people are unfortunate enough to have private things made public.

Independently of how much you evolved as a person, or how much your actions have spoken

more than the things you've said, it doesn't matter, people are desperate to make you fall

they'll go through horrible lenghts to make sure you'll stay down if they ever decide that

they don't like you, because respect is a archaic concept, nowhere to be found nowadays on

the current landscape, either it's online or offline.

And with that, people are afraid, afraid of doing the things they like doing

Afraid of saying the things they want to say, afraid of criticizing anything or anyone

Unless everyone else is doing it too.

Unless you're fine with people obsessing over you and following each and every step you do

waiting for an opportunity to strike you

Then individuality is dead.

Go into social media, most specifically Twitter, and you'll see the amount of people that

will bandwagoon over something or someone they didn't do their own researchs on

They won't bother to read or analyze things themselves, if the big person says they're bad

then everyone else is obligated to do the same, and god help you if you don't

There has been many examples of "friends" betraying each other on recent years, or just people

Being dishonest with each other, one of the examples I love bring up is the ProJared case

When his ex-wife told everyone that he was cheating on her, even though they were on a

open relationship, a lot of people came forward stating that ProJared was a pedophile

with their only evidence being "bro trust me", and although there was a lot of red flags

from the very beginning with all of these statements, people still decided that he should

be vilified

That is until his defense video came out, and it turns out, his wife pushed him to be with

the girl he was apparently "cheating" her with, and the minors lied about their own age

to send him nudes, and even thought they said he never asked them about their age, that was

quickly debunked with screencaps showing that ProJared did ask beforehand if they were 18

in which they responded that they were.

And just like that, another person had their name slandered, because people were just going

with whatever they heard, instead of forming their own opinions.

And out of nowhere, cancel culture was apparently not cool, that is, until another person got

exposed, then it was ok to just do the exact same thing people were criticizing two weeks ago

The concept of morals is essentially non-existant with social media, and the same goes for

criticism or opinions in general.

I shit you not, try criticizing, or simply disagreeing with a twitter user

specially those that pretend to be "Innocent and positive", and you'll either see them instantly

block you or instantly drop their facade, and either get extremely angry with you, or try making

the "beef" they're having with this random person a public thing, sending their braindead mob

against you, a random person on the internet, instead of solving things like functioning

human beings, which is another thing I hate about the internet and interacting with other people

on the current age, which is the fact that most people now are complete cowards, or that their

whole personality feels fabricated, either because they're afraid of backlash, or because

they're desperate to fit in every single group they possibly can

Remember how I was talking about the rise of the internet gave people the chance to show the world

your unique traits and personality that normally wouldn't fit anywhere?

How anybody could have a place in the world now, and they didn't had to pretend to be something or

someone they weren't anymore?

People are doing the exact fucking opposite now

Instead of trying to be themselves, they're constantly shapeshifting and deforming their views and

personalities in an attempt to appeal to the masses

And no, I don't have a problem with people changing or evolving, I don't expect, and I don't want

people to be the same thing forever, it's just a part of human nature, but that should be natural

something that happens gradually, instead of being a thing you're constantly forcing yourself to

do on a daily basis

And this kinda makes me and a lot of people to be iffy about everyone they meet now, because you

don't know the type of person they really are, or the type of views they hold, if they're even

your friends, or if they're just around you to gain something, to leech from you.

Of course, back in the day, things were still pretty anonymous all things considered

but the most boring person you'd meet back in the day, would still make more of an impact on you

than the most popular face on the internet right now.

Another contributing factor is also the fact that social media has developed this bad habit of

showing how "happy and perfect your life is"

You go on things like Facebook, Twitter and specially Instagram, and you'll always find people

posting pictures of themselves in fancy places, parties and etc... and all of them with shitty

messages about always "always being positive and that struggles will make you stronger", and how

"they had to work their asses for everything they had"

when everything that's coming out of their mouth is bullshit.

Most of these people NEVER worked for anything or for anyone, they were born in wealth, and most

of them never had any real, meaningful experiences, yet they're constantly trying to convince

everyone and themselves that they're bigger than they actually are, by showing the amount of

superficial and meaningless things they have in life

People who are so desperate for attention and approval of everyone are not happy

Neither with their lifes or themselves.

And this obsession of showing the world how "perfect and happy" you are is a mentality that has

caused nothing but harm everyone, both online and offline.

People now feel like you NEED to constantly let everyone know you're happy, that your life is

perfect, that showing any emotions besides "I'm made in life and I'm never sad" is a bad thing

One thing is taking a picture because you want to record a moment you genuinely enjoyed

the other is feeling the necessity to share it everywhere in a attempt to shove on everyone

else's face how much of a good time you had/you're having.

It's not only superficial

It's very sad.

What once was a fun thing to do, like record a video of yourself and your friends just bein silly

and posting it online because you thought it was fun, turned into an obsession into trying to profit

and get as much as attention as you possibly can at every single situation

And that's essentially what influencers boil down to

Desperate for success and attention, when in reality they're some of the saddest people out in the

world, because not only they're lying to themselves, they're lying to everyone too, and unfortunately

they do influence a lot of people's life, but not in a good way.

Unfortunately, everything good must come to an end

And sadly, that era of bliss and curiosity from the internet is now gone, and it's not coming back.

The focus has changed

The internet changed

The fun was changed

People changed.

But I'm still glad I had the chance to be a part of that golden era, no matter how silly it might have

been, I truly had fun, I've made many friends, learned lots of things, hell, the fact I even know how to

operate computers and even know how to speak english is due to me being a part of that curiosity and

fascination for the new people had back in the day, and I'm glad for that, despite all of my flaws as

a person, I think I'd be way worse if it wasn't for the internet, the people I've met there, and the

things I've learned here, in general, I probably would be even more boring than I am

Or I wouldn't even be in here anymore, all things considered.

It's gone and it's not coming back, but looking back at things can be a pretty bittersweet experience

and although things are not showing signs of improving, all we can do now is to make the best out of

a shitty situation.

I made this site as sort of a tribute to that, a time where creativity and personality would run

wild, and we were all just having fun, without a care in the world if we'd get witchhunted for it or not

I have more plans for this site, but I also wanted to make my first post meaningful and personal, and I

hope you enjoyed reading this, and either learned or absorbed anything out of this

Hell, even if you just laughed about all of this and thought it was stupid, that's good too

Either way, I hope you're all doing good.

I'll see you around.