Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc., these were all supposed to help people socialize and connect and have friends. These are the wave of the future and are not going away. Perhaps I shouldn't get my Internet predictions from scripted newscasters backed up by someone trying to sell a book.
My bets are on the other side. I don't mean that Internet networking will fail. Instead I believe the social aspect will die. As we all know, people on the Internet are jerks. Would you believe I'm friendly, if slightly awkward, in real life? I don't come across as a horrible jerk, unless I'm talking to some friends who also inhabit this interweb place. But this is the Internet, so fuck you.
The future isn't in making the Internet a nicer place for college students and lazy people at work. The future is in making the Internet what it was meant to be: a place filled with sociopaths who troll each other constantly and are either looking for porn or to trick someone into looking at what would be generously described as porn. The future is in a place for assholes to get together and be assholes, together. Drama will not exist, because no one will give a shit about what anyone else thinks or said about them.
There's also the demographic which was once the foundation of the internet but which has been ignored in recent years: losers. They just want to hide in their bubbles, or are too scared to leave them, and function best, or more accurately, only function, when left entirely alone. Even the fake social nature of Facebook is too much for them. Just as the Cataclysm expansion is sometimes claimed to be about bringing back former players, so will the new antisocial networking trend be about bringing back this lost demographic.
The only real question is what we will name this place. I imagine the Japanese will pioneer it, because they're weird (scientific fact), but Americans will spread it, because we like stealing ideas and trying to get rich off them. Maybe it will have a number in it. The Internet likes numbers, especially antisocial people who prefer to reduce others to numbers.
Steampunks and Scrapbooks
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