I suppose it’s inevitable that every explosion leads to a scattering, and the world of internet communications seems to be no exception. Once upon a time instant messaging was almost a nuisance and internet forums, even on obscure topics, were lively places.
But now … where is everybody? Livejournal, once a buzzing hive of activity, is quiet and slightly lonesome. Facebook, which has always been an incomprehensible mess, is useless for actually connecting with anybody, and Twitter, while a fun way to eavesdrop on celebrities and share cool links around, is an oddly stilted way of communicating with the world.
Granted, I am famously an introvert. But it’s not like I never want company — I just want it kept in manageable doses. Where once I had to throttle back my online connections in order to keep them meaningful, now I sometimes feel like I’m standing in an empty field shouting in the hopes of getting someone to hear. Is there no middle ground between flood and famine?
It’s not just online, either. People who were once close buds have in the past year drifted off and don’t respond to greetings. Friends who wandered into my life unexpectedly have or are in the process of wandering back out again, and it feels like even my artistic colleagues have rather spookily gone quiet.
Does anybody else feel this way? Are we all in little internet echo chambers, now? Where has everybody gone?