This was a surprisingly moving piece for being so brief.
I remember well the early days of the web, full of promise and interesting people. No Facebook. No Twitter. Cool people doing fascinating things all around you. Smart people just everywhere.
I love the Web so much, like more than is probably sane and healthy for a non-human entity, but nearly every other good thing in my life has happened because of it. And that Web is going quickly, if not already gone.
The same for me. I met my wonderful, amazing partner on the web 13 years ago now because we both liked Linux. Not on a dating site, just a completely accidental encounter on ICQ. ICQ is now a ghost town and replaced with things far worse and less useful. And I was there for and participated in the early days of blogging, starting my first blog in 1999 before there was the word “blog,” coding the HTML by hand and also a little later installing the then-new blogging software completely manually.
I had more readers then than I do now, even though I was a worse writer then — in fact, about 100 times more readers, because today people can’t be bothered to step outside of Facebook and other worthless hellholes.
So, yes, that web is gone already. Facebook and the invasion of the know-nothings killed it.
And I hate them for it, and will always hate them.