The Unconventional Web
Maybe we don’t need more ways to connect with the people we already know, if we care about breaking out of our filter bubbles, growing, being less depressed, etc. We have more than enough ways to connect with any loved one anywhere in the world. We don’t need more. We have plenty of algorithms feeding us the same-old recommendations of music, products, videos, and tweets that we’ll probably enjoy. We don’t need more.
Our hometown-social-networks might help us connect with people we already know, but do we ever grow? Are our worldviews ever challenged? Do we ever learn, or question anything? Are we ever blindsided by bliss at the discovery of something utterly unanticipated? It seems rare; almost frowned upon.
Maybe what we need, to complement this same old same old, is new ways of digital discovery; new methods of mental adventure. The “old” personal web was, and is, this frontier. It never died, but its frame has been changed by today’s web giants — what used to be the web is now the old web. Unconventional websites are now quaint pitstops on the commute to FaceGoog; aberrations among the real web, as defined (naturally) by the giants.
But our appetites for adventure haven’t changed. Sure, not everyone else will care to step into the wilderness of the decentralized / p2p / weird-and-funky personal web. But those who do, as always, will be rewarded — through growth and pleasant surprise, instead of the same old, same old.