Hooray for the innertubes

July 23, 2007 - 1:43 am Comments Off on Hooray for the innertubes

One thing that’s wonderful about the internet is the fact that you can meet up online with dozens or thousands of people who also share in your esoteric interests, when you might have thought you were the only person in the world who felt that way.

That’s also the thing that’s awful about the internet.

For every wholesome fan group out there, there seems to be a depraved lunatic forum. Yet, who defines what’s wholesome and what’s depraved? What about the case in Germany a couple of years ago where two men met up via the internet with the sole express purpose of one man killing and eating the other? It was consensual. Does that make it okay?

Then again, even the seemingly wholesome websites can cause unhealthy fascination with their readers. I, for one, have spent an inordinate amount of time reading the disboards.com forums, busy planning for our trip to the House of Mouse. And eavesdropping at the Chronicles of Higher Education forum, where the professors let their hair down and rant about their students.

Each site has its own little sphere of culture. It may not be apparent at first – sometimes it must be grown into – but after the site has taken root and grown, it develops a personality that’s sometimes the best, and sometimes the worst, of its participants. Much like in real life.

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