People often think of current cultural time as divided between ‘pre-internet’ and ‘post-internet’, and they generally attribute all the modern online insanity to the latter. However, in doing so, they forget that there were, in reality, 3 phases worth examining when discussing the online shift.
First, we had pre-internet, then we had internet pre-social media, and then, now – we have internet with social media.
The second phase is often forgotten, but to many of us was the golden age of the internet, where information was raw, and we got it through Gopher, Archie, Veronica, and other obscure tools. It was a time when online advertising didn’t exist, and social media whoring wasn’t a thing. There were no followers and no likes.
Many of us ignore that period completely when we’re looking back at the internet, but, in reality, it might’ve been the purest period of the information age.