Essays on Technology and Culture

The Only Truly Intimate Online Experience Left

In the absence of strong anti-harassment tools on most major social networks (though Twitter recently promised to improve its blocking function), group chats preserve a corner of the internet for empathy and understanding, intimate emotions that seem to have less and less of a place online. Our small tide pools shelter us from a utopian promise of Suler’s 90s-era internet—instant connection with all humanity across any distance—that has since become a threat.

The Only Truly Intimate Online Experience Left

People were never meant to live 100% in public. We’ve always had circles and groups that we choose to interact with to different degrees. Facebook, Twitter, and their ilk either don’t understand, or choose to ignore this fact. The future of “social” isn’t a monolith, but overlapping and nested circles of people. The companies that get it, will earn huge dividends. The ones who do not will fall onto the dustheap of history.