@InvaderXan It used to be that the Internet was a place for the curation of your interests and self-expression un-tied to popularity.
What's happened is the erosion of barriers between the IRL self and the online self as well as the boundary between leisure, recreation, self-edification and the workplace.
That’s what the internet really should be IMO. It’s certainly how I still try to use it.
I think perhaps what happened is subtler though. At some point the focus shifted from expression and curation, and started to be more about getting reactions and attention. In a small step, people’s self worth on the internet became tied not to what they were saying, but to who was listening.
@InvaderXan Might have to do with the ease of making an instant reaction. When you replied to a forum post in the late 90's/early 2000s, you had to go through the many steps of loading into another webpage, formatting, and sometimes running it by moderation. You didn't really respond unless you had something more substantial than just liking what someone said.
Early internet didn't really have follower counts or profiles. You had tags and page hit counts more than follower numbers or amount of "likes"
Oh, there were still follower counts. Livejournal had those decades ago. The big difference seems to be likes. Suddenly, as well as a list of people who were watching, everyone had a set of numbers determining the “popularity” of every single thing they did...
Sunbeam City is a Libertarian Socialist solarpunk instance. It is ran democratically by a cooperative of like-minded individuals.