Tovi Jaeschke


Where has the sense of exploration gone on the internet? An unpopular opinion.

The internet used to be a fun place to explore. Each new, interesting site lurked around the corner, tempting us to return the next day, not to view the same, stagnant content, but to find something else new, interesting, and incredible. Has the internet changed in the past decade?

Yes, the internet has changed, but that isn't the whole story. In the past decade, the internet has become a powerhouse for economies around the world, profiting off user interaction with websites, rather than profiting directly from the sales and so forth. This model of business has only really taken off since facebook has become widely popular, prior to this, all internet businesses made money directly from selling subscriptions, memberships, or physical goods the company has taken a cut of. Because of this, the internet tech industry has skyrocketed, as users don't know, or care, that their personal information is what is paying for these companies to operate (and make billions of dollars), and while this has huge consequences, which have already been addresses time and time again, this is not the topic of this post.

The question is, Why is the internet less fun to browse? Where has the magic gone? Is it that there are no new sites? Or is it that no search algorithm or corporation promotes these sites? In my opinion, yes, but also no. The internet is less fun to browse simply because we have seen what it has to offer. We have experienced the highs of finding something interesting to learn, or a new digital hobby to participate in, and the lows of stumbling onto something that was probably better left unseen. There isn't much left that is new to us anymore. What was once a haven, a retreat, has become so normal, so mundane, that the desire of discovering the hidden gem is no longer there.

Perhaps the solution is to just browse shodan, and view random devices with port 80 and 443 open? For those that are willing to search, the web does still contain some amazingly original websites and places to explore, but in my honest and unpopular opinion, we just no longer want to surf the world wide web as we used to.