I Miss the Internet by Joan Westenberg was at the top of my inbox today and it’s a quirky zine dedicated to the internet that Joan misses. I was online first in around 1995 and at some point around there I remember digging into Geocities and having a site. Then I spent almost 10 years mostly away from computers in the forests having adventures.

Yet, like Joan, I still miss the quirky internet described in the zine. I lament the discussions where my daughters sense of self-expression must coincide with TikTok. Not because it’s a Chinese app, but because it’s an algorithmically controlled space where you’re observed by a massive media company and your individuality is heavily controlled by the numbers some employee puts into said algorithm.

My kids don’t get an internet that will forget about the dumb shit they are going to do. They’ll have to be careful lest a future employer reject them because of a stupid picture they took at 18, or something dumb and uniformed they said in their early 20s. Lord knows if I surfaced much of what I was thinking at the time I’d be viewed as a racist misogynist, because in many ways I was at the time. It’s only in my late 20s where I started to be more empathetic and break out of the conservative culture in which I was raised.

Joan’s zine is free and I recommend it.

If you like this, then you should become a member. Members get an extra newsletter and get my courses and book notes.