FOMO and Online Discourse (8)

1 Name: 403 - Name Forbidden : 2022-04-04 06:37 ID:3uGuTXhy

A thread on 4chan on productivity and addiction led to a discussion about Fear Of Missing Out in relation to online conversations, that due to its fast-moving (and in the case of *chans, temporary) it leads to a need to have your eyes on the screen and be glued there waiting for a response, because if you don't get in now you'll miss your chance.

This led me to thinking about how BBSs would have things like QWK and REP files so that you can pull down new comments while you upload your own comments and replies in one step, and can then disconnect. Then to wondering about a format where there would only be weekly "mail drops" where only messages sent before a certain day would get in on that drop.

I suppose the question is, do you think there's a place for a "slower" style of online discourse to take the place (only among certain people, certainly not the majority) of the faster, and FOMO-reliant, style that dominates the web now?

2 Name: 422 - Unprocessable Name : 2022-04-04 10:45 ID:Heaven

>QWK and REP


dude the main reason I'm here is because here threads don't get flushed into nothingness in seconds, but stay for years instead.

3 Name: 408 - Name Request Timeout : 2022-04-04 16:49 ID:3uGuTXhy


QWK files were packets of "mail" that had the posts between a certain date on that BBS (usually between last log-on and now) and your personal messages wrapped up into a QWK file where they could be browsed offline. The snazzy thing is that a lot of these offline mail readers allowed you to reply as well, and these would all be wrapped up into a REP file. You would then push these up as you pulled down the new posts in a new QWK file. This meant that you could effectively carry on these conversations while actually being online only once every few days.

And I agree with you on the second part.

4 Name: 405 - Name Not Allowed : 2022-04-04 20:38 ID:UDDhwQmM

Usenet groups are superior version of the same thing, they still exist, and no one cares.
Technologically it is a solved problem. It's not very helpful against addiction (one can just click send and receive more often) or large volume of messages (spam killed usenet).
I have already seen software restraints to emulate the 90s - "you may only send messages once a day" experimental offline-first-lifestyle mailing client at hackernews. If that can do any good is anyone's guess.

5 Name: 422 - Unprocessable Name : 2022-04-05 02:59 ID:19ls9xPb

What was it called?

6 Name: 401 - Unauthorized Name : 2022-04-05 09:44 ID:3uGuTXhy

The thing is while I'm using older technology as an example, I'm also not really wanting to "emulate the 90's" beyond just seeing if it is possible to have a more "offline" lifestyle without just using modern social media (which is really what the issue is) less, but rather thinking about either a new paradigm, or even resurrecting an old one.

The actual issue of connection now is solved, but it solved, but in solving it we have created new issues that, it seems to me, has a far more negative effect on people than the flaws of the past, that being that the internet is slow.

I guess what it all really comes down to is that I am just questioning the assumptions that we make about online conversion and whether we should change how we rate it and what standards we apply to it. Why do we call a community with less than a thousand people "dead"? Why do we call a message speed such that you can check once a week, "slow"? What is actually wrong with either of these things if you go to do other things.

It seems that so many people are ready to just go for total abstinence of the technology (NoSurf) rather than a reconsideration of standards.

I do admit though that a big issue would be people using technologies I'm talking about in addition to the more harmful technologies that pretty much everyone admits now to be bad.

On the subject of Usenet though, I wonder if it's massive list of groups is now more a hindrance than a blessing. Whether it might be better to just all consolidate into far less groups that will get far more interaction, so we abandon alt.comp.sys.amiga.whatever, and just go to alt.comp, knowing that while you share it with a larger pool of people, you might get more from it? I'm not sure. All I know is that I have a massive list of groups I'm subscribed to as a "just in case," if that makes sense.

7 Name: 401 - Unauthorized Name : 2022-04-19 21:19 ID:VBp+kROr

These are good questions. A small board does not allow for endless doomscrolling and does nothing for the addicted. People who will try to replace a big board with a small one will become discontent. Slow = "the dopamine comes slower than before".
Therefore, I can see why one will try to quit cold turkey. It's a reasonable thing to try when all else fails.

Usenet groups. Yes the absurdly large group tree is a burden and does no good. Some slashdot people had similar idea as you did and picked one already existing group and posted or crossposted all their tech-related messages into it, as an attempt to revive usenet. So it has been tried at least once in relatively recent times (2015? 2018?)

>>5 Found it. Pony "a messenger for mindful correspondence".

8 Name: 409 - Name Conflict : 2022-04-27 08:43 ID:k/qf0LfU


>Pony "a messenger for mindful correspondence"

I looked in to it a bit, and while it seems like a good idea, it being an app somewhat distances itself from its own mission statement. Yes, the app itself will only deliver messages once a day, but it requires the device that you (mostly) carry with you constantly. Apparently the creator didn't want to just make it e-mail, but I really don't see why, and the reasons they gave for not don't really make much sense unless the reason is purely that he wanted to make money out of it (which he actually admitted in an interview).

>1st Paragraph

This is a good point, but I'm talking about more is that it's more an issue of standards, and it could even be argued that there's elements of surrogacy involved, where people are getting the social interaction online that they don't get in the real world. It's true that for the addicted the "slow net" would either be too little of "a hit" or even that they would use the "slow net" in addition to the "fast net," but I'm more coming at it from a different angle, that is the realigning of what we expect and want from the "digital life."

>2nd Paragraph

It's interesting that you mention my idea of consolidating usenet being tried before, but I doubt it was very successful as when I look at some newsgroups high in the hierarchy they don't seem any more lively that those lower down. It's weird that BBSs actually seem more "alive" (by the reduced standards I'm talking about) than usenet despite the difference in infrastructure involved.

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