Online Culture

The internet has brought the whole world (i.e. USA, Europe and richer parts of Australasia) together to combine all cultures. This has created a new culture, which is OK, but not great. &&(navigator.us

Just The Facts

  1. Those born pre-1988 have witnessed the birth and development of the new internet culture. Anybody born after that can read about it online.
  2. Internet culture is much the same as normal culture, but due to anonymity, encourages people to be assholes and/or add glittery angel wings to photos.
  3. The internet has shown that when people of all ages, nationalities, backgrounds and even gender are able get together en masse, trends, common behaviours and languages will emerge and stay around forever, no matter how dull they become.

The Internet - look how far we've cum.

Legend tells us that Americans invented the internet while trying to find a way to communicate that's even easier than opening your mouth and talking. A breakthrough was made in 1959 when DARPA linked two computers in entirely different rooms. The first ever word sent over the internet was 'Lo' which was the start of 'Log On', but the system crashed mid sentence, possibly due to an annoying pop-up ad (If Banner Ads Were Forced To Be Truthful).

Since then the world - well, about 24%of the world because most people can't afford a pair of sandals, let alone a computer (Internet World Stats) - has embraced the new technology like it was vital to their existence and in doing so, have made it just that. Now, what was at first seen as an obscure medium only used by people who can't communicate properly due to awful social skills or ugly faces, has become the basis of mainstream trends, fashions and language - but this news was interesting for a week back in 1998.

Timeline of developments

When the first internet came out, people didn't trust it, so invented false names, identities and often genders with the aim deceiving people on the internet who weren't being honest about who they were. But for some children, the squeaking and crackling of the 28kbp modem was as much a part their life as the television,so when they were old enough to cut and paste HTML code, they trusted the medium like they would their grandma. So communications started off private, but became public and revealing as the kiddies grew up.

4000 BC - Earth is created (Source Conservapedia.com)
1957 - Internet is created

American scientists linked two computers together (see The Insane True Story Behind the Birth of the Internet). The US military decided that it was something they liked and kept it to themselves for 30 years.

1983 - Email forwards
If you got something interesting in your inbox, it was seen as polite to forward it on to everybody in your address book (see The 6 Most Disastrous Uses of Work Email). The emails might have been about how everybody's kidneys were being stolen or a list of porn names made up of the previous recipients' first pet names and the streets they grew up in (See The 5 Lamest Forwarded Email and Why Your Mom Loves Them). Shortly after the email forward evolved into the first spam (see 100 Unintentionally Hilarious Spam Subject Lines).
1988 - Newsgroups
With the intention of being a place where you could discuss certain TV shows or scientific research, these became a place where people could share pictures and/or spam. Sometimes participants would engage in conversation, but usually topics would be trivial, such as what their porn names would be.
1994 - Real-time chat (mIRC, ICQ)
These are chat programs that allowed you to meet anybody in the world and chat in real time. You could also share pictures and malicious files. Often, conversations would be about what your porn name might be.
2002 - Blogs and user-generated content
People were tired of just looking at sites, so started to adding to them. This started with simple comments (see The 8 Most Obnoxious Internet Commenters), but expanded to the posting unsourced or plagiarised ideas (see 5 Terrifying Bastardizations of the Wikipedia Model), to videos of school students giggling at the novelty of standing in front of a camera. The blog was was born and internet users were able to post to a journal with the intention of updating regularly, but after a month most people realised blogging is hard work and faded to aimless posts, such as lists of their friend's porn names and links to photos on NASA.
2004 - Myspace and the birth of social networking sites
These websites changed social networking forever as it gave people the power to set up their own webpages, even though people had had the ability to do this for many years. They allowed people to share thoughts (see The 8 Strangest Communities on the Web), music and their pretend porn names.
2006 - Facebook
This was the first site internet veterans trusted with their real name and information. It exploded as people found a way to tell old school friends about what they'd done with their lives - even if their achievements were mediocre (see 10 People From Your Past Who Will Haunt You On Facebook). The site let people band together in groups (see The 6 Most Obnoxious (And Unavoidable) Facebook Groups), and included applications, such as 'What are your five dream cars?', 'What countries have you been to?' and 'What is your porn name?'.
2008 - Twitter
This site is evolutionary in that it forces people to only say one thing quickly, and it's simple (see The Drunk Idiot's Guide to Twitter). When this timeline was constructed, Twitter users were sharing their porn names.
NOW - All of the above. It's nuts (see the Internet Party and Internet Party 2).

Memes

An online meme is a cultural custom or concept which is passed on through imitation - kind of like a mini fad that cannot be explained. They fall under three categories.

Funny

These memes began because they were funny. By the time they had reached meme status, they were no longer funny.

1. Numa Numa - A large man mimes a song. He appears to be French, but happy.

2. Lolcats - Pictures of cats with text which implies they are speaking, when they are not. (Lolcats).

3. A dancing baby - A dancing baby

Shockers

These are what you send your friend at work if you're trying to get both of you fired. The biggest three, which you really shouldn't put into Google Images, so far have been as follows. These images cannot be displayed here, so 'safe for work' representations have been included for educational purposes.

1. Goatse

Goatse

2. Tub girl

Tub girl

3. Two girls, one cup

Two girls

I... don't get it.

The Rick Roll is a meme which is not funny or disgusting, but has been one of the biggest memes to date. It began when somebody posted a link and claimed it linked to information about a video game, but it took people to a video of Rick Astley on YouTube. The internet then went crazy with people trying to trick other people into watching the first few bars of Never Gonna Give You Up (because you're obviously not going to sit and watch the whole thing just because somebody tricked you into clicking on it).

While it is not the first meme to escape the internet (see The 9 Most Obnoxious Memes To Escape The Internet), it iss the only one to date to have been successfully killed. This occurred when a television station took the meme to its logical conclusion by Rick Rolling all of America during the Thanksgiving Day parade (2008 The Year Geeks Took Over ). This has taught researchers a lot of about how to kill memes that won't go away.

So far, people have tried to start a meme (see 7 Viral Videos You Didn't Know Were Staged), but have failed, so it is difficult to predict the next one (see 10 Characters That Might Be The Next Meme).

Language

New ways of saying things have developed on the internet. Here are some of the stayers.

Acronyms

LOL - If somebody cannot see you are laughing out loud, you might write this. Please don't say this instead of laughing in a face-to-face social situation. That doesn't make sense.

Actually, that's the only one that's lasted longer than six months that you can use without sounding like a computer script or a pervert.

Emoticons

People also put brackets and other punctuation marks together to represent emotions. These are called emoticons. Some of the more popular ones are:

:) - Turned 90 degrees clockwise, it looks like a smiley face.

;( - Turned 90 degrees clockwise, it looks like somebody is frowning and winking. It's not clear what emotion this is.

                                                                   
                     / \                                  
                    /  /                                    
                  //  /                                     
                 /  //                                         
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              /   /                                          
             /  //                                           
            /  /  \                                          
            / /    \\                                        
           /  |O \   \\\                                     
           /     /      \\\                                  
           /    /\         \\\\                              
           /  //  \\           \\\\\\\\\\\\\\      
           OO//     \\                       \\\\\\\\\\\\\        
                      \\\ _                               \\\\\\\\
                        \/                                        \\\\\\\      
                        /     /                                           \\\
                      ///    /              //                              \\
                     / /    /              /      \                           \
           -\       / /   //\\            /       /                         /  \ 
            |\___--- |   /    \\\        /        /           /////////////_/  / 
            \        |  |        \\\\    /        /   //////////     ___---    /
             -------/|  |            \\\/        //////         ___--          /
                     |  \              /       //   _______-----         _____/
                     |  |              /      /      ----____   ____-----
                      \ \             /     // \     /       ---
                       \ \            /    /    \    \      
                        |/            \    \     \   \      
                        |              \    \    \    \     
                                        \   \     \   /     
                                        \   \     \   /     
                                         \  /     /  /      
                                         \  /     /  /      
                                         /  /     /  /      
                                      __/   \  __/   \        
                                     /-____-\ / /=__-\       
                                                     

Use this one to show your love for somebody.

Pornography

While you could argue that pornography is a part of internet culture (see 9 Innocent Google Searches That Get Porn On The First Page), if you've scanned this page looking for a reference to porn, you should probably join in the Great Internet Porn Off.