For many years I’ve interacted with my fellow humans, I think perhaps more than any other way, via the medium of Internet chat. But in my chat window, they’re fading, one by one. This problem is technical and personal and I felt it ought not to go unrecognized.
What a bittersweet story. Definitely worth a read.
“I don’t like nostalgia unless it’s mine.” -Lou Reed
Instant messenging is alive, burgeoning even, but not well. Sell your soul to Facebook and you can once again connect to most of the world. At the small price of having your life dissected as advertising fodder.
The dream of a federated internet died a long time ago. It is now in the hands of a few mildly evil behemoths to connect us. I’ve given up on alternatives. Back when alternatives were still a possibly viable option, I was met with indifference when asking to switch to a more open service. Why switch? Closed service X just works. Now there are still some ghost town hold outs, but asking anyone to go there will probably be met with laughter.
At the end of the day, I care about connecting with the people I care about more than lofty ideals. I could be ideologically pure, but I’d never speak with anyone I care about ever again online during my life time. IMO that is just not worth it.
I felt this same thing quite a few years ago. MSN was our network of choice when at uni, friends and acquaintances slowly moved off onto the various chat apps or social networks until the service itself died.
When I look back, MSN did then what Slack/Teams/Whatsapp/FB Messenger do now, and More.
Now, instead of meeting up with people and learning their news and stories, you follow them on facebook for a sanitised version.
I don’t even bother installing Pidgin on my desktop any more, there is nobody there to chat with.